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Make Your Vote Count for Socialism

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Posted on Feb 28, 2012
Lillian Thurston

Stewart Alexander, Socialist Party presidential candidate in 2012.

By Scott Tucker

(Page 2)

In 1986, Alexander moved back to Los Angeles and immediately got involved with local organizations. For more than three years he hosted a weekly radio talk show on KTYM-AM in Inglewood, discussing crime, gangs, drugs and redevelopment issues. Working with Delores Daniels and other community activists, Alexander brought public attention to local communities that were losing billions of tax increment dollars, while redevelopment tax revenues were funneled to well-connected capitalists and to big projects in downtown Los Angeles.

In 1988, Alexander moderated a public forum in Los Angeles that gave more than 200 community groups and activists the opportunity to meet with elected officials and to address redevelopment issues. At the same time, Alexander launched a campaign to become mayor of Los Angeles and knocked on more than 14,000 doors to get the minimum 1,000 signatures needed to qualify for the citywide ballot. Alexander’s campaign dealt with reducing crime, creating jobs for communities of color and the economic redevelopment of Los Angeles. The social and economic divisions Alexander had warned about for years finally erupted in riots and arson on April 29, 1992.

Alexander began looking and thinking beyond an electoral system dominated by two big corporate parties. He was briefly inspired by the campaign of Ross Perot, and in 1991 he attended a rally in Orange County, Calif., where Perot spoke to a crowd of about 5,000. But his political life then grew less active for several years. In the life of individuals and in the history of nations, there are times when still waters run deep. In 1998, Alexander met Kevin Akin of the Peace and Freedom Party, and Alexander’s class conscious politics became explicitly socialist. In 2005, Alexander ran as the Peace and Freedom Party’s candidate for lieutenant governor of California. Shortly after, Alexander was elected to the state executive committee of the Peace and Freedom Party.

Alexander has worked with the Socialist Party since 2007, and was its vice presidential nominee in 2008. At the National Convention for the Socialist Party USA in October 2011, Alexander was nominated for president of the United States. Alejandro “Alex” Mendoza, his vice presidential running mate, was born in Riverside, Calif., to parents who emigrated from Mexico. Mendoza served in the Marine Corps for four years and now lives in Texas where he owns a sustainable lawn care business and is pursuing a master’s degree in geosciences at the University of Texas.

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Stewart Alexander is happily married to his second wife, Vicki Alexander. They have four children and six grandchildren. A resident of Murrieta, Calif., a community that leans quite far to the right, Alexander is openly committed to the democratic left. The program of the Socialist Party of the United States is both class conscious and civil libertarian, and Alexander will give American voters a chance to truly make our votes count for democracy and socialism.

I am a member of both the Socialist and Green parties of the United States, and I have met Alexander several times at meetings of the Los Angeles chapter of the Socialist Party. That is considerably more disclosure than most readers get from the regular columnists in major newspapers, or than most viewers get from the expensively groomed anchors of TV broadcast networks. The price of journalistic “access” to many career politicians is quite simply the professional prostitution of journalists. For this Truthdig article, I addressed five questions to Alexander.

Scott Tucker: As many jobs have been shipped offshore in the corporate chase for the lowest wages, the percentage of United States workers who belong to labor unions has fallen to roughly 12 percent. What are your views about rebuilding a base of manufacturing jobs in this country, beyond the sector of military industries?

Stewart Alexander: I am running this campaign in order to offer a democratic socialist alternative to American voters. What this means in real terms is that I believe that we can make real on the great possibilities offered by this society. For instance, I believe that we can rebuild the manufacturing sector in the United States and, even better, I believe that it is possible to do so in a democratic way that allows us to build a society based on solidarity and justice. Yet, since the 1970s, Democrats and Republicans have been firmly committed to the plans of their benefactors in the corporate world who have sought to destroy the manufacturing sector and ship production sites overseas.

This plan worked quite well for the 1 percent in society. Manufacturing overseas allowed them to avoid the environmental, civil rights and labor laws that have been built up by social movements in the United States. Capital restored its profitability by globalizing itself. However, the production sites and communities it left behind, especially in the Rust Belt of the U.S., have now been reduced to Third World level standards with deep unemployment, decaying infrastructure and rampant drug use.

One of the reasons that the Alexander/Mendoza 2012 campaign exists is to say that another way is possible. We believe in the creation of an independent worker owned and operated cooperative sector that can be used to rebuild the manufacturing capacity of the United States. Public funds should be used to initiate this kind of project, instead of being poured into the financial sector through bank bailouts or into the expansion of the prison-industrial complex.

A vibrant cooperative network means that Americans will no longer have to be held hostage by multinational corporations. Democratically run cooperatives are rooted in local communities—they depend on local people to be their customers, they are supplied by other local cooperatives and they are not beholden to CEOs or boards of directors. Such enterprises also have a built-in incentive to care for the environment and enforce workers’ rights since the workers are owners, and they likely live in the same community they work in.

We think that an independent democratically run cooperative sector is a viable alternative to both multinational capitalism and the military-industrial complex. This is at the heart of our campaign. 


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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 7, 2012 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment

Oddly enough dashbill, I have the same opinion of you.  And will only
respond if and only if you are civil.

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By - bill, April 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

Hmmm, Shen.  You still don’t seem to have a clue regarding just how sloppy your reading habits and what for you passes for ‘research’ are, but you at least seem to be making a real effort not to let criticism of that sloppiness get you into a babbling frenzy (which is what caused the escalation in our previous encounters in this thread).

That’s worthy of some response on my part.  I won’t hesitate to continue to correct you, but will begin doing so in a somewhat less pointed manner as long as you continue on your present course.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 7, 2012 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

Aarrrggh, you are right again dashbill.  The two links are the same
and my tinyurl conversion must have been used twice.  Sorry.  Being
a rather charming but tenacious kind of gal, here they are again, in
separate worlds of linkage.

Article Title:  “The New Elite: A Look In the Top 1% Of Wealth in the
United States”  here 1.

Article Title:  “How Much Money Does It Take To Be In The Top 1% of
Wealth and Net Worth in the United States”
here 2.

Since I am not an economist, apparently such as you are, I always parrot
the research sources I search in order to understand better.  But I call it
paraphrasing, not simple parroting.  At least I take the time to try to find
out stuff in which I am not well educated.  But of course in your rather
crude manner you would rather bash me than be constructive.  Oh well,
it takes all types. 

As you noted in your last sentence, this is a complex topic.  I, like most
Americans, do not understand it, yet we are expected to vote through
the ignorance that neither party nor the media takes the time to educate
us about.  Neither does any third-party by the way.  Still in spite of our
ignorance, we must vote from whatever information we can gather, and
most of us will make similar misunderstandings.  Were you more kindly
in your interest to inform us-the-ignorant, I for one would read and
contemplate and take the time to evaluate what you say as I am in an
apprenticeship to learn more about the economic basis of American life. 
I would not expect a great many Americans would make that effort. But
also as it is you are bombastic and I usually give the middle finger to
such people even if they say something that could be enlightening.  I
have regard for most of your post this time and will read it.

Report this

By - bill, April 7, 2012 at 12:11 am Link to this comment

Your two ‘here’ links led to the same article, Shen - which was not, incidentally, the source of your near-verbatim but unquoted material (it came from the first link embedded in that article).

I certainly attempted to ‘do it properly’ myself - and I unquestionably did provide my ‘sources’ (did you manage to miss the link at the end of my post?  it’s the underlying data from the IRS that Kennon appears to have used but not adequately clarified to obtain the $344,000 figure that you quoted).

While you did note in passing in your first post (apparently again simply parroting Kennon) the difference between being in the top 1% in income and being in the top 1% in wealth (net worth), in your latest post you seem to be confusing the two.  The $344,000 figure you originally quoted represents minimum INCOME for the top 1% in that category (and Kennon DID make clear in your source that he was talking about income there, not wealth) and I noted in responding that their AVERAGE income is actually over $1.3 million.  By contrast, the nearly $14 million figure you now quote represents net worth (this time the ‘mean’ average, not minimum) and thus is in no way comparable to the income figures in that earlier discussion.

The REAL story in Table 3 is not the large disparity between average net worth of the 1% and the rest of us, nor even the fact that the average net worth of the 1% more than doubled between 1962 and 2009:  it’s the fact that once you drop below the top 5% in net worth the gains between 1962 and 2009 start falling off rapidly (i.e., not only did the top 5% BEGIN with a great deal more per-capita wealth than the rest of us, but for nearly the past half-century they’ve been accumulating additional wealth at a significantly greater rate than the rest of us, hence significantly increasing the wealth gap even when you measure it in percentage, rather than absolute, dollars - see definition of the Gini index).

The situation is even worse when you examine the period since the ‘Reagan revolution’ began.  From 1962 to 1983 (see Table 3’s ‘annualized growth’ figures), average percentage increase in net worth over time was fairly even across the wealth spectrum and those at the bottom of the heap were actually gaining a little ground.  Since 1983, however, while the top 5% have significantly ACCELERATED their rate of wealth accumulation the bottom 40% haven’t merely failed to match that rate:  they actually have LESS wealth in 2009 than they had in 1983 (and the next 20% haven’t gained all that much ground compared with the the top 5%).

