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The Origin of America’s Intellectual Vacuum

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Posted on Nov 15, 2010
AP

Like Chandler Davis, screenwriters Dalton Trumbo, left, and John Howard Lawson were sent to prison for refusing to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee.

By Chris Hedges

The blacklisted mathematics instructor Chandler Davis, after serving six months in the Danbury federal penitentiary for refusing to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), warned the universities that ousted him and thousands of other professors that the purges would decimate the country’s intellectual life.

“You must welcome dissent; you must welcome serious, systematic, proselytizing dissent—not only the playful, the fitful, or the eclectic; you must value it enough, not merely to refrain from expelling it yourselves, but to refuse to have it torn from you by outsiders,” he wrote in his 1959 essay “...From an Exile.” “You must welcome dissent not in a whisper when alone, but publicly so potential dissenters can hear you. What potential dissenters see now is that you accept an academic world from which we are excluded for our thoughts. This is a manifest signpost over all your arches, telling them: Think at your peril. You must not let it stand. You must (defying outside power; gritting your teeth as we grit ours) take us back.”

But they did not take Davis back. Davis, whom I met a few days ago in Toronto, could not find a job after his prison sentence and left for Canada. He has spent his career teaching mathematics at the University of Toronto. He was one of the lucky ones. Most of the professors ousted from universities never taught again. Radical and left-wing ideas were effectively stamped out. The purges, most carried out internally and away from public view, announced to everyone inside the universities that dissent was not protected. The confrontation of ideas was killed. 

“Political discourse has been impoverished since then,” Davis said. “In the 1930s it was understood by anyone who thought about it that sales taxes were regressive. They collected more proportionately from the poor than from the rich. Regressive taxation was bad for the economy. If only the rich had money, that decreased economic activity. The poor had to spend what they had and the rich could sit on it. Justice demands that we take more from the rich so as to reduce inequality. This philosophy was not refuted in the 1950s and it was not the target of the purge of the 1950s. But this idea, along with most ideas concerning economic justice and people’s control over the economy, was cleansed from the debate. Certain ideas have since become unthinkable, which is in the interest of corporations such as Goldman Sachs. The power to exclude certain ideas serves the power of corporations. It is unfortunate that there is no political party in the United States to run against Goldman Sachs. I am in favor of elections, but there is no way I can vote against Goldman Sachs.” 

The silencing of radicals such as Davis, who had been a member of the Communist Party, although he had left it by the time he was investigated by HUAC, has left academics and intellectuals without the language, vocabulary of class war and analysis to critique the ideology of globalism, the savagery of unfettered capitalism and the ascendancy of the corporate state. And while the turmoil of the 1960s saw discontent sweep through student bodies with some occasional support from faculty, the focus was largely limited to issues of identity politics—feminism, anti-racism—and the anti-war movements. The broader calls for socialism, the detailed Marxist critique of capitalism, the open rejection of the sanctity of markets, remained muted or unheard. Davis argues that not only did socialism and communism become outlaw terms, but once these were tagged as heresies, the right wing tried to make liberal, secular and pluralist outlaw terms as well. The result is an impoverishment of ideas and analysis at a moment when we desperately need radical voices to make sense of the corporate destruction of the global economy and the ecosystem. The “centrist” liberals manage to retain a voice in mainstream society because they pay homage to the marvels of corporate capitalism even as it disembowels the nation and the planet. 

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“Repression does not target original thought,” Davis noted. “It targets already established heretical movements, which are not experimental but codified. If it succeeds very well in punishing heresies, it may in the next stage punish originality. And in the population, fear of uttering such a taboo word as communism may in the next stage become general paralysis of social thought.”

It is this paralysis he watches from Toronto. It is a paralysis he predicted. Opinions and questions regarded as possible in the 1930s are, he mourns, now forgotten and no longer part of intellectual and political debate. And perhaps even more egregiously the fight and struggle of radical communists, socialists and anarchists in the 1930s against lynching, discrimination, segregation and sexism were largely purged from the history books. It was as if the civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had no antecedents in the battles of the Wobblies as well as the socialist and communist movements.

“Even the protests that were organized entirely by Trotskyists were written out of history,” Davis noted acidly. 


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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, December 30, 2010 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

Well, yes. Most of what happened in the 60’s was actually much worse than dumb… but there was some glimmer of light then kindling among the few who were determined to neither be remaining perpetually in the 50’s Republicans, nor MoveOn to become drug damaged Democrats.

Nature abhors a vacuum, but the American majority really, really loves them… intellectual… moral…

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By Anarcissie, December 29, 2010 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

I hate to tell you this, but there was a lot of dumb stuff in the ‘60s, too.  After the ‘50s (see picture, above) almost anything looked cheerful and exciting.  But a lot of it was still pretty dumb.

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By David J. Cyr, December 29, 2010 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

QUOTE (of an avatar waiting for what’s already occurred):

“I’m waiting for Chapter 2: “The Dumbing Down of the American Public”, which began in the early 1960’s.

From reading some of the comments, it is clear there are a lot of people who know how to use computers, but never learned how to read a history book.”
__________

No real history is learned from history books purposefully written to misdirect; nor can any real history be learned by people with misdirected minds who refuse to learn anything from direct observation of the history that’s unfolded before them.

The 60’s were all about radical consciousness raising. The “progressive” liberals have spent the last 50 years perfecting a Democrat mind-state of willful unconsciousness.

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By skimohawk, December 28, 2010 at 6:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m waiting for Chapter 2:
“The Dumbing Down of the American Public”, which began in the early 1960’s.

From reading some of the comments, it is clear there are a lot of people who know how to use computers, but never learned how to read a history book.

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By kulu, December 22, 2010 at 6:23 am Link to this comment

Lafayette,

There are many economists today, including eminent ones who think beyond the framework of those appointed to advise our governments. (You probably know this.) Herman Daly, Manfred Max-Neef, Ha-Joon Chang, Peter Victor and even Joseph Stiglitz to name a few. If we could only listen to these people rather than the likes of the comprised economists like Larry Summers there might be a chance of getting it right or at least move in a direction that is not patently self-destructive. The ideas of former economists like Galbraith, as you say need also to be resurrected.

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By kulu, December 22, 2010 at 5:58 am Link to this comment

patriot10101, November 16 at 4:58 am

Here here. We are all doomed.

Unfortunately those who seek (and get) power are not just and those who seek justice are not (and won’t be) powerful. Therein lies the problem. If you seek justice for everyone you have to use the tactics of the power-hungry to achieve that goal. In a nut shell you have to lie, cheat commit atrocities and so on to reach a point where you can demand justice for all. If you do that you are one of them.

Capitalism, not so long ago moderated by true democratic processes and regulations designed to curb its excesses has now spiraled out of control and will end up by destroying civilization as we know it. Those leading the neo conservative charge will succumb themselves in due course. Can’t they see that? Don’t they care about their own children and grand children’s future?

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By Inherit The Wind, November 24, 2010 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie:
I’ll bet I can give you chapter and verse of Gates’ and Microsoft screwups better than you can.  Without citing somebody else, I can tell you what is fundamentally wrong with DOS, and later Windows, that violates basic Op Sys practice.  I can tell you about mouse software in 1986 that forced computer rebooting, or about MS driving WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3 out of offices and sticking us with the far inferior Word and Excel.  The predatory practices are well-known and NOT in dispute.

But I can also tell you that IBM couldn’t get its op sys to work correctly, and it took MS to convert CM/DOS to MS DOS (and PC DOS) to make the machines workable.  That it was MS that got the IBM-PC up and running and turned into a real business machine.

Unlike Apple, it was MicroSoft that put a PC on everyone’s desk.  I’ve had a PC on my desk (as opposed to a dumb terminal) since 1985 and have had to struggle through thousands of issues with them.

BUT IT WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN ON MY DESK WITHOUT GATES MAKING IT HAPPEN! 

Perhaps to you an out-and-out thief isn’t as bad as robber baron who actually got a product out there, but I prefer the robber baron to the flat-out robber.

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By Anarcissie, November 24, 2010 at 12:56 am Link to this comment

ITW—If you think Gates is some kind of technical genius, you ought to read up on his history.  For instance:  MS-DOS, which he sold to IBM when he didn’t even own it.  (Someone else wrote it, of course.)  Bill’s big book in 1994, Looking Ahead, forgot to look ahead far enough to see the Internet, which everyone else in the business knew about.  (The book was hastily revised.)  Or, how about the monstrosity that is VB, or putting out IE with no defenses against malware?  Gates is a clever and ruthless businessman, a political operator, as I said, and his wealth comes from doing a lot of damage, among other things establishing a virtual monopoly which held back PC development for ten or twenty years.  I’d say he’s a lot worse than an outright crook like Ken Lay.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 21, 2010 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie:
You still don’t get it. Even if your description WAS 100% true (and it’s not—both men are extremely technically capable, and Jobs STILL has his fingers into everything), they STILL have added huge value to the lives of people the world over.  Being able to bring a good and useful product to market and get it into the hands of users is a HIGHLY valuable skill.  Organization and management are how great things get done, from the Pyramids to the World Wide Web.

You don’t seem to see the difference.  Enron was created because there were loopholes in the law that allow them to do no more than speculate on energy as a commodity, and manipulate the market.  It added NOTHING and was, in fact, a phony front. 

Perhaps you forget, but analysts who visited Enron saw a trading floor with people on phones, on PCs, all going frenetically to work.  What the analysts learned later was the screens of the PCs were turned so the visitors couldn’t see them—because they weren’t connected to anything.  The phone calls were all non-existent.  It was a deliberate charade.

I don’t love and adore either Gates or Jobs.  I think Gates has built an empire on what is, at best, a shoddy op system.  Jobs actually thinks if his tools don’t fit someone’s business, they need to change their business model.  But Microsoft and Apple HAVE produced products and gotten them to people to use, because of those two men.

Maybe you believe NOBODY can get wealthy on merit, but I don’t.  I just also realize that many get wealthy WITHOUT merit.  Rather than kill incentive, innovation and productive risk-taking, I’d rather clear out the leeches, parasites, charlatans, and thieves.

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By sewra, November 21, 2010 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

dfs wrote:
“In essence this article operates by identifying Marxism as “smart“ and any other social or political philosophy as “dumb,“ and is really no more than a howl of pain that, try as they might, Marxists have always failed to convince the American people of the rightness of their cause. Face it, guys, you competed in the marketplace of ideas and lost, and now you’re sore losers. How precisely does this make the rest of us dumb?”

No, the point of the article is not that one way of thinking is “dumb” and the other “smart”. The point is that there *is* no marketplace of ideas. No one ever really taught me anything about Marxism in all of my years in school and university. And I certainly was never exposed to it in the media. It took years of reading and learning from others in various reading groups and at conferences for me to realize at the age of 55 that I was a Marxist, that capitalism is at the heart of most of the world’s problems, and that this is not the end of history. The point of the Hedge’s article is that the system cannot afford to let alternatives be discussed and so it finds ways to exclude them.

See my blog post on this topic: http://crackinhistory.wordpress.com/2010/09/11/what-were-supposed-to-believe-1/

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By Anarcissie, November 21, 2010 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

I’m doing everything in Linux, of course, but even if I weren’t, if I were writing on a Mac or a Windows box, none of the hardware and none of the code on my PC would be written by, directed by, inspired by either Gates or Jobs.  They are artists of marketing, mostly self-marketing, and of political control.  In that regard, they are not that far from Ken Lay and Bernie Madoff.  What gives them their power and wealth is not their industry and creativity but the need of people to worship great heroes and make suckers out of themselves, often to their own considerable detriment.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 21, 2010 at 12:07 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie:

You miss the point—and they aren’t the same.  Innovation comes from people wanting to get rich.  But people get rich other ways, too.  Whether you think Bill Gates is wonderful or a scumbag, or, like me, a good bit of both (same for Steve Jobs), the bottom line is they created a whole world of communication.  You are sitting and typing a on computer that uses as its op system either Bill Gates’s product, or Steve Jobs.  Unless you are a super geek and doing everything in Linux.

IOW, they both produce something of value and use.  Ken Lay produced NOTHING but drained his employees of over a billion dollars. Bernie Madoff robbed his investors with a sophisticated Ponzi scheme.  Paulsen ousted Democrat Jon Corzine from heading Goldman, Sachs, and, as Secretary of the Treasury, used the economic crisis he helped create to destroy a hated rival, Lehman Brothers, even though it hurt the nation.

Even Ron Popiel and Vince McMahon produce more than those 3.  Popiel markets a line of junk but you don’t have to buy it.  McMahon produced junk television but you don’t have to watch it.

I resent Bill Gates his 40 billions far less than I resent Michelle Bachmann’s $250,000 in farm subsidies from our taxes while she tries to end welfare, social security and medicare.

I may see myriad things wrong with Bill Gates’ DOS and later Windows, but it’s a product that enhances productivity. I find Steve Jobs imperious, dictatorial and unable to face ANY criticism that his products are less than perfect.  Yet the impact of the iPod and iPhone are unmistakable. iTunes had revolutionized how we get our music, reducing carbon footprints along the way.

Ken Lay, Bernie Madoff, Paulsen and Michelle Bachmann produce NOTHING for their wealth—and then demand they be allowed to gather more of it.

That’s the difference.  A “robber baron” can produce oil, steel, automobiles, PC, cellphones, or….nothing.  Personally, I prefer the one who actually makes stuff.

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By Anarcissie, November 20, 2010 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, November 20 at 1:18 pm:

Anarcisse:
5) Force the rich to kick in their fair share of the costs, and stop giving them subsidies, loopholes and tax reductions.
6) Force the rich to play “the game” fairly by re-structuring banking, lending, investment and bankruptcy laws, and pre-defining legal loopholes as invalid—that the burden of proof is on the loopholer (you can get around the “burden of proof” by making it a civil, not criminal offense, that must be paid like a fine—just like the IRS does now)

I can’t imagine why you think the rich would allow themselves to be inconvenienced in the ways you suggest.


I have no objection to people being rich. I’d like to be myself. And if that wealth comes from brilliance and innovation (like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, even if I hate their attitudes), I’m FINE with that.  We need more Gates and Jobs and Buffets, and to impoverish and imprison the Maddoffs and Paulsens and Ken Lays.

They are basically the same; they just have different games.  No one is economically worth thirty or forty or fifty billion dollars.  If you support or even consent to these games being played, however, expect someone to play them—at your expense.

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By moonraven, November 20, 2010 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

Inherit the windbag has now inflicted his virtual smearing of excremental lingo on this site.

Oh, his toilet talk is soooooooo profound, so inspiring, that it makes me want to take a big virtual dump on the dummy.

Aren’t you plastic progressives IMPRESSED with the hot air?

Beside yourselves, no doubt, with cognitive dissonance taken to the grade of psychosis.

Pitiful.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 20, 2010 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

Shuole:

Can you say “Banned”?  Sure you can!  I knew you could.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 20, 2010 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

TD3:
Maybe I was too generous with Buffet.  But you get the point.  True inventors. True entrepreneurs, vs. Madoffs and Lays and Paulsens.

Moonraven: I wait for the day when you actually have something worth saying.  As of this time, though, you are nothing but a nasty, despicable racist shit, who had no problem calling people ethnic slurs.

“You’re a victim, too, Flagg. But you’re such an example of walking fertilizer it’s hard for me to care.”—Dr. Sidney Freedman, M*A*S*H

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By moonraven, November 20, 2010 at 11:50 am Link to this comment

Inherit the Windbag:

In the words of the immortal Fonz:  Sit on it!

It is you, not I, who posts his hypocritical hot air on this site, meanwhile swearing allegiance to the policy of genocide against non-whites by voting for the plutocrats.

It is you who keeps genocide chugging ahead in the US.

It is you who thinks he is going to get a piece of the pie, when you are not even a crumb in the eye of Big Guns, Big Bucks, Big Oil and Big Pharma, who find it NOT in their interest to give you even what you have already paid for.

It is you who is clearly psychotic—and therefore, way beyond getting any help from your H (Human) M (Murderers) O.

Guilt is its own reward.

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By truedigger3, November 20, 2010 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

Re: By Inherit The Wind, November 20 at 1:18 pm

ITW wrote:
“I have no objection to people being rich. I’d like to be myself. And if that wealth comes from brilliance and innovation (like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, even if I hate their attitudes), I’m FINE with that.  We need more Gates and Jobs and Buffets, and to impoverish and imprison the Maddoffs and Paulsens and Ken Lays. “
————————————————————————-

I agree with you regarding Bill Gates and Steve Jobs,
although like you, I hate their attitudes especially Bill Gates who is trying to use his foundation to destroy Public Education and replace it with Charter Schools that graduate mostly “Computer Geeks” who are proficient in science but mostly ignorant about history, the constitution, and the civil Society and the rest of The Humanities subjects.
Regarding Buffet, I have deep reservations about him.
In my opinion, he is nothing but a wheeler, dealer and stock market manipulator who did not creat anything.
He is a principal partner in Goldman Sacks and consequently shares in the guilt of all Goldman Sacks games and tricks especially its role in the current economic crisis and manipulating the oil and grain prices when the Gallon of gas shot up to $4/Gallon and many food riots erupted in third world countries.
Buffet at one time tried to corner the Silver Market!!.
He is not bullshitting me with his grandfatherly congenial demeanor.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 20, 2010 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

Anarcisse:
5) Force the rich to kick in their fair share of the costs, and stop giving them subsidies, loopholes and tax reductions.
6) Force the rich to play “the game” fairly by re-structuring banking, lending, investment and bankruptcy laws, and pre-defining legal loopholes as invalid—that the burden of proof is on the loopholer (you can get around the “burden of proof” by making it a civil, not criminal offense, that must be paid like a fine—just like the IRS does now)

I have no objection to people being rich. I’d like to be myself. And if that wealth comes from brilliance and innovation (like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, even if I hate their attitudes), I’m FINE with that.  We need more Gates and Jobs and Buffets, and to impoverish and imprison the Maddoffs and Paulsens and Ken Lays.

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By Anarcissie, November 19, 2010 at 11:09 pm Link to this comment

Perry de Havilland, November 19 at 1:26 pm:

‘“Justice demands that we take more from the rich so as to reduce inequality. This philosophy was not refuted in the 1950s…”

That is very true, it was not refuted in the 1950’s.  It was refuted in the 1830’s by people Frederic Bastiat.’

It’s a rather academic proposition.  In any community with a distinct class of rich people they are the most powerful.  They are not going to take from themselves to give to themselves, although they may make a pretense of doing so for political purposes.  And they are not going to worry about ‘justice’.  For them, justice is keeping what you have and getting more.

The real question is what to do about the situation if you’re not one of the rich.  Some options the rest of us have are:

1.  Join the rich in the hopes of getting a job taking from somebody else.  You probably won’t get to be one of them but others will be worse off.

2.  Take the rich down violently.

3.  Take the rich down non-violently.

4.  Do nothing.

I can’t think of any others at the moment.

Whatever you do, be sure to call it ‘justice’.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 19, 2010 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment

moonraven, November 20 at 12:33 am Link to this comment

dfs:

1.  Your post is an example of what is dumb.

2.  The US is a rogue state founded on genocide, which thumbs its nose at international law, domestic law and its own constitution in its all-out dedication to killing all non-white beings on the planet.  I guess that’s what dummies like you call smart, right?

3.  In short, if gringos don’t like it, it’s probably an honorable idea.

4.  US off the planet!
**********************

Everything you write is a nasty, abusive piece of shit.  And racist to boot (“gringos” is a racist term).  I can’t imagine a racist like you having anything meaningful to say.

And you’ve proven it by never having anything meaningful to say, just abusive insults. Get some help.

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By sewra, November 19, 2010 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment

A great article. I teach in a big public university, and there’s really very little place here for alternative perspectives (I mean, real alternatives, not feel-good varieties of capitalism). Until now, I hadn’t realized the role played by the 50s Red Scare period in making things this way.

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By moonraven, November 19, 2010 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

dfs:

1.  Your post is an example of what is dumb.

2.  The US is a rogue state founded on genocide, which thumbs its nose at international law, domestic law and its own constitution in its all-out dedication to killing all non-white beings on the planet.  I guess that’s what dummies like you call smart, right?

3.  In short, if gringos don’t like it, it’s probably an honorable idea.

4.  US off the planet!

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By dfs, November 19, 2010 at 8:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In essence this article operates by identifying Marxism as “smart“ and any other
social or political philosophy as “dumb,“ and is really no more than a howl of pain
that, try as they might, Marxists have always failed to convince the American
people of the rightness of their cause. Face it, guys, you competed in the
marketplace of ideas and lost, and now you’re sore losers. How precisely does this
make the rest of us dumb?

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By Perry de Havilland, November 19, 2010 at 8:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Justice demands that we take more from the rich so as to reduce inequality. This philosophy was not refuted in the 1950s…”

That is very true, it was not refuted in the 1950’s.  It was refuted in the 1830’s by people Frederic Bastiat.

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By kws, November 18, 2010 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Good riddance to bad rubbish!  Theft != Justice

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By truedigger3, November 18, 2010 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

Re: By Lafayette, November 16 at 1:16 pm

Lafayette wrote:
“Thinking outside the box is a challenge to Conventional Wisdom—which, when done, invites opprobrium. That is the reaction of many who simply do not want comfortably cherished beliefs to be questioned. It upsets the tidy lives that they inhabit.

What’s a country to do? Enhance its Experiential Education, the kind that gets people to look beyond the confines of the three-mile territorial limit of US borders. Moreover, a lot of the informational input-overload is coming from trash sources. Those must be combated with modern techniques for disseminating unbiased, verifiable, factual information.

The process is long and slow. But, I submit, there is no other way in a Supposedly Tolerant Democracy. “
—————————————————————————

Surprise! I agree with you 100%.
Unfortunately, there is a very clever, sophisticated and very well financed campaign to dumb down the American people who get most of their information from the news media and television.
Unfortunately, mustering the resources to combat this
dumbing down process is very difficult if not impossible.
Most of the big monies are for dumbing down the people and having schools and universities to graduate technocrats or people with specialized knowledge who will serve the monied elite.

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By REDHORSE, November 18, 2010 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

SHADRACH: Great discription of where American political dialogue/action went. I’ve been saying “political correctness” is an airball for years.

    In defense of the 70’s, the brutal 60’s left such emotional/human carnage on the American landscape and propagandist/law enforcement had so damaged and infiltrated progressive thought we all needed some time to think and heal our wounds. But, the so called “Fascist Right” never stopped its assault. People still can’t grasp the connection between “marijuana laws”, the loss of civil rights, and the ascent of the “prison industrial/M.I.C.” State. It was never about “weed”.

    Your observations about the “class” war are spot on. It is hard to accept that Americans with every advantage imaginal would seek the economic destruction of their less fortunate compatriots. In all honesty, I believe it is a very “few” who exploited the fractures in American unity for personal benefit but God, what damage they’ve done.

    I agree with LAFAYETTES observation that we “may be” powerless only because we’ve been convinced we are. And, lets not forget that there are American fighters and truthspeakers aplenty. It’s just that the “Fascist Right” bottlenecks the dialogue.

      Thanks for the poat!!

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By Lafayette, November 18, 2010 at 5:49 am Link to this comment

DB: There seems to be a tint of “HEY, some of those people weren’t even GUILTY of being commies!” as if that makes it all the worse.

Oh, but it does.

Living with the opprobrium within your community, with your fellow workers, for an act that you did not commit, is far worse than skedaddling to Canada or Great Britain or Australia—as quite a few did.

At least on foreign soil one can construct a new life, whilst back in America one must wait a decade or more until it has “blown over”.

We may be a “democracy”, but there is nothing in the Constitution that prevents dogma and ideology to foul up the works. Just as there is nothing there either to prevent an Unjust Society.

One must fight with the tools one has. Most often, to take the offensive with the media.