One might at least guess that the recent financial crash had hurt the net worth of the top 5% more than the rest of us, but glancing at the 2007 - 2009 annualized growth figures indicates that in percentage terms by far the worst effects were concentrated in the bottom 60% (because in many cases home equity constitutes such a large percentage of their net worth, though for the bottom 20% other reasons are likely responsible).

The bottom line is that this is a complex topic where regurgitating large volumes of material that you don’t understand contributes more to confusion than to edification.  Providing just the links would have given people a place to start if they were interested.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 6, 2012 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment

Cleaning up a loose string.  Thank you Anarcissie for clarifying
what you meant by Bismarckian. Your explanations are always gladly
received.  I did some research and learned a bit of history.  Yeah, he
did more or less buy off the huddled masses.  Along with the social
programs you mentioned, Bismarck pretty much invented social
security, health care insurance, accident insurance, and ironically
the welfare state when he was totally intent on banishing the left-wing
Social Democratic Party and instituted Anti-Socialist Laws.  He ran into
problems with Kaiser William II, who wanted to expand German territory,
and lost his position. Course his major legacy was to unify Germany that
had existed as an aggregate of hundreds of principalities, or Free Cities. 
Bismarck, was a paradigm centrist, and tried to have Germany avoid war,
keeping the Germany military from having much of a political voice.  but
the French’s revanchism – the desire to avenge the losses of the Franco-
Prussian War was hell bent to retaliate for the loss of Alsace-Lorraine.
The felt need for more land and retaliatory revenge has always been
motivations for one group conquering another.  Has colonialism ended
in this century? 

The “Allow Us to Keep Power, and We Will Give You Stuff,” political
covenant seems to be the rationale of all political action to some
degree or another through history and politicians always want to
expand their theater of power. 

Historian Rit Nosotro’s study of Mesopotamia, writes that Hammurabi,
first ruler of the Babylonian empire, holds the claim of restoring order
and justice to that part of the world.  Although Hammurabi conquered
other city-states to expand his empire, he let the rulers of the cities-
states live and justly ruled the people with fair laws. Hammurabi wanted
his subjects to obey him because they liked him and believed he made
just, fair laws and not because they were apprehensive of his formidable
military.  He wrote 282 laws governing family, criminal punishment, civil
law, ethics, business, prices, trade, and every other aspect of ancient life
known as “the Code of Hammurabi” which he set up where everyone
could read them.  Human nature recycles itself.  But isn’t it the purpose
of politics for certain individuals to trade fealty and suzerein for the
protection of an autocracy or some such similar powerful form of
government?

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 6, 2012 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

Thank you dashbill for the correction.  I’m just learning about
these things and had put what was needed in quotes. I gave two links
where the articles in toto could be read.  That was plenty of reference,
which is 100% more than nearly everyone who posts on these forums
do.  But I welcome being corrected anytime.  It is all to some good
purpose.

Click on the two “here” buttons I provided in my earlier post, which in
effect take the place of the quotes you are complaining about.  Joshua
Kennon provided the source for his information, so I don’t feel too bad. 
When I paraphrase sources I do not put quotes around what I’ve said. 
Enough reference was made to the article of original information. 

Verbatim from Kennon’s article:

Those sources showed that in 2009, the top
1% of tax payers reported $344,000 in annual
income.  That figure would be slightly higher
because income held in tax-advantaged retire-
ment plans or other structures wouldn’t be
included.  It may not sound like much on an
annual basis, but to the average guy sitting at
home, earning nearly $28,670 per month in
reported income is a lot of money.  Estimating
where you fall on the income scale is easy.  Net
worth, on the other hand, is somewhat difficult. 
Where the top 1% entry level is requires a lot of
math and even then, it is imperfect.

 
I am not exactly sure what Kennon means by this information.  And it is
not really necessary for ‘me’ to know.  I was providing a ‘big-money-in-
the-round kind of ambience.  I expected anyone really interested would
visit the linked website.

Perhaps you are one of those in that 1%?  Probably not if you are posting
on Truthdig.  Table 3 in Kennon’s article shows more impressive figures,
which I had not looked at in my first go around zeal as this is to me like
reading Greek (no one else on the forums was providing this kind of
information and with all the talk about the 1% it seemed someone ought
to, so there you are, a novice who is a neophyte novice, and should have
but in trying to understand something with which I am not familiar, you
gets what you gets.  I am certainly learning a lot more). 

Perhaps you would do it properly, dashbill?  But please provide
your sources…  From what more I could tell on my revisit, the top 1%
average wealth by wealth class for 2009 is actually more than $1.3 million. 
It is $13,976.8 x 1000 dollars or $13,976,000 and that it increased from
1962 of $6,384.5 x 1000 dollars or $6,384,500.  So the 1%ers had an
increase of $7,592,300 in the 47 years of the data.  I guess that isn’t so
much in the whole scheme of things, but with respect to what ordinary
people make, mostly with a lot of sweat, it might be a bit incomparable?
(tongue in cheek) 

But Kennon didn’t think this was honest enough information and went on
to give a couple of other ways to find out what more precisely how much
money it took to be in the top 1% of wealth in the US.  I am not going to
get into household assets minus debts.  Nor anything further on this score
either.  If anyone is interested, they can navigate from the links I provided
in my earlier post.  My point has been made, that these elites are swim-
ming in more money than can even be imagined.

Report this

By - bill, April 6, 2012 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

Minor correction, Shen.  The $344,000 figure you quote for the 1% with the highest incomes in 2009 (and given how closely your own wording was lifted from the link you obviously used you probably should have just tidied up the last couple of words and placed it all in quotes) is not the AVERAGE for that group (which is, in fact, over $1.3 million in Adjusted Gross Income for 2009) but the FLOOR of that percentile (i.e., everyone in it made AT LEAST $344,000 in AGI in 2009).  See http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/09in05tr.xls

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

Oh my gosh, an oops…
Wrong:  Matt Ridley, in his Origins of Virtue, gives evidence that
self-interest and mutual aid cannot coexist, but are “in fact” the way
we humans are (and so are other primates, by the way.) 

Right:  He gives evidence that self-interest and mutual CAN coexist. 
My apologies for the terrible typo.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

If there is any confusion about the methodology involved in
calculating the top 1% of wealth in the United States, it seems the
“sticker” net worth for the top 1% is published by The Federal
Reserve (which is simple the simple math of assets minus liabilities
since that is what the typical American thinks of when they hear the
term net worth).  “True” net worth is a method called the estate
multiplier technique, which is used by the IRS, which most likely
found at the IRS site by searching the terms estate multiplier
technique.  I saw this on a site by a financial private investor,
so you might have to do some searching on your own.

The big question is: “How much money does it take to be in the top 1%
of net worth in the United States.  Who is in the top 1% of net worth read
The New Elite: A Look Into the Top 1% of Wealth check it out here 
From what I’ve been able to learn, there is a difference of talking about
the top 1% of wealth and the top 1% of income.  Also it how wisely a
person’s income is invested, determines whether income may or may not
result in building wealth.  The IRS and other government agencies release
loads of data on income distribution.  It is a matter of just doing the
search.  Apparently those information sources showed that in 2009, the
top 1% of tax payers reported $344,000 in annual income.  Now, as the
investor notes, that might not sound like much on an annual basis, but
to the average mortal, sitting at home, earning nearly $28,670 per
month in reported income IT IS A LOT OF MONEY. 

What is of interest is passive income (or “private income”) offset by
investments.  This is income generated by assets that do not require
one’s labor as opposed to what would not be depositable in your regular
bank account and which would disappear if you did not get your butt out
of bed in the morning and on the subway into town, or whatever.

FYI:“To find the “sticker” rate to rank among the top 1% of net worth, or
wealth, in the United States,...there are several reports released by the
United States Government, specifically the Federal Reserve’s Survey of
Consumer Finances.  It might be more simple to see the Economic Policy
Institute took this historical data and in a paper called The State of
Working America’s Wealth, 2011: Through Volatility and Turmoil, the
Gap Widens by Sylvia A. Allegretto, reconciled it in inflation-adjusted
2009 dollars in Table 2: Changes in the Distribution of Wealth, 1962-
2009.” For more of this and a definitive explanation of the 1% click here.

John Best

We’re nasty by nature and the sooner we realize
that and learn to live with it, the better.  Perhaps it’s
why law was invented.

Yes, it is why law was invented.  We are also by nature caring creatures. 
Else we would not “invent” laws.  Both nastiness and goodness are in
our blood.  Matt Ridley, in his Origins of Virtue, gives evidence that
self-interest and mutual aid cannot coexist, but are “in fact” the way we
humans are (and so are other primates, by the way.)  Thomas Hobbes,
that coiner of the state of nature in his Leviathan, said, “during the time
men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in
that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man
against every man.”  But he also said, when he was asked to explain
why he gave money to a beggar: “I was in pain to consider the miserable
condition of the old man; and now my alms, giving some relief, doth also
ease me.”  He pulled sympathy out of his self-preserving heart, and
what are we to think of the depth of his “natural” lawlessness?