But it would help far far more if we incorporated in our Bill of Rights more of the component of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On that comparison, the US does not even come close.

And, since its inception in 1947, shrewd minds have always prevented its ratification by the Senate. One has every right to ask why.

One might even ask why the UN Declaration is not even taught in schools. (Though I have no way of verifying that, for America. I know it is the case in France.)

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By ocjim, November 17, 2010 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

We don’t seem to learn from history, whatever the lesson it teaches us. Many are guilty of a herd mentality, unwilling to think outside the box provided by vested interests.

There was the Iraqi war which too many endorsed without much thought. There was the fear mongering promoted by the Machiavellian Bush regime which even got the miscreant elected after his appointment by the Supreme Court.

There was the incarceration of the Japanese during WWII. There is ridicule by the right which tends to guide public opinion for too many non-thinkers.

Even early history saw a consensus on slavery or at least a long-festering racism.

And way back in the John Adams Whitehouse the Alien and Sedition Act imprisoned those without orthodox thinking.

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By ardee, November 17, 2010 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment

“Mere unorthodoxy or dissent from the prevailing mores is not to be condemned. The absence of such voices would be a symptom of grave illness in our society.”  Earl Warren

One of my earliest political memories is the televising of the Army McCarthy hearings. Though I was rather young and did not understand the nuance I knew this was something very important taking place…..

The witch hunts of McCarthy and HUAC unearthed those who were communists sans real understanding of what that political system would become, idealists all. It made prominent scum like Ronald Reagan who sold out his union and betrayed his fellow union members.

Universities are made less utile by the sameness found within them. Only when the mind is free to explore, instead of being narrowly channeled, can we become what we should.

We live in interesting times…..

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By Orbis Unum, November 17, 2010 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

Re: Lafayette, November 17 at 10:16 am.

You state:    OU: Ah the smell again, of the voluntary slavery of a french-fry! No doubt enticing others into the putrefaction of being smothered in greasy subjugation by sophistic simplicity and avoidance of any real condiments of honor!

Goodness - what mindless, pedantic drivel for rebuttal.

I’ve put you on the SOB-list. (Scroll On By.)

It’s time to clear out the Augean Stables.

Response: For those not following slippery mollusks for rebuttals such as a little french-fry crying over their own foreign trail of idiocracy, we humble would remind others to review postings and/or referenced postings where such information is provided by rebuttal or otherwise. Reason being, is that as most often prevalent among the dishonorable, you may have difficulty locating what they reference, if one was wanting to judge the matter for themselves.

This is due to the fact, that these pesky mollusks have an uncanny ability to leave out posting date and times when presumably referencing comments or individuals. One should always give dates, times, and names for others who are just skimming by until something catches their eye so to speak, so as to help them know what the heck the subject matter is or was related too! 

And most generally, posters or otherwise, who act dishonorably as aforementioned, have only their own gait to blame, when others pursuing, in the Science of Right Reason, find them esculent sauteed.

Now to the matter at hand:

The extrapolated verbiage referenced by ‘Lafayette, November 17 at 10:16 am’ was in response to Orbis Unum’s rebuttal of Lafayette’s response, November 16 at 5:25 pm. to JDmysticDJ’s response, November 16 at 4:11 pm. This informational linkage allows others who desire further information, the necessary linkage to garner their thoughts respective to any comments or rebuttals provided by others. The above stated dates, times, and names, should give any reader, who wants to have any idea what Lafayette is quoting.

All this being said, if each poster herein, would only post the referenced informational linkage as we do or similarly situated, so that others can more easily follow the train of thoughts respect to comments, more easily. It would be very helpful for all concerned. 

To do otherwise, leads one to believe others are hiding something…because of the absence of informational linkage to others. Or, others might believe the absence of informational linkage in date, time, or name (not acronyms) has a tendency to foist opinions on others as if their comments or opinions on the subject matter are of little consequence!

In conclusion hereto, as far as any reference to the Augean Stables, we are more than pleased to see one accepts humiliation of the deed claimed. Whether cognitive of intelligent design, the morality of the act accomplished, serves are purpose. “Always be ready to speak your mind and a base man will avoid you.” (William Blake, 1796)

My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By shadrach, November 17, 2010 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

I usually find Chris Hedges’ columns to be “on the mark”, but this one missed by a mile. 

Left-wing intellectuals weren’t “repressed” so much as they sold out.

The problem started in the ‘70s when former ‘60s college students started filling academic positions at the universities they formerly trashed.  By the 1980s, they were comfortably ensconced as tenured, highly-compensated professors.  It became apparent to them that to truly challenge America’s ruling plutocracy would mean taking on the very system which gave them such job security and high wages and benefits.  They (for the most part) punted.

In order to keep their leftist self-image intact, the politics of group grievance were born.  Better known as “political correctness,” it allowed the comfortable leftist academics to SEEM TO push a leftist agenda without truly rocking the boat.  By playing the race and gender victim card, the academics could remain comfortable at the institutions which tolerated, or even embraced such palaver (because it did not challenge anything fundamental to the institution). 

Meanwhile, the true basis of Marxism—class—was brushed under the rug.  The working class was abandoned, and in time the academics came to view the (lower-paid, somewhat rough) lower classes with contempt and condescension.  Instead of aiding the lower classes, and enabling to fight the all-out assault on them by the upper tier of neofeudalist plutocrats (who have waged all-out class war since the 1980s), the leftist academics tripped off into the politically-correct-race-and-gender-victims brier-patch of irrelevance.  This philosophy actually furthered the neofeudalist aims: it separated the lower classes, keeping them divided, thus aiding the “class war from above” even more.

The nice, comfy feminists, race-baiters, and other academic leftists will soon be retiring in comfort, with guaranteed pensions and benefits until they depart this veil of tears.  The lower classes they abandoned will die miserably, reduced to neo-serfdom.  And the leftists won’t give a damn.

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By Lafayette, November 17, 2010 at 6:03 am Link to this comment

CONVENTIONAL WISDOM

Fel: Marxism (unfortunately our only model is Stalinism) failed and will fail because it does not take human behavior into account.

Well put. It was doomed to failure.

But, Marx was historically correct. He had seen that the autocracy of a central government (in the form of an hereditary crown) was invested in the landed gentry by means of an aristocracy (call it a Mafia, if you like). The landowners, in an Agricultural Age, in turn controlled the Means of Production.

Fast-forward a hundred years skipping the 20th century. What have we in America? A plutocracy that controls the Means of Finance (either directly with banks or indirectly from the Boards of commercial and industrial companies).

It total, therefore, there are not more than about 2000, mostly men, who can determine the economic destiny of this country—to the extent that they have both houses of Congress in their back pocket. Therein lies the premise, however.

Is that really the case? Have they really corrupted Congress? Or, has a witless population been manipulated to believe that:
* Unbridled Capitalism was the key factor that brought about the Good-Years of high employment.
* That Free-Markets always “get it right”, meaning the right price (the least expensive), complete market coverage (no cherry-picking of the most profitable portions and to hell with the rest) and the benefits distributed amongst stakeholders (primarily) and shareholders (secondarily).
* That Free-Markets and especially those of Finance are automatically self-correcting—so nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong ...
* That Free-Enterprise with its megabuck Comp & Ben packages attracts only the best and bravest, those with Excellence in Management as their Primary Guide for ethical corporate behaviour.

The above is a litany of mind-numbing drivel in total disconnect with Factual Economic Reality. It’s amazing how a people can believe so disingenuously the above Conventional Wisdom.

POST SCRIPTUM: Conventional Wisdom is pap for the masses to assure that their fleecing continues unabated.

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By Lafayette, November 17, 2010 at 5:33 am Link to this comment

WITH AMAZING DOCILITY

RH: Isn’t the role played by McCarthy and HUAC the same as that played by FOX, Beck and the like? It’s a self interested small minded fear mongering shout down of human progess and aspiration.

Well put.

These activities are always the same reaction to a supposed defilement of the Conventional Wisdom.

Of course, both McCarthy and HUAC we’re fallouts of the Second World War—where many people thought that the Allies should (get the job done) and “take Moscow”.

Fortunately, the Army Generals, with the exception of Patton, had read War History and were familiar with the failure of Napoleon’s campaign in Russia. He did take Moscow. (But to no avail. His Grand Army left Russia decimated ... mostly by a Russian winter.)

Communism, as an economic philosophy, is gone and buried. But, neither have made any attempt to correct its opposite reality—Unbridled Capitalism with its warped Income Distribution channeling riches to the top of the societal pyramid.

With Communism, direct control was had by an autocracy and a rump legislature as window-dressing. In Unbridled Capitalism indirect control is held by a plutocracy that corrupts the legislature.

And the lambs are led to the shearing ... with amazing docility.

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By Lafayette, November 17, 2010 at 5:16 am Link to this comment

OU: Ah the smell again, of the voluntary slavery of a french-fry! No doubt enticing others into the putrefaction of being smothered in greasy subjugation by sophistic simplicity and avoidance of any real condiments of honor!

Goodness - what mindless, pedantic drivel for rebuttal.

I’ve put you on the SOB-list. (Scroll On By.)

It’s time to clear out the Augean Stables.

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By SteveL, November 17, 2010 at 1:32 am Link to this comment

Might as well start teaching kids creationism, how to find a good overpass to sleep under, and the best dog or cat food to eat.

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By Glen Wayne, November 16, 2010 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

Be A Pauper With a Pen       empirePie  


The corporate state will not abate
until we refuse to cooperate

Be a pauper with a pen
speak of now and speak of then

Abundance pleads for scarcity,
to bid up the sands of time;
the Malthus cherished myths of zero sum
the jungle rule of the non entity
the media “truth speak” for the masses
the driverless runaway truck
with think tank greased wheels is
Corporatocracy run amuck

You can’t buck the trend while sucking on the tit
so be a pauper with a pen

The corporate state will not abate
until we refuse to cooperate

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By capt rick, November 16, 2010 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i like the article and Chris until he starts typing his guests Resume.

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By Tharms, November 16, 2010 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

And yet it is near impossible to find more than a handful of non-Leftwing
professors on the campuses of most major America universities today. Of course,
the problem is, they are not really liberals, they are unrepentant back-in-the-
closet Marxists and neocons, and consequently very friendly to the idea of control
dictated from Washington.

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By REDHORSE, November 16, 2010 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

Isn’t the role played by McCarthy and HUAC the same as that played by FOX, Beck and the like? It’s a self interested small minded fear mongering shout down of human progess and aspiration. They represent the Souldead. They murder “progress” in the name of “progress”. The current gunpoint lie is that “you have to accept less freedom in order to be free”. Wasn’t that Stalin exactly? So called “free market enterprise” is the last thing that will be allowed in America. That’s why the “middle class” has to be destroyed. Jobs, community and small business are an open threat to Corporate Fascism.

      Not all, but many, knowingly violate the principals of human social morality. That’s the definition of evil. None go untouched by the consequences. World Consciousness has outstripped all the “isms”. Rote intellect isn’t Consciousness. There is a difference between thought and language tied directly to human concern, experience, need and emotion vs. opinion based vainglorious assumptive egomaniacal megalomania. That’s the difference between T. Paine and Mr. G.Beck. We are hard wired for human community, enterprise, family, love, touch and interaction. That’s the life we’re losing. That’s the “voice” being lost when people must flee America to remain free and our best minds are silenced.

      Fear, terror alerts, staged news events, alienation, emotional/psychic damage, police state checkpoints at every point of entry and departure. A Government stinking of corruption. A “homeland” instead of a Country. A “patriot act” instead of a Constitution.

        You don’t have to lose anymore. But you’ll lose it all if you don’t stand, and they intend to take it all.

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By DavidByron, November 16, 2010 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

ohmygodnotagain: “Stalin killed 30 million people, Mao an estimated 50 million, one third of the population of Cambodia”

The usual anti-communist dogma and historic revisionism.  Not mentioned is that although Hitler is on the History channel a lot he’s not ever on it as a capitalist who specifically was an anti-communist, not is it often mentioned that the US backed Pol Pot against communist Vietnam.