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 6, 2012 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

“.......how humans can be so selfish, calloused and abusive to other humans, but maybe it is a DNA or gene thing and I am simply naive?”  We’ve been over this you and I and others, consult Becker.  We’re nasty by nature and the sooner we realize that and learn to live with it, the better.  Perhaps it’s why law was invented.  Not that the law is turning out to be such a good cure at this point.  Proves we can screw anything up given time to scheme about it.  Gotta put that in the mix.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 6, 2012 at 8:09 am Link to this comment

Hey John, Yeah I see the Elephant in the room too, we may not agree on every reason why he stinks so bad.

What may be going on John is some people assimilate things further and deeper then others, I suspect this may be a vast minority who attempt to find reason and express this?

Simply put, money is power and I have no money, so for now I attempt to understand best I can can express myself with the results best I can. I sure as hell do not have all the answers and will never understand how humans can be so selfish, calloused and abusive to other humans, but maybe it is a DNA or gene thing and I am simply naive?

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 6, 2012 at 7:35 am Link to this comment

Yep Lee, but they are not as distinct as the syphilis parasite.  It’s a good general analogy, but there is a certain degree of overlap I try to point out.  I do this because if we are to come to grips with the problem, it seems we must stop investing blindly with an eye only to the returns promised by the real parasites.

The very culture of consumerism, of vanity, self-centeredness is a big part of the problem.  I don;t see how this can all proceed in a better direction without really coming to grips with the depth of this.  It’s a big freaking stinking elephant in the room, but it seems invisible.  Is it just me, or am I hallucinating?

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 6, 2012 at 7:09 am Link to this comment

Feeling a tad snippy this morning ED?

John, what seems to be a overlying problem, is those who I will stereotypical describe as the 1 percent, do seem to have a knack for screwing the 99 percent in syphilitic terms.

From the Robber Barron’s of yesterday, to the Goldenslacks of today, (who by the way produce nothing consumed). My problem is I have a moral or some personal adversity to making people money by not doing anything except manipulating things to ones advantage or being an opportunist middle guy. Hell, I even attempted to be a middle guy for awhile and it did not set well with my personal feelings. As a farmer, I did always did and still attempt to do my farming myself, when I had a crew I paid them as fairly as I could, which means I never got rich and for some reason it dost not bother me, except as my knees sound more like walnuts cracking every day, I sometimes feel like maybe I should have been an opportunist and screwed others before they did me. One thing though, I am happy, so this kind of goes with the Shes Utilitarian synopsis?

I find the name Utilitarian amusing, because I have worked clay as a hobby potter and turned my own clay pots and potters refer to making pots and bowls as utilitarian pottery.

Yeah the cages may even seem empty sometimes when they appear brimming with opinions classified as fact in the minds of minions, apparently this is why cages need constant purging and cleaning ED!

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 6, 2012 at 6:05 am Link to this comment

Lee, it’s as simple as this: long term profits are in consumables, and the more necessary the consumable is, the more reliable the profit stream.  It’s just good business.  A problem is though, that we like to think there is this clearly separable 1%, the bad guys.  There are bad guys in this, but there is a big gray area where many people are invested in these ventures as part of their retirement and other incomes, who don;t really know what’s going on.

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By Ed Romano, April 6, 2012 at 4:51 am Link to this comment

Hey ! I just noticed….all the cages are empty.

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By Ed Romano, April 6, 2012 at 4:49 am Link to this comment

Good morning comrades, Just out for stroll this morning and happened to be passing the zoo….thought I’d say hello.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, April 1, 2012 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous—When I use the term Bismarckian I am speaking rather generally.  Bismarck wanted to set Germany up as a unitary centralized state, which he believed would immediately become a great power, able to compete with France and Britain, and wrest imperial domains away from them, or the Russians, or the Ottomans.  In order to do this he wished to quiesce the German working classes, which were ‘infected’ with socialist and anarchist ideas.  (He also had to defeat local nationalists and Catholics—a busy man.)  The easiest way to quiesce the workers was to propose a deal whereby the German ruling class would keep its powers, including ownership and control of the means of production, as well as command of military and police forces, but the workers would get goodies like unemployment insurance.  In other words, it was a buy-off: ‘Allow us to keep the power, and we’ll give you stuff.’  It’s this general deal that I’m talking about when I say ‘Bismarckian’, not the details of the payoffs.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 29, 2012 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

Well John, I see a pattern here. So they are, dumping oil all over, screwing the ocean with oil,  fracking down in the aquifers, tearing down mounatins destroy peoples water so they can corner the market and sell it at a tidy profit? They are restricting women s rights to control half the population? When I say they, I mean the powers that be, those greedy bastards, the 1 percent who is like the 1 percent of yester year, they do not give a rats ass about the huddled masses.  Hell, if I recall, it was Johnathon Swift who said we should eat our young back in the 18th century when poverty was really the majority of peoples fate? Now they are privatizing prisons so they change the laws making more people go to prison, it always seems to be about a tidy profit, the money, which in the end is power. Yeah, why not water too!

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment

Lee, I threw this out there…..

!!! SOCIALISM !!! What about water ownership rights?  We’ve speculated here, that perhaps the BS ‘smokescreen issues’ in the news various places (including little Ricky Santorums anti-women rantings) are cover for some serious fundamental underlying chicanery.  I nominate the ownership of water rights.  Private or public.  Sure, we should be concerned about the means of production, but do we have a capitalist fueled race to corner the global water market?

........but everybody is more interested in taking their frustrations out on others?  Letting their inner spoiled brat out?  Dunno.  What a waste.

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By - bill, March 29, 2012 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

I didn’t bother responding in any detail to John’s post, Shen, because I don’t normally respond to content-free posts:  I usually respond (other than just facetiously) only when I have something substantive to comment upon or correct.

Your suggestion to review the history here is an excellent one, though so far you yourself haven’t managed to bring yourself to do it (unless you’re as incompetent on a second reading as you obviously are on the first) and it shows.  Feel free to bring it to the attention of whatever TD administrator might be interested in it:  an outside opinion would be most welcome.  If you don’t know how to do so electronically and thus save all that paper and ink I’d be happy to tell you.

And there you go with the misogyny claim again.  Last time you made it I challenged you to find a single instance where I’d actually said anything that in the least qualified, but, as usual, rather than face that challenge head-on you just continued to spew.  By all means, if you feel you have ‘the goods’ on me even at this late opportunity please post them:  it would be such a refreshing change.

I can certainly understand Ed feeling that no real closure had occurred, so when he brought the subject back up (after I had told John what it would take to shut it down) I didn’t hesitate to respond - and in fact explained to him that in the particular case he was talking about you actually had at least part of a leg to stand on (as I said, I do tend to respond to points of substance).  When he responded again I actually defended you a bit in an attempt to close things down smoothly while you were still managing to behave yourself (not that I expected you to recognize that, nor did I particularly care whether you did:  you obviously consider anything short of complete adulation to be another attack, as your March 23 at 3:16 pm response to John demonstrated).

So here we are again.  Your move.

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By - bill, March 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

Oh, dear - my last response was to Leef, but Shen managed to sneak in another few thousand characters of trash while I was posting it.

(Just to make sure my reference was clear.)

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By - bill, March 29, 2012 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

Hurrah!  Something we can agree on!

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, March 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

I’ve kept quiet for a bit thinking the boys would end their electronic
backhanded behavior.  But no, they haven’t.  It has been amazing
reading about myself as a third person!  I feel almost like a celebrity! 

I have every post I’ve ever made on Truthdig for the five years I’ve
been here. They can be accessed through TD’s search bar as well.  A
review of this particular thread shows the precise chronology of my
replies to the two whose minds seems to have faded from the time
they started their bushwhacking.  It is a classic case of the evolution
of male domination coming out of the electronic closet.  Sometimes
these characters are called trolls (right John?) sometimes they are called
flamers.  This continued impulse is grandly proven in the last post John
Best (March 29 t 11:06 am) made where he gave dashbill a real enema,
probably the best of its type ever written on Truthdig.  It is definitely
worth saving.  Here is the rub:  John is a man and dashbill hardly made a
retaliatory remark.  Compared to remarks he made to me and about me
where dashbill’s vehemence became increasingly more disgusting.  You
could say I was razed up one side and down the other. 

But potty mouth me just did not take it like the little shrinking female
I should be, as Ed’s reply March 29 at 1:15 pm to John exposes his
residual misogynist tendencies that dashbill displays as well.  I would be
happy to reprint all of this all over again on this forum!  Or would it be
too boring?  It would be theater of the absurd but at this point of their
intransigence, I don’t care one way or another.  I have the goods. I have
for this forum alone 102 pages of only my comments. 

I have an urge to print them out and send them to Truthdig
administrator charging assault and battery by thugs on their website. 
Every word I said will be there but so will theirs.  It might take a half a
ream of printer paper and an entire cartridge of ink but what the hell? 
Because I fought back only means their attempted assassination of my
person and character could not kill my resilient self. 