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By DavidByron, November 16, 2010 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

M L: “Dissent is the highest form of patriotisim”

It isn’t patriotism at all.  Patriotism is collectivized prejudice against foreigners.

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By DavidByron, November 16, 2010 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

D M: “Dissent is the highest form of patriotisim”

It isn’t patriotism at all.  Patriotism is collectivized prejudice against foreigners.

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By Robert, November 16, 2010 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

At Spev Dvinko;
That was hilarious. I felt the need as you did but
didn’t have the time and don’t think i could’ve done
it better than your rant on orbis unum. I too went to
his website put together possibly using the 1st
version of PowerPoint and laughed but not as hard as
i did reading your post. Thanks.
And orbis; Your 2nd Freedom statement is a waste of
time. Just combine it with the 1st since religion is
nothing more than an expression of people’s beliefs.
If there is absolute Freedom of expression then it
follows that religion will also be protected it being
an expression of what people believe is holy.
Your 3rd Freedom of Want is weak since having
“economic comprehensive standing” or money, to put it
in a non-douche way, doesn’t guarantee having a
“healthy peacetime life”. Your heart is in the right
place though and i applaud you for it-seriously.

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By DavidByron, November 16, 2010 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment

Eurasia2012: “The implication here is that all “worthwhile” dissent comes from the left”

That implication is correct.

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By DavidByron, November 16, 2010 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

This is an odd piece.  Just the other day I was criticising Hedges for his anti-communist pandering while he went on about why can’t liberals be more like those “radicals” of the 1930s.

Hedges avoided the “C” word.

There are few signs of anti-communism in this piece.  Perhaps here:

“And he believes that the loss of his voice and the voices of thousands like him, many of whom were never members of the Communist Party…”

There seems to be a tint of “HEY, some of those people weren’t even GUILTY of being commies!” as if that makes it all the worse.

I would like some clarity about this.  Is Hedges saying communism is good here?  He never says it like that.  Just points to the purge as the root of the current failures.

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By gerard, November 16, 2010 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

I hesitate to add one more word to this more or less aimless verbiage.  But :
  Listening to the interview on another TD site with Chris Hedges, I note that, again without any suggestions or directions—only analysis and prognosis—Chris leaves us with a faint avowal of “hope”.  When asked, he avows that he “has hope.”
  Hope of what?  A man on a white horse? Or a spontaneous combustion of rage in the streets, inviting the restless counter-resentment of “law and order”?
  It’s as if there never have been any movements that changed policies. Never any movements that succeeded,  Never any movements that were sustained by practical planning and accurate judgments.
  We are not taught about these movements in school.
We don’t learn about them while we are busy “making a living.” 
  Truthdig, where are the articles about such movements and the people who organized them—the problems they faced and dealt with, and how did they deal, what mistakes did they make and learn from, where did they get the “hope” that sustained them?
  We need to know this history and I don’t know anywhere else more appropriate, since here on TD we see so much verbal evidence of frustration and rage, plus a viral cynicism that militates against appropriate responses to the current situation..

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By Orbis Unum, November 16, 2010 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

Re: thebeerdoctor, November 16 at 8:03 pm.

You state: “Lafayette’s posting on the dumbing down of America, reminded me once again, how tragic it is to see people flummoxed by the fact that we live in a very complicated world and long to return to some romantic perception of the past that never actually existed.”

Response: Without a doubt, ‘thebeerdoctor’ states the premise we’ve stated continuously.

In support of our continuing effort to determine those willing to test all things, and, may choose to avail themselves of the facts we present, if they have any reasonable and honorable desire to know the truth, to accept the challenge to prove our premises wrong, by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah

We honorably await any evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised within the Universal Declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise.

Having said all this, I will be constantly vigilant, awaiting evidenced, line for line, contrary to the documentary evidence we have proffered!

My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By felicity, November 16, 2010 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment

I think it was Soros who said that only imbeciles and
tenured professors of economics believe in the
conscience of markets.  Probably going back to
Reagan, the people manipulating them (contrary to
popular belief they’re not perpetual motion machines)
have displayed a marked degree of cowardice, greed
and stupidity.

Marxism (unfortunately our only model is Stalinism)
failed and will fail because it does not take human
behavior into account.  Capitalism (unfortunately
never practiced if practicing it means the Adam Smith
model) has failed and will fail for the same reason -
it does not take human behavior into account.

It’s really time to throw out both, what have become,
the mythologies and devise an economic system that
does take human behavior into account.

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By GW=MCHammered, November 16, 2010 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O’Reilly and the Death of Real News

“The commercial success of both Fox News and MSNBC is a source of nonpartisan sadness for me. While I can appreciate the financial logic of drowning television viewers in a flood of opinions designed to confirm their own biases, the trend is not good for the republic. It is, though, the natural outcome of a growing sense of national entitlement.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/12/AR2010111202857.html

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By JDmysticDJ, November 16, 2010 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

By moonraven, November 15 at 10:52 pm Link to this comment

“Mystic Pizza:  You are missing the boat.

The problem with you folks is not that someone or some system suppresses thought—the problem is that self-censorship is the culprit.

99% of folks started out with that self-censorship wanting to conform to the grade school/junior high norms and be “popular”.

Not thinking critically and expressing dissent—otherwise known as ORIGINAL THOUGHTS—simply became a habit.

And you still are not “popular”.”

————————————————————————-


You presume too much without the analytical skills or knowledge necessary to make a presumption.

I could embark on a self aggrandizing accounting of my many illustrious careers including: My popularity as a “Rebel Without a Cause” (Tom Petty has nothing on me,) my working class hero period, I was an inspiring anti-war protestor, I was a somewhat popular as a singer guitarist, I was so popular in College that the Dean put me on his list, my middle management martyrdom, back to being a working class hero. I could go on, but modesty prevents me. I’m not that vain… well maybe…

Never mind, the point is I do not dispute, take exception to, or much care about perceived popularity of “Us folks”. I’m happy here in my little cocoon, (But I do enjoy congenial, lighthearted, personal interaction in my personal life.)

Sticks and stones may break my bones, and make me an unpopular old broken boned guy, but names…? Your tongue is lethal; you have cut me to the quick.

Personally, I think you’re a dumb dumb, doo doo head, pizza face.

(Oh Yeah, I used to ride the ferry, and I never missed the boat, not one time.)

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By thebeerdoctor, November 16, 2010 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette’s posting on the dumbing down of America, reminded me once again, how tragic it is to see people flummoxed by the fact that we live in a very complicated world and long to return to some romantic perception of the past that never actually existed.
What is even more strange is that many of these champions for the pro Big Business climate seem blissfully unaware of how the rackets created by Wall Street and Big Banking (with the duly noted assistance of a well-oiled Federal Government) actually complicates matters worse. Would someone ask the Governor of Alaska who quit, Sarah Palin, what exactly IS a credit default swap?
Educated intelligence is no longer required to seek public office, not even for President of the United States.

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By Anarcissie, November 16, 2010 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, November 15 at 10:05 pm:

Nobody bothers to question Hedges’s basic assertion: That American universities have been purged of Marxist thought. ...’

I think his general idea is that they were purged of radical thought.  You can fit latter-day Marxism into a contemporary academic syllabus as a form of literary criticism were it is indulged as a sort of yap-dog.  However, I do know of a few radicals who have been kicked out of the groves of Academe simply for being radical in some way—for example, David Graeber who was effectively fired by Yale for, basically, being an anarchist, an activist anarchist.  (He helped organize demonstrations.)

Hedges also has a basic assumption underlying the significance of the purging of academia, and that is that the academic system controls our intellectual life.  It may have at one time, and it still does for those who permit it to.  But its use as a thought filter is in decline due to the many alternatives which now exist for the publication and exchange of information.  American anti-intellectualism is a tradition going back to the class wars of the 18th and 19th centuries (see Hofstadter), but it’s a tradition which is becoming increasingly less relevant, delicious as supposed persecution is to the self-consciously intellectual.

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By Orbis Unum, November 16, 2010 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

Re: REDHORSE, November 16 at 6:24 pm.

You state: “Sleep now, and forever sleep.”

Response: REDHORSE’s commentary is stated well concerning the apathy of people in the above referenced posting. I agree with every one of premises presented. But I myself, will not go into that long, cold, and dark night of sleep as alleged, without attempting to Stand with honor alongside our Ancestors of happy memory, who gave us the steppingstones of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to preserver those precious unalienable birthrights to which the Law’s of Nature and Nature’s Creator have entitled us.

In support of our continuing effort to determine those willing to test all things, and, may choose to avail themselves of the facts we present, if they have any reasonable and honorable desire to know the truth, to accept the challenge to prove our premises wrong, by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah

We honorably await any evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised within the Universal Declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise.

Having said all this, I will be constantly vigilant, awaiting evidenced, line for line, contrary to the documentary evidence we have proffered!

My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By Arraya, November 16, 2010 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette

you are conflating an incentive system with the science and technology that
arouse around it and was, in part, pushed by it.  The problem is this incentive
system has a tremendous amount negative by products as well as a bunch on
nonsensical cultural dogma that goes with it.  As well as an unnecessary
exploitative and predatory component that leads things like war,  perverse
social stratification and a disregard for the environment that are inherent in the
system.  And lastly, and inherent disrespect and complete disconnect from our
natural world.  The natural world coupled with scientific knowledge and
application of said knowledge give us out standard of living.  NOT the incentive
system itself

Nature, scientific knowledge and the cultural application of that knowledge.

” 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.”

M King Hubbert

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By REDHORSE, November 16, 2010 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

In the same way that a computer isn’t a human brain and intellect isn’t heart/soul, ideological Capitalism/Socialism/Communism isn’t actual living Human Social Moral Values. Hedges article points to the consequence of Intellectual Political Thought taking action on what Human Moral Values (Heart/Soul/Blood/Bone) tell it is true. It isn’t “money” or “ideology” that forms the committee and pulls the trigger. Insane individuals possessed by avaricious immoral greed seize and manipulate social ideology for their own ends and call themselves “patriots” to maintain power and justify the slaughter and oppression of the weak and voiceless, but human tyranny and social ideology are two separate realities.

    The endless discussion of the symptoms of Social Moral bankruptcy in Washington and the resultant disintegration of the Nation without individual citizen action is servile intellectual self-soothing. Social moral indifference and a delusional sense of personal entitlement that tells one their “specialness” will save them from the abyss swallowing fellow citizens is the anesthesia that allows tyrants to pull the Tigers teeth one by one.

    If those living principals of human rights, dignity, life, liberty, freedom and happiness and the tools to preserve them created by our now much maligned and revisioned founders and outrage at their violation can be so easily buried and put at ease by intellectual rationalization “We the people—” deserve the coming barbarity. It is a disease of the Soul itself and the next half Century will provide the cure.

    Sleep now, and forever sleep.

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By Orbis Unum, November 16, 2010 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

Re: Lafayette, November 16 at 5:25 pm.

You state: “Does that make the effort to bring about more fairness in Income Distribution? By artfully increasing, not decreasing, taxes and spending the revenue on Public Services?

Methinks it does. “

Response: Ah the smell again, of the voluntary slavery of a french-fry! No doubt enticing others into the putrefaction of being smothered in greasy subjugation by sophistic simplicity and avoidance of any real condiments of honor!

But what the heck, this columnist’s article shows no difference in character either. Unless he wishes to take up the mantle of honor by accepting to prove our premises wrong. Unlike a little french-fry shivering from the cold, dank, and dark loneliness of depravity and enslavement. Just waiting for the first fat oligarchic fingers to suck the last remaining drops of fear, from whatever essence remains of the day to prove otherwise, for those who freely choose to be without honor!

Let us make this perfectly clear, no one has the morale right to take (steal) one’s livelihood garnered from labor in exchange thereof, via schemes of redistribution. Especially, when such people are disenfranchised to direct the outcome of expenditures (i.e., Public Debt). Whether for Public Services or otherwise.

Individuals, singularly or collectively, find it hard to face their duty upon the Watchtower of self-determination in support of self-evident principles, ‘that all men are by nature are equally free and independent, and have certain unalienable rights, of which, when they enter into a State of Society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.’ But the responsibility of our present and future generations doesn’t change just because the truth is hard to face, e,g., their out to steal your livelihood, whether life, liberty or property, for redistribution simply because you allow the theft!

But there is a solution for those who wish to step aside so to speak, concerning the ongoing debauchery evincing total subjugation of All Walks of Life via Creating Standing within the geopolitical framework of International Conventions.

This is the last bastion of the presumed Rule of Law left to reasonable people exercising the Science of Right Reason.

In support of the aforementioned, one only has to avail themselves of these facts by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Not by generalities but Line for Line.

And once again, as our humble attempt for those capable of presenting facts line for line, in the light of reasonable propositions or otherwise, just as a reminder for all those who honorably exchange ideas within the ‘Truthdig Forum’ while refraining from hateful or insolent behavior…always remember, sometimes while exchanging ideas, the time and respect we give, from a deep seated desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment, can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment, by those seeking to discourage, rather than exhorting to greater possibilities.

My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!

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By basho, November 16, 2010 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

orbis unum:

“Response: In respect to whether there exists any conflicts with the S.E.A./ goals, I must emphatically state otherwise. And, absolutely NO!”

we seem to have different definitions of

“freedom of Speech and expression—universally.”

No Response Required. smile

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By Mark A. Goldman, November 16, 2010 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hedges is always brilliant.  So I find it a little humorous when he talks about “radical” ideas and/or speech when, in fact, what the ideas he is calling radical are really nothing more than common sense… or what common sense should be.  It is now radical for anyone to suggest that honesty really is the best policy, or that politicians, government officials, and corporations really ought to tell the truth and be held to account when they don’t.  How can citizens make appropriate decisions when they don’t have accurate information or don’t have the tools to think critically or if they don’t have a certain reverence or respect for intellectual integrity.  Now that it has become radical to advocate for simple decency, intellectual integrity, and honorable discourse…. well, yes, I agree with Hedges and others… we really should allow radical thinking to enter the marketplace of ideas.  It would help a lot.

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By Lafayette, November 16, 2010 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

ONE HELLUVA LOT OF GOODNESS

JDm: What has Capitalism wrought? Trace it back to the Middle Ages.

Yes, precisely. Trace it back. But do understand what life was like then—when average life-spans were 40/50 years. Where famine was common and the pest could decimate whole towns and regions in a period of months.

Life was indeed highly precarious and not the least bit comparable to that of today.

And what has capitalist affluence brought us? One whole helluva lot of goodness and some badness—including in the latter unspeakable Income Unfairness.

So, will more affluence be better? Not for most earning above the average American household income, which is today at about $67K. How many families would be below that mean income?

Have a look at Household Income in increments of $10K. Simple addition of the percentages show that around 60% of American families are earning below the national average.

Does that make the effort to bring about more fairness in Income Distribution? By artfully increasing, not decreasing, taxes and spending the revenue on Public Services?

Methinks it does.

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By Orbis Unum, November 16, 2010 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

Re: basho, November 16 at 10:33 am.

You state: ““He presumes, that in the U.S., social Role Models (i.e., educators) have no responsibility to the hand that feeds them. And so, defends arbitrary behavior by those he or others term radicals, as permissible behavior. Not so! “

S.E.A. The 4 freedoms

“The first is the freedom of Speech and expression—universally.”

seems to me that you are in conflict with S.E.A.‘s stated goals.

care to comment?”

Response: In respect to whether there exists any conflicts with the S.E.A./ goals, I must emphatically state otherwise. And, absolutely NO!

The statements posted by myself (Orbis Unum, November 16 at 1:31 am) that have been brought into question, where made to expose and show once again the true nature of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, in a system where individuals not so unlike Chris Hedge’s and his claim that “The Origin of America’s Intellectual Vacuum,” was due to reasons unrelated to Hedge’s claims and existed long before such altercations as he sights. And for these reasons and those reasons alone, do we expose academia’s role model in indoctrinating your children from womb to tomb. Why should academia who is guilty of ongoing fraud against the innocent minds of your children, claim any right to stand against a system designed to foster enslavement for which they were given recompense to accomplish? What, do you mean to tell me that any professor attaining his professorship, was unaware of such programming and him/herself blinded. Or where they just going along to get along to their own demise as well. Time tells all doesn’t it?

Furthermore, having said this, many liked-minded individuals have approached the dilemma of present day political misdirection by restating the self-evident principles. And, like history has proven over and over again, Men of Good Will must unite and pledged themselves in support thereof, if to halt such misrepresentations foisted upon the unsuspecting from womb to tomb; having been perpetrated against All Walks of Life universally by every geopolitical framework of government, which has existed historically and which remains firmly entrenched today by such programmable social deceptions.

The ongoing evidence presently speaking, was documented very succinctly in a film entitled, “Indoctrinate U, a 2007 American feature-length documentary film written by, directed by and starring Evan Coyne Maloney, on ideological conformism and political correctness in American higher education. Among other things, the film examines the use of institutional mechanisms such as speech codes, which are used to punish students who express political views that are unpopular within academia.”

“The documentary combines relatively shocking footage (one professor excitedly tells the camera “whiteness is a form of racial oppression . . . treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity”) with snappy editing to create a documentary that bounces quickly from subject to subject.”

Examples of “intellectual thuggery” in the film are nothing more than “the tip of a disgusting iceberg”, laments Walter E. Williams, noting that “Several university officials refused to be interviewed for the documentary. They wanted to keep their campus policies under wraps, not only from reporters but parents as well.”

In support of the aforementioned, one only has to avail themselves of these facts by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.

We honorably await any evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised within the Universal Declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise.

My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By JDmysticDJ, November 16, 2010 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

Lafayette

What has Capitalism wrought? Trace it back to the Middle Ages.

You are a rational fetterer, so I personally agree with much of what you have been saying; any disagreement would probably concern the amount of fettering necessary.

The argument is that mankind could not have progressed without Capitalism, but that can only be conjecture.

We’re comparing rotten apples to rotten oranges.

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By Lafayette, November 16, 2010 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

THE DUMBING DOWN OF AMERICA

What I refer to as “The Year Of The Dingbat” may soon become the prevailing “wisdom” for decades.

Then you are unaware of the Know Nothing Party that erupted upon the political scene between 1840 and 1850. What was its legacy?

Not much that survived the test of time ... from the linked WikiP article:

The nativist spirit of the Know Nothing movement was revived in later political movements, such as the Ku Klux Klan and the American Protective Association, according to William Safire.  George Wallace’s 1968 presidential campaign was said by Time to be under the “neo-Know Nothing banner”.  Editor Fareed Zakaria has said that politicians who “enouraged Americans to fear foreigners” were becoming “modern incarnations of the Know-Nothings”.

It was the conflict amongst Americans over immigration that spawned the Know-Nothing Party, which is only one element of the present alteration of mindset in America.

Let us not forget that Lead-head was elected not once but twice. So, there is a strong-willed element within the public at large that remains comfortable with its conservative (read “boiler-plate”) beliefs.

Belief is an intrinsic right. Even when your belief contradicts either historic or scientific (and often both) facts. Psychologically, it happens in not too well educated people, or people with a highly focused education, and who were not sufficiently challenged to think outside the box.

Thinking outside the box is a challenge to Conventional Wisdom—which, when done, invites opprobrium. That is the reaction of many who simply do not want comfortably cherished beliefs to be questioned. It upsets the tidy lives that they inhabit.

What’s a country to do? Enhance its Experiential Education, the kind that gets people to look beyond the confines of the three-mile territorial limit of US borders. Moreover, a lot of the informational input-overload is coming from trash sources. Those must be combated with modern techniques for disseminating unbiased, verifiable, factual information.

The process is long and slow. But, I submit, there is no other way in a Supposedly Tolerant Democracy.

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By thebeerdoctor, November 16, 2010 at 6:44 am Link to this comment

Lamenting the marginalization of academics who dared to question authority is an old and often retold story. Much more to the point is a recent Matt Taibbi piece in Rolling Stone, in which he points out that stuff like the tea party, represent a focal point for the rising anti-intellectualism in the United States, in which even scientific facts are denied if they do not conform to their chosen emotional boiler plate set of values. What I refer to as “The Year Of The Dingbat” may soon become the prevailing “wisdom” for decades.
True dingbats, such as Sarah Palin have become such a lucrative media package, that the entire television industry goes along with the joke. The Governor of Alaska who abandoned her job for the more patriotic duty of making much more money, was once asked which magazines she reads. “Oh all of them,” was her chirpy reply.
The rapidity at which the dingbat way has been adopted by television as mainstream, is a sight to behold. Classic dingbats such as the ever so Reverend Pat Robertson who always warned against “godless secular humanism”, were once found at that electronic dingbat ghetto known as The 700 Club. Now, that so-called vision of living, has become just another viewpoint to be accepted or rejected, according to your own emotional take on marketplace reality, no matter how fraudulent that opinion maybe.
In such a universe, a curious scientific mind like Charles Darwin, is seen as not only wrong but evil.
The other thing about Chris Hedges radical liberalism is that he forgets to mention the radical purge instituted by FDR and Hollywood when Upton Sinclair attempted to become Governor of California. The liberal establishment joined forces with conservatives to denounce Sinclair, an avowed socialist, as a crackpot red. And it worked. The ever so holy Aimee Semple McPherson denounced Mr. Sinclair’s “modernism”. A defender of William Jennings Bryant at the Scopes Monkey trial, Sister Aimee considered the scientific theory of evolution as “the greatest triumph of Satanic intelligence in 5,931 years of devilish warfare against the Hosts of Heaven.”
And Hay Sues said: You will always have the dingbat amongst you.
Amen to that.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, November 16, 2010 at 6:09 am Link to this comment

Lafayette ... you’re wrong.  Nowhere did I say socialism was the answer for our problems.  I just said that this contrived connection between Communism and Socialism was false.  I’m not sure what is the best form of government but can say with conviction it isn’t capitalism as practiced in America.  Anything beyond that is a serious stretch on your part.

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By basho, November 16, 2010 at 5:33 am Link to this comment

Orbis Unum:

“He presumes, that in the U.S., social Role Models (i.e., educators) have no responsibility to the hand that feeds them. And so, defends arbitrary behavior by those he or others term radicals, as permissible behavior. Not so! “

S.E.A. The 4 freedoms

“The first is the freedom of Speech and expression—universally.”

seems to me that you are in conflict with S.E.A.‘s stated goals.

care to comment?

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By Lafayette, November 16, 2010 at 5:31 am Link to this comment

THE CAPITALIST CASH COW

CCD: Neither of these countries came close to the ideas laid out by Marx or the ‘socialist’ model.

And from there, it is a just a hop, skip and a jump to “Socialism is what we need in America!”?

Well, I beg to differ, having lived in a country (France) with a heavy Socialist influence during its recent past three decades—and trying desperately to recover from it.

Modern Social Democrat theory, IMHO, is much simpler than any kind that presumes that the state can cure all ills. Because history indicates that state control of all economic sectors creates more ills than it cures.

Or, more precisely, Exacting centralized macro- and micro-economic planning and control is for supercilious fools with a ginormous computer. It won’t work ... humans are not robots.

Quite simply, the Third Way (Centrism) states:

Leave the Capitalist Cash Cow alone, because it works. Learn, however, to better distribute its produce to obtain better Income Fairness and thusly a more Just Society.

Capitalism was not invented in the 19th century on Wall Street. Some trace it back at least to the Middle Ages. Regardless, it is the economic system that best suits human beings—if we learn how to tweak it and make the distribution of its fruits more equitable.

And what does that mean?

It means higher taxation on upper incomes and spending upon Public Services of large utility to the general public. And that means one helluva lot more than just Homeland Security and DoD! Some examples:
* A National Health Care system that costs half as much as the present, but offers state-of-the-art Preventive and Remedial care. Not possible? Come to France, I’ll show you one.
* An Educational System that instills the discipline/functionality necessary to graduate students from Secondary level into Tertiary Level, such that they come away with skills that will allow them decent lives for themselves and their families. Moreover, it does so with the fewest possible barriers to that progression, meaning cost.