It is those six high horses I ride that keep me out of the verbal pigsty the
boys slush around in.  I will wait to see if they can control themselves. 
For it is their lack of constraint to take swipes at me, in the silliest of
all sillies third-person!  Yeah ardee you do that too!  WHAT COWARDS! 
What? No self-respect? Yeowie Kazowie! MAMMA MIA! that will determine
my actions.  It is quite hysterical the way these boys act. 

Leefeller has it right.  They tritely whine all over the place and actually
doublegang up, now what kind of lowlife does that?  Is that too harsh a
thing to say?  Lowlife?  Evidence of their hate crimes. are all there in their
shining ugliness.  Check out what they have called me and even now they
continue to try to give me an electronic black eye.  They simply have no
decorum!  hahaha Well it takes all kinds and I guess there are classes of
people after all.  And deez boys ain’t got no class. 

Leefeller you really should look up that post of mine where I was brazen
enough to call them assholes. It is a beaut but it was in response to their
previous unrelenting posts almost as if they were texting each other,
good grief.  So if the shoes fit the twin Cinderella boys, then they must
wear them.  Do the boys think they are the only ones that have feelings? 
Now where do you suppose they got that idea?  Oh yeah, women are only
supposed to take abuse, always be sweet spoken, aw.  Surprise!  Not this
one.  You know you all, this is a very Manachean drama.

And ardee, check that!  5 Yups back atcha.  Are you looking to join the
fray?

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By Leefeller, March 29, 2012 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

This is going well!

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By ardee, March 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment

John, if you consider ardee and Shen to be ‘civil feuders’ than you’ve got an even greater reading-comprehension problem than Leef does.

Oh little bill, firstly its thEn, secondly I reserve civility for those not lying sacks and pompous windbags.

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By - bill, March 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

Might be a good idea, Leef:  you do miss an awful lot.

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By Leefeller, March 29, 2012 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

Geez ED,

“she never offered an apology for calling me a pompous ass, an asshole and something that crawled out from under a rock.”  I do not know ED, but if she called me those things, I would consider them terms of endearment!

Damn, makes me want to go back and see what I missed?

All this time I just thought you had a propensity to Play Sir Whines Alot with Bill in the peanut gallery edging you on? Whining for an apology seems a bit trite and disappointing. Maybe you should listen to Rush Limbaugh’[s smeary apology to see how the experts have it done?

Well, Damn it ED for what it is worth, I do not feel you are an ass hole, pompous ass or crawled out from under a rock, I leave those quantifying names for those who fit those qualities much better then you!

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By Ed Romano, March 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

John, Appreciate your attempt at peace making, but I think you are overlooking a few things. If you’ve been reading any of the crap that flew between Sham and me, you’ll have noticed while that I apologized to her, and she came down from her throne to accept… she never offered an apology for calling me a pompous ass, an asshole and something that crawled out from under a rock. These little potty mouth expressions don’t bother me much because I don’t even know this woman, and care less about her opinion of me. What I do find extremely irritating about her ( and I believe this is what gets to Bill also )is the way she proceeds in her arguments as though what she has to say is the absolute truth of the matter   AFTER it has been shown to her that there may be another side to the argument…. And the sun could do a mambo at midnight before she will ever admit that something she said may have been a mistatement. Early on in my voyage on Truth Dig I thought Ardee was over the top in her criticism of Shem and you might recall I pointed this out to her. But as time went on I began to see what it was she found so galling.
  I understand that folks here may be tired of these personal attacks and, for my part,I am seriously going to make an attempt to stop them. Although in the spirit of give and take it is sometimes hard to let an idea pass when it seems off the wall or something that is so misleading it should not be let to stand. ...As for Bill’s posting being a waste of time….I find a lot of what he has to say more stimulating than about 80% of what comes down on this site where the more important topics that are raised are usually ignored and drivel is raised to an art form…. I sincerely thank you for your concern here.  P.S. I’ll try to stop pooping in your corner of the sand box.( It’s getting a little stinky over there anyway).  Onward.

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By - bill, March 29, 2012 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

The difficulty with writing such an application would be getting it to understand the difference between sniping/ad-hominem behavior and legitimate even if very pointed criticism based on easily-verifiable claims, John - clearly not a forte of many here.  And that may be largely unrelated to what constitutes being ‘worth reading’, since that’s an entirely subjective evaluation.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

Somebody needs to write an app that detects how much of a post is various sorts of sniping personal attacks and give an ad-hominem rating, or a general poopiness rating.  Generally a ‘worth reading?’ rating.  It could be built into your browser.  What an interesting algorithm that would be.

!!! SOCIALISM !!! What about water ownership rights?  We’ve speculated here, that perhaps the BS ‘smokescreen issues’ in the news various places (including little Ricky Santorums anti-women rantings) are cover for some serious fundamental underlying chicanery.  I nominate the ownership of water rights.  Private or public.  Sure, we should be concerned about the means of production, but do we have a capitalist fueled race to corner the global water market?

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By - bill, March 29, 2012 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

Gee, Leef - I’ve suggested before that if you just would lay off the tequila both your comprehension and your memory might work a LOT better.  But I understand that it’s hard to quit (as quitting smoking was for me a couple of decades ago).

John, if you consider ardee and Shen to be ‘civil feuders’ than you’ve got an even greater reading-comprehension problem than Leef does.  Too bad - you seemed relatively competent when you started to post in this thread.

(Nice piece of condescension to Ed, though.)

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By Leefeller, March 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

Speaking of Bill in the third person, I must admit I do not recall any points of view expressed by him expressing an opinion which could be utilized for discussion,  simply because he has not offered any except to say he will vote Republican as some sort of way to show the Democrats whats what and he apparently to patronizes anyone who is not a Democrat, like the Green party folks here, I suppose to take votes away from the Democrats, hence his pathetic insulting comments to those who expressed support for the Democrats, which seem inappropriate and lacking wit.  In conclusion Bill does seem to walks like a Republican, talks like a Republican and probably is a Republican. I mean after all Republicans do specialize and excel in the application of smarmy.

By the way Bill, I have me toes crossed while typing this, so it means I am not a hypocrite for talking about you as the third member!

After all, I want everyone else to know,  Bill has hurt my feelers many times and his insults to others even bothered me, so if my grandma was alive today, she would have utilized a new phrase!

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

Warning…..Truthdiggers wanting a relevant cogent post, scroll past this one….....

Ed, 90% of -bills postings are a waste of space, thereby neutralizing a potential forum for discussion, turning away participants, and otherwise filling the space with irrelevant, boring noise.  He might as well be a troll.  I’m pretty sure you didn’t mean to get caught up in it, but you did.    I’ve been posting here a while, and have seen posters come and go.  -bill’s a pooper, that is, he’s like a little kid who comes and poops in the sandbox. 

There are civil feuders here, Ardee and Shen being a pair I’d point out, but they’ve learned to play in their corners of the sandbox and we all play together fine.  I would ask that you consider not getting caught up in -bill’s game. 

Look, you and Shen had your tiff, and learned about each other, forgot your grudges and moved on.  It appears to me -bill is not one to move ahead.  He poops and poops and poops.  .....and poops.  Ed, you have some great things to say.  Sure, you get caught up facilitating -bills poopiness, you sort of give cover by saying “I think the dog farted”, but as a percentage of any given post, your posts are pretty fair, or better. -bills are more than 50% turds.  So whatever Ed, I love ya man, but -bill is a completely different case.  He gets off making people endure his stinkiness.  Peace.

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By - bill, March 29, 2012 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

It is, indeed, easy to get lost in a jungle - and also easy to get caught up in exasperation and try to cut it all down.

By American standards at least Shen’s political philosophy seems hardly juvenile or even all that internally inconsistent, though in an absolute sense it doesn’t seem quite fully-baked.  Some of the detail does hint at coming from hurried checks, but I suspect that she also does read quite a bit even if she doesn’t always acquire its essence or use it in a relevant manner in the heat of discussion.  While she certainly seemed to suggest expertise in ‘critical thinking’, noted that she has taught it, and appears acquainted with the basics even if she often does not manage to apply them properly she never EXPLICITLY claimed such expertise and in fact explicitly denied it recently (one of the first such disclaimers from her that I remember, because it so surprised me).

If Shen did not throw complete fits when challenged I’d consider her quite tolerable and at least a modest asset.  If she also acquired more self-discipline in her reading and writing skills I think she could be a significant asset.

At any rate, I don’t think I have any more light to shed on this subject at the moment, and while I don’t believe she’s earned much consideration by her recent behavior I’m also not inclined to pursue this publicly now that things have quieted down (does TD have any mail facilities for people who want to continue discussions in private?).

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By Ed Romano, March 29, 2012 at 7:28 am Link to this comment

Bill, You could be right. Perhaps while I was trying to hack my way though that jungle of verbiage I came to a wrong conclusion. It’s easy to get lost in a jungle. But you spoke of her “field of expertise”. In your estimation….what might that be? Even by a most generous estimate her political philosophy is juvenile ....one could say myopic. ....claims of being expert in “critical thinking” are pretty much destroyed by the scurrilous manner in which she replies to criticism…and her most recent venture into the area of socialism and capitalism is vapid ,and seems to have been assembled after an evening of perusing an excyclopedia. But again, you could be right. Perhaps dawn is coming up on Marblehead… since her defense of liberalism has pretty much gone down in flames. That would be a new twist but,after these recent experiences,  I am not eagerly anticipating it.

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By - bill, March 28, 2012 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment

I’ve only been around TD sporadically, Ed, so I can’t begin to guess whether in the volume of verbiage with which Shen inundates the venue there might at some point have been some admission of error - I can only say that in my (mercifully) limited experience with her I haven’t noticed any, and certainly there have been none to the errors I specifically challenged her on (and later listed by posting date when she claimed that no such specific challenges had ever been issued).

If you VERY CAREFULLY examine the statement of hers which you noticed seemed to be completely inconsistent with a later one you may be able to see the interpretation which she claimed she had meant from the start (to wit, that she was not raising or endorsing this ‘question’ herself but merely claiming to have observed that it was being raised by many unspecified others, silly as that might seem given that the question has such an obvious answer).  So while considering her past sloppiness I’m not inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt in this case, neither was I inclined to pursue it given that there are so many OTHER examples where she was beyond any shadow of a doubt dead wrong and unwilling respond to that at all.

The funny thing is that she DOES seem to be gradually incorporating new information into her world-view even while fighting it tooth and nail until, suddenly, it’s just part of her own understanding (at which point she then castigates anyone who didn’t get that unpublished memo for daring to assume that she didn’t believe it all along).  I observed a while ago that she had backed off her apparent understanding that the only problems with the national Democrats were confined to a few DINO blue-dog apples, and from her claim that poor Barack’s hands had been tied up by those nasty Republicans so that there just wasn’t anything he could do, and I agree with you (if I understood you correctly, that is) that she might be becoming a bit less rigid in her views on alternate economic and political approaches (though it could just be that she’s merely attempting to bolster her self-anointed guru status by flooding the thread with regurgitated references - not that this is anything I’d want to discourage, because while her own observations may often be scatter-shot and shallow - or even wrong - some of the references she’s provided seem to be useful).  She’s even started to qualify some statements by saying that they’re not really within her field of expertise, which I can’t think is a bad development even if I’m not inclined to try to extrapolate further from it (examples of spontaneous fundamental attitude conversion being just about as rare as spontaneous human combustion in my own experience).

My word, Korky’s back!  I’d almost begun to miss him.  Whoops - back only to say good-bye, but since I’m also interested in the Ron Paul article perhaps I’ll see him there (just haven’t made it there yet).

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By Ed Romano, March 28, 2012 at 8:00 pm Link to this comment

Bill, You’re right I think about our resident Word Wizard dodging anything that exposes her liberal illusions. But have you noticed the switch lately from from writing about how liberalism is the solution to all our social and economic problems to suddenly giving us the benefit of a deep understanding and analysis of capitalism ? You say that I received responses to my criticism of a clearly erroneous statement. I didn’t take it as a response. If truth was the object in that discussion it fared badly. I didn’t recieve a response. I received an excuse. This, again, is another tactic employed by the Wizard. You’ve been on these forums longer than I have, but has she ever posted an admission that she may have been wrong about anything ?

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By Shenonymous, March 28, 2012 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

You might try, Anarcissie reading Comparing Economic Systems:
A Political-Economic Approach
, if you find the authors’ convergence
theory interesting, particularly the section on Evaluating Performance. 
Mentioned are East and West Germany, Hungary, Denmark used in
their analyses.  I can’t evaluate the theory since I am an initiate to the
world of political economics and only in the last year of so started
reading and trying to be alert to what is reported in the news.  It
seems a rational way to start looking at options since capitalism elicits
such vehemence but regardless seems to be a stationary force in this
country’s economics, as well at a few other major players in the world. 
It is easy to suspect any theory but I think instead of sophistication that
attitude represents obstinateness when no inquiry had taken place. 

I’ve been reading the term Bismarkian so much these days on Truthdig
that it has become the word du jour!  Succinctly put, my understanding,
which is new I readily admit, and probably fresh and naive, is as taken
from some article found on the ‘Net, Bismarckian social security systems
are associated with larger public pension expenditures, with a smaller
fraction of private pension and with lower income inequality than
Beveridgean systems.  In this economy, low-income earners support a
redistributive (Beveridgean) system; middle-income favor an earning-
related system (Bismarckian), while high-income oppose any public
system, since they are able to obtain higher returns from investing in
the private system.  If income inequality is large, a voting majority of
high and low-income agents supports a (small) Beveridgean system, and
a large private pillar arises; while the opposite occurs with low inequality.
Additionally, a Beveridgean system is more likely to emerge when the
capital market provides high returns.  Nothing is ever as simple as it
seems.

I ran across the following article and found its abstract intriguing so
printed out the entire paper, The Three Worlds of the Welfare
Capitalism Revisited
, by Sarah Brockhoff, St?ephane Rossignol, and
Emmanuelle Taugourdeau.  The abstract reads,

”We introduce a new way to model a Bismarckian
social insurance system. We compare the Beveridgean,
Bismarckian and Liberal Sys- tems according to three
criteria: Majority voting, Utilitarian criterion and Rawlsian
criterion. We show that by majority voting, the Liberal
system wins if the inequality of income is low, and the
Beveridgean sys- tem wins if the inequality of income is
high. Employing a Utilitarian criterion, the Beveridgean
system always dominates the Bismarckian one. Conversely,
we prove that a Bismarckian system may surprisingly
dominate the Beveridgean one with a Rawlsian criterion.”

Some of this promises to support a more socialized capitalism than I had
expected.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 28, 2012 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

If TD were a democracy, I’d second your motion Anarcissie. 

As for program cutbacks, I’ve been trying to say all along, we are not paying attention to real productivity.  Financiers are more interested in short term paper money ‘swindles’ (whether they know it or not) than in producing real long term wealth.  Even emptying the earth of oil full-speed-ahead is no longer producing as much long-term wealth. 

But, many European countries have been investing in energy projects for a few decades now and are seeing paybacks.  Debt causing the cutbacks?  Perhaps the additional energy is just absorbed to offset other energy costs. 

It’s the cumulative effect of all the stupid little stuff that breaks as soon as you forget how much you paid for it.  Unfortunately, that principle scales up to the expensive industrial level. 

How do people live well unless we have the infrastructure for it?  Including the social infrastructure of course.  How do you provide health care in a lousy economy?  To me one big aspect of the solution is painfully simple: stop building junk.  If it needs built, do it well.  Quality over quantity.  Am I nuts, and if not, why doesn’t anybody else seem to see the accumulate cost of wasteful junk products?  And your little dog too -bill.

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By Anarcissie, March 28, 2012 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

What I hear from some foreign countries is that their Welfare state programs are being cut back.  I am pretty sure this is true of the English-speaking countries, anyway.  My guess is that it is true of other countries (where it exists at all) but that would just be a guess.  I can’t get into the details of Swedish daily life without knowing Swedish and having a lot of Swedes to talk to.  Living in Canada, I discovered that two countries seemingly very similar can differ profoundly in certain aspects of political and economic structure.  Power is much better hidden in Canada, for instance.

The further one gets from direct observation, the more one is vulnerable to prejudiced interpretation, filtering, error, and ignorance.  I can find all kinds of statistics about Sweden, but it is most likely that they are as good as those available for the U.S.—that is, not very.  One needs the critique of daily life to sift out the truth. 

I do think it makes discussion unclear when one refers to a capitalist regime like Sweden as ‘socialist’, or concedes to the polluters of language that ‘socialist’ may mean ‘controlled by the government’.  Naturally, many want to obscure the idea of the ownership and control of the means of production by the workers.

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By - bill, March 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

That’s hardly an intrinsically outlandish suggestion, Anar - I’m just not going to follow it in this particular case.  As I observed earlier Shen might have turned out better had people stood up to her bullshit earlier in her life, and while I don’t really care how she turned out for her sake I consider it something of a civic duty to do so even at this late date (unless, as I noted, the need to fulfill that duty disappears).

Sorry for the lack of elegance and wit, but I guess I’m just a ‘bigger hammer’ kind of guy in these situations (in part because subtlety tends to be lost on those I’m talking to or about).

On a more topical note, should I conclude that your objections to social democracies are essentially ideological rather than evidenced-based, or is your main objection simply to calling them ‘socialist’ (regardless of how well they may do at satisfying the quality-of-life goals that socialism was designed to address), or something else that I don’t yet understand?

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By Anarcissie, March 28, 2012 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

I have a rather outré suggestion: why don’t you all stop criticizing one another personally?  Or, if that’s impossible, could you all try applying some elegance and wit to your critiques?  They could at least be funny.

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By - bill, March 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

Opinions are like assholes, John:  everybody’s got one.  Some of yours seem reasonable, others I couldn’t care less about.