Is the above asking too much of an economy or a government? Apparently, Yes! - in today’s America.

POST SCRIPTUM

Marx once made the statement that Socialism will not have succeeded until it did so in the US. He was wrong. The truth, I submit, is somewhere between the two extremes of Unfettered Capitalism and Centralized Economic Planning/Control. Which is the basic premise of Centrism .

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By Lafayette, November 16, 2010 at 4:54 am Link to this comment

THE AFFLUENT SOCIETY

OU: The thing is new, so I must try to define it, since I cannot name it accepting the face which it resembles…oblivion.

Try using the word these three words:
* “hedonism” -> the pursuit of pleasure or sensual self-indulgence.
* “consumerism” -> the preoccupation of society with the acquisition of goods.
* “affluence” -> abundance of money, property, and other material goods.

Thorstein Veblen was an early American economist of the institutional economics school (of thought), who wrote Theory of the Leisure Class in 1899. He first coined the phrase Conspicuous Consumption, that is the objective of accumulating “things” in order to achieve a certain social status.

It’s worth reading, unless one is a gadfly in the matter of economics. Institutional economics focuses on understanding the role of the evolutionary process and that of institutions in shaping economic behaviour. (Institutions means entities like government, industrial or commercial enterprise, churches, social clubs, organizations, etc.)

John Kenneth Galbraith, a renowned professor of economics at Harvard University also wrote The Affluent Society (1958), which explains the influence upon our “pursuit of happiness” at moments of too much prosperity. Which, I submit, can change moral compass headings.

[Too much prosperity? Yes, it happens and is a destructive force. Just look at the Roman Empire.]

“It’s a herd-instinct thing”, one hears/reads. If anyone thought we, as higher-level mammals, distinguished ourselves by means of superior intellect; then they need their intellectual horizon broadened. We share very similar behavioural traits with our genetic forebears.

The great influence of these economists is that they were not bound hand and foot in mathematical economic mechanisms. So, they could talk/write about the nature of economics and mankind, without spouting continuously about GDP, M1, M2, Quantitative Easing, etc., etc., etc. - which is of little interest to anyone but them.

NOTA BENE

JK’s son Jamie teaches economics at the University of Texas and is keeping with the social democrat tradition (my interpretation, not his) of his father.

A FINAL WORD OF CAUTION

In its bent for mathematical modeling, modern economics has lost its focus on the individual consumer and the psychological factors that induce us as economic agents (aka consumers, income earners, heads of families, morally responsible individuals, etc.)

They (Galbraith and Veblen) made economics more personal and therefore more understandable. Economists should get back to that heading. They’ve been blown off-track.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, November 16, 2010 at 4:19 am Link to this comment

I’m sorry guys but I have to jump into this once again.  I have a much closer relationship with the ills of Communism than any of you, having lived in Ukraine for the last 5 years.  We often have discussions about the former Soviet state and what was good and bad about it.  I can tell you that the history of the Soviet Union, as told to the typical American school child or adult, is blatantly false ... a lie.  And, unfortunately, the connection between Marxism and Communism is also false.  In 1917, the Bolsheviks overthrew the then existing government that had deposed the Tsar.  Lenin and Trotsky had the idea of a people’s congress, populated by representatives of various labor federations and the military.  They actually set one up in St. Petersburg after the revolution.  The Politburo and General Party Secretary were intended to carry out the dictates of the People’s Congress.  However, in 1924, Lenin died and Stalin took over.  He reversed everything, taking all power to the General Secretary and making the Politburo the organ for enforcing his dictates.  The People’s Congress became a rubber stamp for his orders.  Any connection with a worker’s state and Marxism disintegrated when Stalin took control.  He was a sociopath and feared that his rivals would overthrow him so he set about killing anyone who might rise up in opposition.  His favorite henchman ... Khrushchev.  I’ve been told that Stalin actually asked Nikita to stop making enemy lists because all the government bureaucrats were being killed and there was no one left to run the place!

The same thing happened with Mao.  He was a revolutionary but got crazy over time (I’m told he died of Syphilis which may have caused his insanity).  Like Stalin he began to purge his enemies and that was taken to an extreme by his wife and the gang of 4.  The Communist party of today is anything but representative of the people’s will.  It is a closed club protecting the most powerful and corrupt of the party from outside threats.

Neither of these countries came close to the ideas laid out by Marx or the ‘socialist’ model.  Anyone who equates socialism with Communism as practiced around the world is demented.

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By Orbis Unum, November 16, 2010 at 3:46 am Link to this comment

Re: Spev Dvinko, November 16 at 7:33 am.

You state: “@pedanticmeatloaf, thank you.  It was a fit of pique.  I feel better now.

Or should I say, We feel much dissipation of our indignatious conflammation.”

Response: When I think about the petty passions of the men of our times, about the softness of their mores, about the extent of their enlightenment, about the mildness of their morality, about their painstaking and steady habits, about the restraint they nearly all maintain in vice as in virtue, I am not afraid they will find in their leaders tyrants, but rather tutors.

So I think that the type of oppression which these democratic people’s are threatened will resemble nothing of what preceded it in the world; our contemporaries cannot find the image of it in their memories. I seek in vain myself for an expression that exactly reproduces the idea that I am forming of it and includes it; the old words of despotism and of tyranny do not work. The thing is new, so I must try to define it, since I cannot name it accepting the face which it resembles…oblivion.

I want to imagine under what new features despotism could present itself to the world; I see an innumerable crowd of similar and equal men who spin around restlessly, in order to gain small and vulgar pleasures with which they fill their souls. Each one of them, withdrawn apart, is like a stranger to the destiny of all the others; his children and his particular friends form for him the entire human species; as for the remainder of his fellow citizens, he is next to them, but he does not see them; he touches them without feeling them; he exists only in himself and for himself alone, and if he still has a family, you can say that at least he no longer has a country.

Above those men arises an immense and tutelary power that alone takes charge of assuring their enjoyment and of looking after their fate. It is absolute, detailed, regular, far-sighted and mild. It would resemble paternal power if, like it, it had as a goal to prepare men for manhood; but on the contrary it seeks only to fix them irrevocably in childhood; it likes the citizens to enjoy themselves, provided that they think only about enjoying themselves. It works willingly for their happiness; but it wants to be the unique agent for it and the sole arbiter; it attends to their security, provides for their needs, facilitates their pleasures, conducts their principal affairs, directs their industry, settles their estates, divides their inheritances; how can it not remove entirely from them the trouble to think and the difficulty of living?

This is how it makes the use of free will less useful and rarer every day; how it encloses the action of the will within a smaller space and little by little steals from each even the use of himself. Equality has prepared men for all these things; it has disposed men to bear them often, even to regard them as benefits.

After thus taken each individual one by one into its powerful hands, and having molded him as it pleases, the sovereign power extends its arms over the entire society; it covers the surface of society in a network of small, complicated, minute, and uniform rules, which the most original minds and most vigorous souls cannot break through to go beyond the crowd; it does not break wills, but it softens them, bends them and directs them; it rarely forces action, but it constantly opposes your acting; it does not destroy, it prevents birth; it does not tyrannize, it hinders, it represses, it enervates, it extinguishes, it stupefies, and finally it reduces each to being nothing more than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.

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By Spev Dvinko, November 16, 2010 at 2:33 am Link to this comment

@pedanticmeatloaf, thank you.  It was a fit of pique.  I feel better now. 

Or should I say, We feel much dissipation of our indignatious conflammation.

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By Orbis Unum, November 16, 2010 at 1:43 am Link to this comment

Re: Spev Dvinko, November 16 at 5:22 am.

You state: “What?”

Response Exactly!

That a people should be so valorous and courageous to win their liberty in the field, and when they have won it, should be so heartless and unwise in their counsels, as not to know how to use it, value it, what to do with it, or with themselves; but after so many years’ prosperous war and contestation with tyranny, basely and besottedly to run their necks again into the yoke which they have broken, and prostrate all the fruits of their victory for nought at the feet of the vanquished…”

And furthermore, to pursue the pettifoggery by attorns, as to surrender that which is most precious…their own children once more into the fire of despair, to give into tyranny the issues of their loins to foster their own slavery!

In support of our continuing effort to determine those willing to test all things, and, may choose to avail themselves of the facts we present, if they have any reasonable and honorable desire to know the truth, to accept the challenge to prove our premises wrong, by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah

We honorably await any evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised within the Universal Declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise.

Having said all this, I will be constantly vigilant, awaiting evidenced, line for line, contrary to the documentary evidence we have proffered!

My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By astrology, November 16, 2010 at 1:04 am Link to this comment

for those seeking an alternative to capitalism, look to
sparta where lead was the coin of the realm, or to
cambodia under pol pot where money did not exist. if
money, taxes, or the u.s. economy is the cause of
america’s problems, lets just do away with greenbacks
and food stamps.  dictators could care less.

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By pedanticmeatloaf, November 16, 2010 at 12:24 am Link to this comment

Re: By Spev Dvinko, November 16 at 4:22 am

(To:) Orbis Unum:

That was the funniest response to a serious discussion
I have read online, ever. I was laughing so hard that I
had to stop reading half-way through and take a walk
around so as to be able to breath properly. Brilliant!

Thank you for that

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By Spev Dvinko, November 16, 2010 at 12:22 am Link to this comment

What?

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By Orbis Unum, November 16, 2010 at 12:08 am Link to this comment

Re: Spev Dvinko, November 16 at 4:22 am.

You state: “And So we State to All Right-Minded and freedom loving Persons, Ocelots, hams, and Scraps of newspaper stuffed within our pocketses; thou get thee hence or Hence To the Following URL appended hereafter and There descry four questions at the Convenience of your perusal, Which are to be enanswerverated in Particular detail with Respect to the Questions hereunto Set Forth; and: http://psychcentral.com/quizzes/schizophrenia.htm :: All Right-Thinking and putative nardules of Concupiscient verboloquacity will thither commence themselves Proclaimed This Day of Juneteenth the eleventy-Millionth, 1972.”

Response: An unsuited venture hast be foisted upon the dignity and honor of a knygt erraunt. Having and owing to beckoning, we have proffered performance, performed by pursuing said url, only to be presented an undignified errant behavior to ask of us, to our dismay, what venture be there none to vanquish for the beckoning to a “free screening test for anyone who wants to see if they may have the symptoms commonly associated with a schizophrenia-specific disorder, such as Schizophrenia or schizophreniform disorder. But then to be quizzed in such an unfashionable and dishonorable means for considerable worthy effort, which entail not to tell, if you have one of these disorders.”

Having subjected my right honorable life to no less than what I deem others should rightly do, in respect to reading any posting directed forthwith, to any poster found herein, me thinks…what could anyone expect from such a diminutive intelligentsia?

One might have thought, if one where actually a thinking sort, one might have attempted to prove otherwise!

I won’t presume to entertain why individuals deem it necessary to communicate with such flowering expose of their brilliance. But, not being one who accepts to condemn another for their efforts, we rather exhort them in our patience, to consider seeking further perfection for perfecting their condition.

Than to shine were a miner of wisdom would have difficulty seeing otherwise!

In support of my continuing challenge throughout voluminous postings herein, one only has to avail themselves of facts we present, if they have any honorable bone in them, to accept the challenge, by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.

Having said all this, I will be constantly vigilant, awaiting evidenced, line for line, contrary to the documentary evidence we have proffered!

We honorably await any evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised within the Universal Declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise.

And once again, as our humble attempt for those capable of presenting facts line for line, in the light of reasonable propositions or otherwise, just as a reminder for all those who honorably exchange ideas within the ‘Truthdig Forum’ while refraining from hateful or insolent behavior…always remember, sometimes while exchanging ideas, the time and respect we give, from a deep seated desire to foster harmonious behavior to garner enlightenment, can be met on the road of hopeful enlightenment, by those seeking to discourage, rather than exhorting to greater possibilities.