If you’d like to see the criticism of Shen stop, then 1) stop referring to the subject yourself, 2) get others to do the same, and 3) make sure she doesn’t do anything further to merit it:  I’ll still be keeping an eye out (as I said, until she ‘shows some real insight’ into the nature of her crap), but as long as there isn’t any NEW material to criticize, well…

Leef, if you’ll revisit my post you’ll discover that I did NOT in any way bring your name into the part about Shen:  I only referred to you while discussing Ed’s post (to observe that we both largely agreed with it), which had nothing to do with Shen.  And the height reference was merely an adjective normally associated with the word ‘rascal’:  if you’re height-challenged in some way this is the first I remember hearing of it.

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By Leefeller, March 28, 2012 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

My Grandma used to say many things, but she never said you need to take the “Shit with the butter”? But if she had, I find the analogy as you substantiated it on the mark John.

Bill what with using my name and bringing me height into it, I believe you know this is a touchy subject for me and again in the third person.

My Grandma never called anyone an ass hole far as I know, but if she knew you, she probably would have.

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By Ed Romano, March 28, 2012 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

Bill, I think you’re spot on, as the current saying has it, concerning the Tea Party. Many of them are just so angry and frustrated with the system as it stands that they will join almost anything that offers them a chance to strike back. If OWS takes a strong stand against corporatism I won’t be at all surprised to see some of these Flea Baggers coming aboad.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

Hey, -bill don’t imply me in your name calling.  I’ve read Shenonymous’ stuff for some time now, and I find it well worth the time. 

My Grandma used to say you gotta take the (shit) with the butter.  She would actually never say ‘shit’, anyway, -bill don’t give hardly no butter.  Shenonymous’ butter gooood. A little shit in there, but lots and lots of butter.

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By - bill, March 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

You’re half-right, John:  I do consider Shen to be something of a joke, albeit a pretty bad one.  It’s ironic that she used the term ‘hissy fit’ in a recent post, because her own behavior of that ilk was precisely what caused me earlier to think of Sarah Palin as a suitable comparison (that, plus her tendency to over-compensate for what may be a severely-challenged sense of self-esteem by trying to act like a ‘Mama Grizzly’).

I’ll ‘lighten up’ on this subject when Shen (in her own words) “show(s) some real insight”, not before.  Meanwhile, moving on to more significant topics, while (like Leef, God bless the little rascal!) I largely agree with Ed’s post I do take issue with his suggestion that the Democratic rank-and-file are ‘more conservative’ simply because they continue to vote Democratic (as do, for that matter, most ‘liberals’):  I think rather that they’re simply successfully bamboozled by a duopoly machine (political and media alike) that’s extremely proficient at their job (yes, better ‘critical thinking’ would help, but it’s still a steep slope to climb).

A great deal of polling data seems to suggest that while the national political establishment has been moving consistently to the right for more than the past 3 decades the American people as a whole have been gradually and haltingly moving at least somewhat in the opposite direction in their values when not directly being manipulated by the hot-button of the moment.  Medicare for All?  Majority support.  Increase taxes on the well-to-do?  Majority support.  Get the hell out of first Iraq, then Afghanistan?  Majority support.  Gay marriage?  Majority support.  Gays openly in the military?  Majority support.  Just off the top of my head (I’m sure many more such could be found), all noticeable changes from the past, and many distinctly to the left of the national Democratic (let alone Republican) establishment.

That’s why it’s so disheartening that no organization is stepping up to the plate and effectively tackling the duopoly head-on.  The Greens certainly SHOULD be able to do so, given the resources of the Internet.  Ed is entirely correct that expecting anything out of the national Democratic party is absurd:  we elected a shiny new Rep in 2006 who ran on a platform including Medicare for All and a firm pledge to oppose any war-funding measure that did not include a timetable for withdrawal, yet a mere 2 months after taking office she reneged on the latter (hey, Pelosi needed her vote, right?) and during her 4 years there never even managed to become a co-sponsor of HR676 (when I asked her to not long after the beginning of her tenure she replied that she had reservations about some perceived problem in that bill and ‘was working on her own proposal’, but of course nothing ever came of that).

The complete capitulation of EVERY ONE of the 60+ members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who had pledged, in writing, to oppose any health-care ‘reform’ package that did not include a strong public option put the final nail in the coffin of any credible assertion that the national Democratic party would help turn things around.  For me the tipping point came somewhat earlier after seeing what they did to the Dean candidacy in 2003-4 (they were clearly a lot more interested in maintaining control than in winning the White House - at least back in 1972 they let McGovern win the nomination).

I believe that the reason the Tea Party managed to attract the kinds of people Ed mentioned is because they were the only visible opposition game in town (most progressives still desperately clinging to the hope that Obama would not turn out to be the sell-out that he was beginning to appear to be).  Another missed opportunity by the Greens (many of whom were likely in that same desperate progressive boat).

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By Leefeller, March 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

Cryer you should hook up with Ozark Michale yous guys seem to have so much more in common than pork and barrels, especially the constant whining like pigs about liberals, lefty’s, progressives and Democrats and another thing why are you and the Green Party not helping and calling more attention about a real Green Tim DeChristopher’s problem, who from all appearance seems to be the real thing, instead of the phoney whiny want to be which keeps appearing here?

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By David J. Cyr, March 28, 2012 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

Meanwhile, while corporate conditioned fossil-minded liberal “intellects” flatter themselves as being smarter than the average knuckle dragger, and entertain themselves arguing amongst themselves to prove each other to be critically incapable of sensible thinking…

If the “progressive” liberals were the Solution we wouldn’t have this existential Problem:

On the Brink: Planet Near Irreversible Point of Global Warming

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/03/27-5

Democrats protect the Problem from every threat of a Solution.

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

Voter Consent Wastes Dissent:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=498&Itemid=1

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By Leefeller, March 28, 2012 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

Ed lightening post, but maybe only because I agree with most of it? As our country turns further to the right I see Fascism in the future too, I have mentioned this many times before. You are aware of Brtts ‘14 points of Fascism’ connecting the dots seems so easy.

You explained the alleged left or Democrats so well, but what of the Republicans and their knuckle dragging approach to everything? My observations seems to see their blunt tactics as means to drag the rest of the nation further to the right, maybe there is something else going on?

Possibility OWS is on the right track, after all disenfranchisement is not a new thing, but just was never really talked about before, especially by the MSM, for obvious reasons!

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By Ed Romano, March 28, 2012 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

Okay. Time to put a few holes in the hot air baloon. Liberalism…. What can we hope from it ?.....The most liberal candidate for President that I have witnessed in my life time was George McGovern. I ran the McGovern campaign in the area of the Congressional District I live in. I was a McGovern delegate to the national convention. I worked for the man for one reason….he said that the first thing he would do, on the day he was sworn in was end the Vietnam War. The local and national democratic establishment hated him. We got no help from them in the campaign.
  McGovern lost the election in every state in the union except for Massachusetts….How had he managed to have such an exceptional crew working nationally in the primaries and yet be absolutely slaughtered in the general election? There were several factors involved. His first choice of a certified mental case for vice president had something to with it. But the reality is that liberals tend to be activists. They are more likely than not to be actively involved in campaigns, especially primaries. The rank and file democrats are more conservative. They don’t work for candidates in primaries. When they went to the polls they voted, as they often do, for the party that wants nothing so much as to cut their throats. They elected Tricky Dick Nixon….How do you get people to vote against their own best interests ?....Well, one way is to make sure they’re not critical thinkers… ( bark, yap, snap and grrr ! ) Many blue collar workers and other workers in the middle class had children who were either serving in Vietnam or subject to the draft. Made no difference to them that McGovern promised to stop the slaughter…  A few years later we were treated to
“blue collar workers for Reagan ” and today we have people almost without a pot to piss in….people who are a half step away from having to sleep under a bridge at night….we have them belonging to an   right wing thing called the Tea Party. This is what public education and the media exist to create, and they have done an excellent job. The point is that the great majority of the US population is not liberal….quite a few of them hate the very word. I have personally known and worked for several men who rode the liberal pony to Congress ( I live in one of the most liberal districts in the country ). But as soon as they arrived in Dizzyland they tore off their liberal masks and joined the bandits. One of them even wrote a book ( during the Reagan era ) in which he said that if Democrats wanted to regain the White House they had to become more Republican in their economic thinking… Men or women who campaign for the presidency know what they are dealing with as far as the American electorate goes. They may spout some promises that are attractive to “liberals”, but they know the kind of liberalism that might actually bring some radical change to the country is the kiss of death in any election. And once elected they won’t touch it with 50 foot pole….. even the slight liberalism which gets them elected is quickly discarded once they take the throne….witness of latest savior, Barack Obama.
  There is a far greater chance that the change on the horizon for the US will look more like military dicatorship than it will reflect even a pale image of liberalism…and it is a fair bet that nothing is going to bring about the changes that need to be made in the US. People are naturally skeptical that any radical political solution is possible. The chance of that I imagine is about 999 to one. But even that chance is greater than the one offered by the liberals.
    There is a further problem with American style liberalism, and that is that it assumes that necessary changes so desperately needed can be brought about without basically changing a system geared toward exploitation and ravagement of the planet. But that is for later, and I sincerely wish someone would come forward and tackle it.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 28, 2012 at 7:03 am Link to this comment

Ana, yes, anxiety…...I would suggest externally induced anxiety based on our weaknesses, primarily jealousy and vanity.  Well, perhaps some anxiety is due to uncertainty, which seems quite legitimate.  This is why some are ants and not grasshoppers. 

But I think the externally induced anxiety, the practiced art of Madison Ave and Wall St. plays off our fears to motivate us to buy all that crap which temporarily placates our anxieties, and in reality, that buying behavior, buying ‘the wrong stuff’, causes a massive waste in productivity and the bulk of environmental damage.  I can’t substantiate ‘the bulk’, but a casual survey of all the consumer ‘stuff’, and the quality of so-called ‘durable goods’ points me toward thinking the 99% can eliminate a lot of problems by simply understanding the sources of our consumer anxieties and letting go. 

-bill, you have no sense of humor.  Or at least, you don’t seem to be able to kid along with a joke.  Lighten up and chip in your buck for the cause.  ;>)

Shen- yes, stress releases the chemicals that please.  Consider the people who continually maintain a ‘fired up’ state, craving excitement.  Relaxing is difficult, boring, and not the sort of chemical high we’re used to. 

The convergence theory might or might not be right.  I think we go through oscillations which do not converge to stability.  The political oscillations are overlaid on population growth patterns which expand until a natural limit is reached.  Then a population crash occurs.  I cite pre-Columbian civilizations, perhaps Egyptians and mid-eastern civilizations, I forget what crashed the southeast asia civilizations, but there is a pattern I believe of achieving a political (organizational) sophistication which allows a population to overshoot.  We have mini-crashes too, the dust bowl back around the Great Depression. 

How the ‘ism’s’ interact to allow this political organization to occur, I think is not a great tool to avoid the population over-shoot, rather, I think they are arbitrary and convenient descriptions of theoretical and pure non-existent systems as you indicated.  I would say their primary use in the present population explosion cycle is to hoodwink the general population into thinking the so-called ‘leaders’ know what they’re doing and are ‘in charge’.  They placate. 

Heck, as an academic exercise, I’ll bet a sharp cookie could come up with another set of ‘ism’s’ that interact with the economy and politics to explain the past, and therefore, we can count on them to explain the future, right?  Isn’t this what these ‘ism’s’ are really about?  Confidence?  Dunno.

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By Anarcissie, March 28, 2012 at 6:28 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, March 28 at 12:56 am:

‘... A few comparative
economists, Zimbalist, Sherman, and Brown, have argued forcefully that
there is an inclination in both economic systems that apparently is
inevitable about the flow of economics.  And that is that capitalist and
socialist economic systems makes a regular and steady transition toward
each other.  Such movement is known as convergence. ...’

I don’t see how that is possible, since there are no large-scale socialist systems at this time for capitalist systems to converge with.  The largest cooperative in the world that I know if is Mondragon, which is diminutive compared to most states.

I suspect these economists are not talking about socialism at all—the ownership and control of the means of production by the workers—but about states in which the central government or other centralized state agencies control the economy.  Capitalism is the private ownership of the means of production, and that can be arranged with or without ‘free’ markets or ‘free’ enterprise.  This sort of thing is more akin to the political-economic system envisioned by Bismarck and Mussolini than any I have heard of proposed by the more notorious socialists, but it accords well with authoritarian progressivism.—better regulation to preserve the plantation.

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By Leefeller, March 28, 2012 at 5:37 am Link to this comment

As a strong believer in the existence of science, it is apparent to me, evolution is taking its own sweet time from my observation of Politics.

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By Shenonymous, March 28, 2012 at 1:56 am Link to this comment

Surely John Best – March 27, 8:30 am, you ask a rhetorical
question? ”Why do we let our ‘system’ (an illusion?) influence us
into acting like frenzied cattle on the stampede?  ‘Socialize’ more.”

It is true, John, you did say “applied to the National Debt.”  But you
made no verbal blunder yourself.  Nevertheless, at the rate that
the Bobsy Twins have clocked their verbal assaults on me, the
National Debt will be paid off in no time.  I am happy, in that case,
to be the object of their slander and denigration!  It is all for a good
cause.  Did you know John that there is a love of the stress that getting
in a vehement state brings?  Some people thrive on stress.  Speaking in
the third-person, the old cronies whose self-glorification keeps them
stuck in the morass of focusing their subliminal hatred of strong and
intelligent women on the truthdipper, Shenonymous, are incapable of
delivering themselves from the grip of the jaws of the beast of self-
conceit.  They are sad old individuals who have lost their character. 
What perversely becomes entertaining, though, is to watch how their
blindness to their morbid psychic condition plays out.  Theirs is a
miserable sickness that has shown up in so many men on these forums
as to qualify as a syndrome.  Can we call it the Shenonymousaphobia
Syndrome?  I am having fun.

But on a slightly more serious note:  For those who know they don’t
know, but who want to know more about the nature of our country’s
economic bearings, I bring you a note of optimism.  A few comparative
economists, Zimbalist, Sherman, and Brown, have argued forcefully that
there is an inclination in both economic systems that apparently is
inevitable about the flow of economics.  And that is that capitalist and
socialist economic systems makes a regular and steady transition toward
each other.  Such movement is known as convergence. Even so this
transformation imminent, but it’s difficult if not impossible to develop
a satisfactory standard for convergence.  For how would one quantify
or give more weight to a system one way or the other?  Which variable
or economic enterprise ought to be selected as showing convergence? 
What is shown to be the case, from the gathering of decades of
information, is that those systems that have tended to be more
economically successful (within the scope of their own terms), have
managed to evolve their economic and other fiscal affairs to be
consistent with one another as well as with productive growth.  So
it can’t be gauged too precisely.  Which is why it is imperceptible to
us as we live through it.  Duh!  We simply are too human!  Such is life!

For those who study these matters, it is readily seen that no pure
market or pure planned economies exist.  There are and never have
been any purely capitalist market or pure socialist planned economies. 
Most, and I can’t think of one that isn’t, are of the mixed kind to one
degree or another.  That means more socialized capitalism is inexorably
on its way, in spite of the hissy fits of the Republican conservative
contingent.  And so, for the uninformed who wish to be informed, see
Comparison of Economics Systems: Theoretical and Methodological
Approaches
, a UC Berkeley publication, and Comparative Economic
Systems: An Assessment of Knowledge, Theory and Method,
Andrew
Zimbalist, editor, and there are a couple professional journals in the
field of comparative economics published in the USA.

Now you must thank the lucid Shenonymous for being a harbinger of
better times, even though it might not be in our lifetime!  Party anyone?

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By - bill, March 27, 2012 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment

I don’t wish to be difficult, Anar,  but if you’re going to appeal to history to substantiate your contention that social democracies (which embody the ‘happy confluence of capitalism and pseudo-socialism’ that you referred to) can never sustain the quality of life that you want people to have, you really do have to KNOW something about the quality of life in the countries whose system you’re criticizing (otherwise, you’re using only a subset of history to which a lot of new data has more recently been added, and your conclusions are therefore primarily ideological rather than evidenced-based in nature).

I certainly don’t pretend to know more about the Scandinavian countries than the little I’ve read in various sources (including, of course, WP), but those sources tend to emphasize their quality of life in terms of medical and social metrics and their comparative equality (the lowest Gini indexes in the Western world).

Other European ‘social democracies’ seem not to have been faring as well of late, but I noted that those are the ones joined at the hip (and often uncomfortably so) by the Euro so are subject to serious external influences (and necessary reactions to them) not present in Scandinavia.

If you know of reasonably good modern comparative analyses of these countries vs. more traditional socialist systems I’d be interested in looking at them (the first 3 chapters of Harrington didn’t fit the bill - do later parts of that book?):  even if you may feel satisfied that you know all you need to about them, I don’t feel that I do.

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By - bill, March 27, 2012 at 10:25 pm Link to this comment

I’m afraid that both you and Shen are confused again, John.  No one agreed to pay you or anyone else $1 for criticizing Shen, and in fact nothing remotely like that was even suggested (your statement was “I wish we could apply $1 to the national debt for every time someone criticized Shenonymous”).  I expect that kind of reading incompetence from Shen, but not so much from you (especially since the words were your own).

The more interesting point is why you seemed to intimate in that wistful expression that so many people find Shen to be so frequently such an incompetent.  Inquiring minds want to know.


At least you got a response, Ed, to your specific challenge to her statement “the question… is whether America is headed either to a corporate or state run capitalism?” - likely because it left just sufficient wiggle-room for her to claim it really meant something other than what you interpreted it to mean (and who knows?  maybe it really did).  Since her errors that I’ve pointed out have been more clear-cut in nature she’s been less inclined to respond substantively to them.

Deflect.  Deny.  Disparage.  But never, ever confront a challenge head-on if there’s any merit in it:  her playbook sounds remarkably like those nasty Republicans whom she holds in such limited esteem (apologies if that seems a bit redundant:  I did observe previously that she seemed to be Ann Coulter’s operational twin but without quite that degree of specificity, and besides parts of her more recent behavior seem closer to Sarah Palin’s).