My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By Psychobabbler, November 15, 2010 at 11:56 pm Link to this comment

This was a complete and total disgrace to this country. These brilliant men all deserve a public apology. Whether or not you agree with them is irrelevant.

I understand the meaning of principle.

When you stand up to injustice and lose, your integrity remains intact regardless.

For what it is worth, I personally will never refuse them.

I love the statement “take us back”

I wish we would.

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By Spev Dvinko, November 15, 2010 at 11:22 pm Link to this comment

Orbis Unum:

Thou a Poltroon art, braying endlessly and Unceasingly and without remit Hereunto and theretofore whatsoever in echolalian disdain For the right proper rules of discourse and human interaction which requireth, certes, a certain amount of having a position germane to the discussion.  Insolent commoners that thou must intermingle with, unlettered Brutes one and All, will not endure this endless garblemargle We manufacture for their enlightenment!  Cruel footpads stooping to abuse, verily and yea!  And yet mightest this be followed to the source of the root of the origins of the cause of the Thing, and mightest this be or Be the result of One’s own failure to observe even the most basic Rules of etiquette Online?

Hearthee, O villeins: hereunder I must, forsooth, make the following asservation and avowal: your medication is not working.  There is, in these times in which we live (minus the deceased, Who cannot be descried as living, as they are not thus doing and so, also) ample opportunity for cranks, zealots, freaks, monomaniacs, and persons ill-equipped for social interaction with their fellow personages, viz Humans and other upright anthropoids possessed of the capability of speech, however florid, Gravibund, muteolistic, or intercessive, nonetheless to invistibulate themselves in amongst the parties of the Third Party whom, according to the Rules or rules of the Florence Conclave of the year Anno Domini one thousand, four hundred, and seventy-two, at about three in the afternoon (daylight savings), should yield the floor to Persons, personages, personalities, or other parties interested whatsoever as Might be whatnot and so forth, and so on.  To this end, therefore, we engrip the noble Posture suggested by the Royal “we” and we hereunto declare and proclaim, according to the minutes of our imaginary kingdom of many lots of things that are possessed of this and that as appropriate sigil here endorsed and engrossed this eleventh day of the year seven according to our Just and Right Calendar what We made up in our heads While Waiting out a cloudburst at the Public Library before the Shelter was open for the Day, and this Free Computer being available for use, Withall, Prithee! 

And So we State to All Right-Minded and freedom loving Persons, Ocelots, hams, and Scraps of newspaper stuffed within our pocketses; thou get thee hence or Hence To the Following URL appended hereafter and There descry four questions at the Convenience of your perusal, Which are to be enanswerverated in Particular detail with Respect to the Questions hereunto Set Forth; and: http://psychcentral.com/quizzes/schizophrenia.htm :: All Right-Thinking and putative nardules of Concupiscient verboloquacity will thither commence themselves Proclaimed This Day of Juneteenth the eleventy-Millionth, 1972.  Whosoever pulleth this sword from this stone shall garner a downloadable certificate of authenticity which can be Printed on Parchment Paper and filled Out with one of those fancy Calligraphy Markers to make what looks From a distance like a Diploma from a Vocational school in Scranton, Penn’s Woods yclept also Pennsylvania.  Line for Line!

Yours, the Right Honorable Panjandrum of Dinkydoo Manor, 113a Koala Street, Perth, Australia (herewithin endorsed also by the Supreme Council of Made-Up Utopian Secret Councils that Meet beneath the streets and fly through the Sewers on hoverchairs of Our own devising)

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By John Steinsvold, November 15, 2010 at 10:32 pm Link to this comment

An Alternative to Capitalism (Please!)

The following link takes you to an essay titled: “Home of the Brave?” which was published by the Athenaeum Library of Philosophy:

http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/steinsvold.htm

John Steinsvold

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By FiftyGigs, November 15, 2010 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

I so love Lafayette writings, and I hope to read more.

“The world of capitalism does not need remaking, just more prudent management.”

Which edges toward the core question: why doesn’t it have it?

Why after hundreds of years of stable democracy, after establishing the most prolific economy, the most liberal education system, the most solid defense, the most advanced technology, the most “mosts”, why is the country so screwed up?

World War II, the epitome of “bad times”. If ever Armageddon was close, that was it. America united, embraced conservatism, dedication to the status quo, service to the institutions. Afterward, battered by global evil and a terrible economic depression, the so-called Greatest Generation sought peace. Sought to raise their children in prosperity, free from want, very well educated, with unlimited opportunity. The Baby Boom would lead America to unimaginable greatness, guided by unsurpassed ingenuity from blessed souls seeking the greater good that drove us to lead the world against tyranny.

They produced us in liberal times.

Now we see that in the 60s, it was the youth who favored the Vietnam War. It was the youth who rushed into stereotyping. Who begat the advanced market segmentation models that rule today. The youth who migrated toward cultural superficiality, to empty “spiritual” values. They knew Jesus lived, because they saw Him on their last LSD trip.

Draw the line from there right to the Alaskan beauty who would be Queen, to the Z Morning Zoo deejay toying with McCarthyism for ratings on a “news” network called Fox, to the Tea Party which thinks it just staged a revolution.

The behavior we see today in this country isn’t an exhibit of repression.

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By Fat Freddy, November 15, 2010 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette

One way or the the other, this party is going to end. Some think it is part of the plan to crash the economy. The IMF is printing up SDRs as we speak. The World will be totally controlled by a few central bankers. Democracy will be unnecessary. We will all be taken care of, and we will all be forced to sacrifice for the greater good. Poverty and excessive wealth will be eliminated. Everything will be controlled, for our own good. All traces of individualism will be removed from society as we know it. We will all function for the greater good, instead of our own selfish desires.

I hope I’m dead when it happens.

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By Fat Freddy, November 15, 2010 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette

You are probably right. The vast majority of Americans like the present debt based system. A savings based system would put too many limitations on what they can have. Middle Class America likes their single family, suburbia home, with “two cats in the yard”. The shiny gadgets they don’t know how to use, and their all-inclusive Dominican Republic vacations. The fact that they know they will have a 401(k) plus Social Security, allows them to spend and borrow as much as they want. If that means a few people starve, and a few people get rich, that’s OK with them. They vote Democrat to make up for it and wear T-Shirts with “Darfur” on them.

No, you are probably right. Average Americans would never accept a truly free market system where they actually had to save money. Not only that, but America must be #1, in the World. If America were not able to manipulate world-wide markets and currency exchanges, we would be, just another country.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibV8WJtNYJY

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By igloo, November 15, 2010 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Actually, the muzzling of free opinion goes much farther back than the 1940’s witch hunts. Tocqueville observed in the 1830’s how sensitive Americans were to criticism, and noted the omnipotent tyranny of the majority. He felt that oppressive power in the nacent democracies much more stifling than that exercised by monarchies. He also found freedom of expression and intellectual discourse lacking in American society. A country that exalts anti-intellectualism will find that most of its intellectuals have gone overseas. Ezra Pound, Hemingway, Vidal and others whose creative period was all spent overseas did so because at home they would have been forced to toe the line.

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By Orbis Unum, November 15, 2010 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment

Re: Chris Hedges’ Column “The Origin of America’s Intellectual Vacuum.”

Mr Hedge’s aforementioned column must be dealt with via the Science of Right Reason.

So, from this point of reference we shall endeavor to refute his article’s premise “[t]he silencing of radicals such as Davis, who had been a member of the Communist Party, although he had left it by the time he was investigated by HUAC, has left academics and intellectuals without the language, vocabulary of class war and analysis to critique the ideology of globalism, the savagery of unfettered capitalism and the ascendancy of the corporate state.”

Mr. Hedge’s position leaves much to be forsaken from an historical or social standpoint. He presumes, that in the U.S., social Role Models (i.e., educators) have no responsibility to the hand that feeds them. And so, defends arbitrary behavior by those he or others term radicals, as permissible behavior. Not so!

Again, we remind individual columnists and posters herein, of the facts beyond a reasonable doubt. And postulate solution oriented paradigms for those willing to accept to come to the table and bargain for their rights to life, liberty and property. Lest they be counted above those less fortunate, openly declared by the global oligarchy via the Georgia Guidestones. Built by someone going by the name of Robert C. Christian (presumably Ted Turner), who hired Elberton Granite Finishing Company to build what sometimes referred to, as the American Stonehenge in Elbert County, Georgia.

The choice of survival of the fittest has always rested upon whether people are willing to consider testing all (even social programming) things, rather than to be culled out, to be treated otherwise.
Their ability to exercise the Science of Right Reason when confronted with undeniable facts concerning any presumed truth will determine the end results!

People need to comprehend the powers that be, have no affiliation to any religion, nations, or political party, they are acting according to their own Rules. And, we are acting according to the protocols established to proffer evidence of your social conditioning. To determine, whether you are willing to be reasonable to negotiate your own survival accordingly.

Failure to do otherwise, justifies their program of depopulation, for so-called better ordering of both the population as well as planetary resources.

Whether you believe this fact or otherwise, makes little difference. Only your willingness to be reasonable does. Not your willingness to go along to get along. This behavior is the root of all chaos.

People willing to let dishonorable behavior parade as if honorable, only because of self interest will be culled out. Their question is this? When did you or your family become more important than anyone else? Never, if to do so required the sacrifice of honor in the interest of Universal Peace.

As far as we are concerned, our duty to inform, is fulfilled. Your choice still remains! Time is of the essence!

In support of our continuing effort to determine those willing to test all things, may choose to avail themselves of my continuing challenge throughout voluminous postings herein, to avail themselves of the facts we present, if they have any reasonable and honorable bone in them, to accept the challenge, by reading the “4” declarations posted by the SEA at the web link: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah.   

We honorably await any evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised within the Universal Declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise.

Having said all this, I will be constantly vigilant, awaiting evidenced, line for line, contrary to the documentary evidence we have proffered!

My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!!!

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By berniem, November 15, 2010 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment

In this wonderful land of republicans, baggers, and conservatives past and present the operative credo has always been “mindlessness is next to godliness!”

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By omygodnotagain, November 15, 2010 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

Flummox
Well Hitler wasn’t American, but the Third Reich has to be the most studied movement in all of history, pity the same effort is not devoted to the the Soviet Union and the Cultural Revolution. One can read Marx as a study economics, but to say as Basoflakes says that there is no connection to Stalin and Mao is laughable. What united the left and the rightis both believed in Centralizing power in the State to control the politics and economics of society. Whether,it was the Soviets using Marx to abolish private property or the right using State power to take over industry, media and education, the end result was the same. Million being carted off to concentration camps or gulags. For the left to ever be taken seriously again what happened in places like the Soviet Union, China and Cambodia needs to be examined with the same scrutiny Nazism.

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By sallysense, November 15, 2010 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

thought-products get used far more than thinking-processes do these days!... and it shows!...

mind-setting turf ride…

those widespread pockets of mental atmosphere…
illusion’s global manmade choke-holds here…
static interference and deadly pollution…
that groups inhale by its distribution…
via falsely fresher breaths to save…
adhering to certain brain waves…
like parasites riding the surfs…
of man’s mind-setting turf!...

(it’s sad what illusion has grown into (such full-blown degrees of distortion globally) in our world today while so many know so little about it)...

(and those who don’t think people need to know about illusion… are already under its influence more than they realize!)...

(gee)...

////
00
o
O

“what can we do?!... big money’s think-tanks set things up to get people elected who go to washington and later end up draining more of our common good!... making things worse for us and better for them!”...

\\\
00
o
o

“as the rich make more money… the poor gain more votes!... realize how the truth of accountability and the strength of votes can spread throughout a land to take power away from illusion-dependent moneymen and give that power to the people… who were originally conned out of it by moneymen way back when!... and this can be done!”...

big money keeps scamming a country so badly…
capitol hill still can’t tell it’s been conned!...
folks duped by few choices to cast their votes madly…
elect a slim chance for fairness to stand on!...

(and also… schools need to teach students how everyone’s standard human perception uses illusion which can distort something from being seen “as it actually is”... into something else when thoughts (already in the mind) substitute their own ‘pictures’ (or connotations etc) instead…

then mental pictures that resurface as ignorant social or racial or extremist or manipulative bias etc are less apt to make big impacts as they’ll have advantages of being more prone to use added consideration as they live with themselves and others in our world here!)...

(and gee… the commenter’s creed ?)...

i do my best to better things by sharing my opinions!...
so i’ll leave it up to others to give bad events good riddance!...
don’t look for me near worthy deeds in need of hands to help them!...
but follow these columns as things get worse and watch me comment again!...

(things need to change to get better!... lotsa stuff to do to put the people back in the driver’s seat!... and it can be done!)...

(if one can comment here then one can do things elsewhere too!)...

the best of wishes’n'ways’n'todays to each’n'everyone!... smile

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By gerard, November 15, 2010 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

In my previous post I forgot to mention self-awareness—capitalism has lost all semblance of self-awareness (if it ever had any).  Idtis blind to the pain it causes, blind to the blood it drinks, blind to the women and children it kills, blind to the crimes it commits.

Fat FReddy asks what is “this unfettered capitalism” he keeps hearing about.  That’s pretty much it.

Some commenters suggest that it’s not the nature of capitalism to cheat and steal, but a perversion due to this or that. As long as the only legal obligation of corporations is to make profits for their stockholders, we are about a million light years away from fairness.  And when corporatioins can donate as much of those profits as they wish to electing politicians and influencing policy, that’s
another million light years.

The problem, therefore, is not so much of an “intellectual vacuum” as of a moral vacuum—a
cruel and deliberate desertion of responsibility for fellow human beings.

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By Peacedragon, November 15, 2010 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment

I am surprised by people who were members of the Communist Party, which I
read was a very disciplined group, who went on to make their own unique
contribution to our culture.

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By MollyFlannery, November 15, 2010 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment

Where are the Wobblies?  I WILL WORK!  IWW!  Can you imagine some of these limousine libs meeting a real Wobblie?  They’d probably have an app for what to say to a Wobblie.

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By perivale, November 15, 2010 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When we say “capitalism” we call down a myth of intrepid Sam who owns and runs Sam’s Tool and Die. Granted, Sam is a capitalist. However the transglobal corporations are not capitalist at all - they’re dressed up that way, but in reality they’re “tasty little operations” - to use Burroughs’ terminology. Some might say let’s call ‘em what they are - criminal organizations.

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By John F. Butterfield, November 15, 2010 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Universities stand as cowardly, mute and silent accomplices of the corporate state, taking corporate money and doing corporate bidding. And those with a conscience inside the walls of the university understand that tenure and promotion require them to remain silent.”

The same is true of the media. Reporters soon learn “how” an article must be written to be published. Few want to starve to death to keep a good conscience.

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By Lafayette, November 15, 2010 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

UNFETTERED CAPITALISM

FF: If the government were somehow forced out of the picture, and the FDIC and FRB were dissolved, banks would be forced to operate honestly, or face the very real possibility of bankruptcy.

This proposition is naive to the extreme. It is the unfettered capitalism that you condemn (albeit obliquely) and it will lead to chaos. Why?

Because, since there are no capital reserve requirements, banks will indulge in speculative dealings from which they could possibly be made bankrupt (if the underlying debt is bad). The ensuing failure of the credit mechanism would bring the economy to a screeching halt.

Like it or not, Consumption is leveraged by Credit thus creating Employment, which provides us Disposable Income, by which we pay of our Debt ... and continue to Consume. The Virtuous Circle is complete.

Because we, however, as Consumers, binge on cheap money is insufficient reason to change the capitalist system. The problem lies in ourselves and not capitalism.

The problem with the present system we overlooked was twofold:
* A truly inane belief that markets were self-regulating and therefore no surveillance was necessary (aka the Greenspan Hubris), and,
* Despite the Truth in Lending Act, its provisions were not aggressively applied in the oversight of the mortgage business to substantiate mortgagor creditworthiness (thus allowing the creation of Toxic Waste debt instruments).

The problem therefore is not in the intrinsic nature of the capitalist system, but in the manner in which it is insufficiently regulated. Without regulation cupidity overcomes prudence and what happens, happens.

If we are so concerned about the banksters (and others) that profited wildly from the misery they brought upon their fellow countrymen, then only higher marginal taxation of exaggerated income can curb the malevolent desire to make a Quick MegaBuck and retire at 30.

Take the temptation away and cupidity is lessened. The system retains its integrity, functions as it should, and we can all indulge modestly in our pursuit of happiness ... instead of the frenzied desire for more and better Conspicuous Consumption (aka the Shop Till You Drop Syndrome).

The world of capitalism does not need remaking, just more prudent management. (It would also help if humans mitigated their hedonistic pursuits—but that is another debate for another day.)

POST SCRIPTUM

The nation had a calamity but it missed a catastrophe. It could have been much worse and if you must know how much worse read the history of America throughout the 1930s.

For instance, The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck, who deserved the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. We seem to have forgot its lessons, if we ever learned them.

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By moonraven, November 15, 2010 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

Mystic Pizza:  You are missing the boat.

The problem with you folks is not that someone or some system suppresses thought—the problem is that self-censorship is the culprit.

99% of folks started out with that self-censorship wanting to conform to the grade school/junior high norms and be “popular”.

Not thinking critically and expressing dissent—otherwise known as ORIGINAL THOUGHTS—simply became a habit.

And you still are not “popular”.

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By JDmysticDJ, November 15, 2010 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment

There is much psychobabble here on this thread, so I’ll babble for a while. Having had some experience in the matter, I believe that more than likely the product of murderous drug cartels is at play here. That being said, I believe that freedom of non intrusive behavior is equally as important as freedom of thought, but I don’t believe all thoughts, or behaviors, lead to virtue, or rationality.

Hedges eloquently points out that suppression of thought, by any means, is an evil, but one should not confuse suppression with disagreement. In a society that believes in democratic ideals, freedoms must be preserved, but one man’s freedom may be perceived as an intrusive crime by another man.  If this contention is true, then there is clear dichotomy of thought[s]. These dichotomies come to the forefront of debate in democracy, and opposing perspectives, dichotomies, become evident. Denying the existence of these dichotomies can only be myopia. Granted, certain schools of thought become prevalent in societies, which reduce, but does not eliminate dichotomy. Totalitarian societies have dichotomies of thought, as do societies in chaos.

Some blame the existence of state for society’s ills, but without laws and governance, societies are reduced to living by the laws of the jungle, i.e. survival of the fittest, or survival of the least fit, according to one’s philosophical perspective, and the definition of what it means to be a “fit” human being. In a functioning democracy, rather than blaming the state for a society’s ills, shouldn’t the society itself be blamed for its ills? I’ll argue that this attribution of blame is true even of societies that are not governed by democracy.

Societies of all types recognize certain taboos at any given point in time, but these taboos are subject to being discarded or changed over time, and I’ll argue that taboos define a society, even though there may be a dichotomy of views within a society regarding those taboos, the existence of those taboos define that society, and will continue to define that society until a taboo loses favor and becomes irrelevant to that society.

If taboos do indeed define a society, that brings us into the realm of morality and the perception of morality. I’ll argue that individuals within a society are perceived as being moral or immoral, by other members of that society, according to how their behavior is guided, or not guided, by those taboos, and that societies will determine the morality of other societies according to how well those other societies abide by the appraising society’s taboos.

I’ll argue that the conflict between individuals within a society and conflict between societies is determined by these perceptions of what is moral and what is not, or at the very least provides the rationale for conflict. The old axiom “Live and let live” seems to be a necessity in order to avoid conflict. Unfortunately, there are those who demand adherence, by all, to their taboos, and it is they who are the creators of conflict, great and small. Like many axioms, the seemingly pristine axiom “Live and let live” has been proven to be inadequate in respect to necessary order, and the preservation of peace and tranquility. There are those who must be restrained in order to preserve the greater peace and tranquility. Some will argue that that restraint should be enforced on a case by case basis, and by individuals rather than by the rule of law. Which brings us back to the law of the jungle, and survival of the fittest, or the least fit but better equipped and who possess the most powerful allies.

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By JDmysticDJ, November 15, 2010 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment

(Cont.)

In democracy, supposed constitutional protections are valuable, but not infallible. In democracy those who find themselves in the minority, are limited to: Building a majority consensus to achieve their objectives, to remain a minority and not achieve their objectives, or to enforce their objectives using non democratic, effectively despotic measures.

If corruption has become the norm, only building consensus against that corruption can lead to elimination of that corruption, the alternative is more corruption. There is a vociferous minority that denigrates those who don’t submit to their demands, effectively eliminating the possibility of any consensus being achieved.

All this psychobabble in order to restate my opinion that many on the Left have unrealistic expectations, are far too adamant in their demands, and are effectively counter productive in respect to achieving their own avowed goals.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 15, 2010 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

Nobody bothers to question Hedges’s basic assertion: That American universities have been purged of Marxist thought.  I find the whole idea laughable.  I went to a major state university in the mid-70’s and the History, Pol-Sci and English departments contained many Marxist, Socialist and radical thinkers—1/4 to 1/3 of the professors. In fact, the ONE professor who was the most outcast was the one who still defended our involvement in Viet Nam.

I was then at another major state University for grad school and one of the economics profs walked around wearing a tee-shirt that read “Labor is the source of all wealth” (a Marxist-based definition).

Now understand this: I’m not against these people being in the universities, teaching and publishing.  I only disliked it if they were crappy teachers or miserable human beings—which you get all across the political spectrum.

So Hedges starts with what is, from my own observation, a false assertion and then argues that dissent in universities has been cut off.  His position may WELL be true, but you can’t prove it with a false assertion.

But that’s typical of Hedges.

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By cynholt, November 15, 2010 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges writes,

“It was as if the civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had no antecedents in the battles of the Wobblies as well as the socialist and communist movements.”

Living in the deep south most of my life, I can vouch for the fact that many southern blacks view the passing the 1965 Civil Rights Act as providing civil rights to black Americans at the exclusion of all other Americans. And because the Black Belt were I live can easily double as a Bible Belt, many southern blacks are also big believers in biblical capitalism, causing them to view socialists as working on behalf of the devil against Christ. This is why many of them have come to view civil rights as a way for a few select blacks to join the few select whites at the top of the economic pyramid and also why they’d never, ever come to associate civil rights activists with socialists, much less communists!

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By Fat Freddy, November 15, 2010 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

What is this unfettered capitalism I keep hearing about? I’d really like to know. Do you mean free market capitalism? Because we do not have free market capitalism. Free market capitalism is based on tangible currency. What we have is currency based on debt and credit. The dollar in your pocket is nothing more than a claim on somebody’s debt. Without debt, in our current system, there would be no money. Debt is a great motivator. We work to pay debt, and build credit, while the issuers sit back and charge a fee for their service, also known as Rent Seekers.

I suppose unfettered capitalism could mean that banks are not held to the same standards as other businesses. When banks face liquidity problems, they can call the FRB and ask for money, and usually get it. The only thing that really limits a bank’s actions is its solvency. This is determined by the FDIC.

The FRB and the FDIC are institutions created by Progressives to control the economy. These two institutions create a condition known as moral hazard. Banks will not operate honestly if they know they are going to get “bailed out”.

All this really is, is legalized fraud. Banks operate on a fractional reserve system. Fractional reserve lending is fraudulent, because banks are only required to keep 9 - 10% in reserves in an account at the FRB. No other type of business is allowed to operate on a fractional reserve system. Not only has this fraud been legalized, it is protected and encouraged by the government.

The problem is not with capitalism, the problem is socialistic economic and market manipulations by the government. Hence, the government is the problem. If the government were somehow forced out of the picture, and the FDIC and FRB were dissolved, banks would be forced to operate honestly, or face the very real possibility of bankruptcy. That means no fractional reserve lending (100% reserve requirements), and tangible, commodity based currency with some sort of clearing mechanism.

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