Why is it that someone who clearly understands how critical thinking is SUPPOSED to work has so little ability to exercise it herself when she feels threatened?  Simply a case of “Do as I say, not as I do” or a more fundamental internal disconnect?  More examination required, I guess:  while she does remind me of a remarkably rank package of tilsiter cheese that I encountered once in Europe, I can’t just discard her as I did it so I might as well get some amusement out of figuring her out.

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By Anarcissie, March 27, 2012 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment

Vanity and jealousy and a lot of other things.  Many people are induced to work hard and buy much out of anxiety—out of many different kinds of anxiety.

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By Shenonymous, March 27, 2012 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

Sorry Ed, you owe John about ten dollars now.  Is that rock on the east
side of the lake in Central Park the same one you crawled out from
under?  You do love a fight don’t you.  Well you will always find one
right here when the pompous ass you are comes out of the swamp.  It
really tickles me to keep you so busy thinking of ways to try to grind
me into the ground,  Illegitimi non carborundum,  The bastard(s) will
never grind me down.

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By Ed Romano, March 27, 2012 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

John, Forget what it I’m on the hook for, but if you enter Central Park in New Yorkat midnight you will find a dollar bill hidden under a medium sized rock on the east side of the lake.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 27, 2012 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment

But Ana, if not for our vanity and jealousy, those clever people would have to find some other job.

Pay up Ed.

She, there seems to be a linguistic assimilation already, where people simply do the opposite of some darn thing and still call it that thing.  Conservatism for instance…..what they promote on Wall St. is anything but.  So just embrace capitalism, let the word stand for those who worship it, then replace it’s innards with something more ‘social’.  Yup, what’s the point of criticizing a word itself…..it’s what we do that matters.

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By Ed Romano, March 27, 2012 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

Okay, I’ll break my self imposed rule here, just for tonight I hope. I am shy of you, baby. Dealing with you is like wrestling with a mental alligator. Capitalism may not be going away, as you put it, but there is no denying a large mosquito is in the room just because you can’t kill it. And that you think, which you obviously do because you have said so in no uncertain terms, that this alligator can be tamed by “liberal” democrats is all the proof I need to dismiss you as a feeble thinker. Maybe there is nothing that can be done until the system collapses under its own weight, but to think that liberal democrats are going to bring it under control is to live in a dream world. Liberal democrats are part of the problem. They will NEVER be the solution…..  You say no one is arguing that capitalism is dominated by corporations. Beg your pardon, Mum but in the post I quoted from you you said, ” The question is whether or not we’re headed for a corporate or state run capitalism”..... This was an erroneous statement. Have you ever in your life admitted to making one ? It’s like saying , I wonder if the rain will be wet this time…. You have also subltly begun to admit that there is a problem with American capitalism in recent posts and have begun to give us the benefit of your wisdom concerning the problem. It’s something that wasn’t noticeable awhile ago. The thing is, you are almost completely clueless on the subject. Now we are asked to accept that you are an expert on critical thinking and education, liberal democracy, socialism, communism. psyhcology, phychiatry and the reading of minds….. Harrington’s book offers a decent look at what we might expect from a type of socialism that really has little to offer toward correcting the type of problems we now face now. Naomi Kliens book tells us why that is. ...and that a lightweight like you should have the goomies to put down a giant like Noam Chomsky ....well this is arrogance in the extreme….. You may continue to post your nice little, pettifogging liberalalisms and I may respond to point out how unavailing it all is, but please don’t kid yourself that I am responding to you.  I

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By Anarcissie, March 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment

I don’t know much about conditions in the Scandinavian countries.  I think one usually has to live in a country for awhile and speak and read the language to have any idea of what’s really going on.

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By Shenonymous, March 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

Gee, Ed, you seem Shenonymous shy.  It is not my intention to dog
fight again. Your statement, “A poster here wrote “The question….is
whether America is headed either to a corporate or state run
capitalism… . I’ll resist the temptation to criticize the thinking that goes
into a statement like this, and instead deal with the reality of the
situation as it is and where it seems to be heading…..”
again is taking
pot shots hiding behind a curtain. You owe John Best a dollar. It was
not a statement, by the way, it was a question born from all the
comments on this website, and from the political talking heads. But you
still seem to want to sneak in slurs, jabs, slaps and swipes at me.

No one is arguing that capitalism is not dominated by corporations.
That seems to be THE topic on the counter for years now. It might BE the
general state of capitalism, but there are realists who see that capitalism
is not going to go away regardless of how much detritus is said of it and
who is prostituting it for personal gain.

If there is any real desire to change the economic system of a country
that is so steeped in free-market capitalism, and if there is the immense
intense uncompromising corporate powerhouse that cannot be overcome
by mere bombast, then if something is still wanted to be done, then
some rational approach must be contrived. Unless you can point out
something different, the opposite ends of the economic spectrum are
capitalism and socialism. But trying a frontal attack on capitalism is a
game plan for disillusionment. It is Quixotic and tilting at windmills.

There is a concept known as assimilation.  See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assimilation  Particularly apt is
psychological assimilation, which is the incorporation of new concepts
into existing schemes. Since a direct assault on capitalism would be
counterproductive, fusing socialism in beneficial ways, or introducing
appealing collectivism where the people more and more take over the
management of the fiscal basis of their society is the strategy.  I still say
socialized capitalism is the only system that will work for a large
pluralistic nation. It might behoove the chronic complainers against
capitalism to at least take a peek at the idea.

Your statement, ”The poster who recommended Michael Harrington’s
book on Socialism”
was/is me.  There was a request to define
socialism.  There is none better as a succinct description, it doesn’t
matter how old it is (which isn’t really very old, not nearly as old as you
Ed).  Harrington copyrighted the book 1989. I’ve read Klein’s The
Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
, (the real title of the
book), her overly dramatic conspiratorial, populist style about economic
fascism is not my cup of tea. Stronger arguments against the policies she
brought to public notice about the political machines that attempt to and
often succeed at forcing economic policies on countries that do not
welcome it.  Joseph Stiglitz called her book, “Bleakonomics” in a NYT
article in November 2007 http://tinyurl.com/c4pwfq

Nevertheless, her book is a useful criticism about using methods of force
against resistant sovereign nations. 

Harrington’s book discusses the nature of Socialism, a much different
intent than Klein’s.  Right wing, John Thomas Flynn, journalist, started in
the 1930s to warn about American militarism and opposed Roosevelt’s
foreign policy, and other people’s Money. And Chomsky, not one of my
favorites on some issues but when he seems right he just seems right,
and Edward Herman, wrote nine years before Klein, in 1999 The
Washington Connection and Third World Fascism (The Political Economy
of Human Rights
, a chilling account of United States-backed
suppression of economic, political, and human rights in the Third World. 
So there is really a lot out there if one really wants to know…anything!

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By - bill, March 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

Klein has seemed to me to be one of the best critical journalists out there - far more consistently on the mark than Maddow - but still exhibits some ideological bias when it comes to using the same brush with which she paints right-wing interests to tar the Democratic establishment at the same time.

It was, after all, Rahm Emanuel who made “Never let a crisis go to waste” (a more general statement of Klein’s ‘disaster capitalism’ thesis) a political maxim early in the Obama administration and then helped lead that administration into corporate-friendly practices that certainly at least echoed and in some cases actually rivaled the Republicans’ (and my impression is that Ed and perhaps even Leef would agree with this observation).

I tended to read the crookedtimber link more the way John did - as describing government policies that seemed to lead to better quality of life rather than ways to keep the masses in line.  People often to tend to read into articles what they expect (or want) to see there, and I’m certainly not completely immune to that myself (though do TRY to step back and look at them more neutrally).

That reminds, me, Anar:  I obviously didn’t phrase my earlier questions clearly.  They were

1.  Do you believe that any of today’s social democracies (especially those in Scandinavia, whose separation from the Eurozone may help explain their failure to follow countries like Germany down the ‘austerity’ ideological path) do a reasonable (even if not at all perfect) job of promoting a good quality of life for all their population?

2.  If so, are there historical examples of very similar approaches that succumbed to the kind of capitalistic rot that you feel is inevitable (i.e., examples that would tend to make one pessimistic about this specific approach - there are clearly lots of examples, from Bismarck on, of cases where DIFFERENT approaches haven’t, at least yet, produced successful, stable results)?

And to those I’ll add a third:  If the answer to (1) above is ‘No’, then exactly what deficiencies do you see?

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By Anarcissie, March 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

The bases of consumerism are rather various, as clever people spend all day every day trying to figure out new ways to make people buy stuff.

Food and water—well, we have fracking to destroy our water supply, and genetic engineering to destroy our food supply, and perhaps global warming to destroy both.  Up until now, though, there has been more than enough of these for everyone in North America, so one must appeal to or create other desires.

Anyway, if consumerism fails, there’s still war and waste.  For instance: if you move something of a given exchange value, be it a dollar, a loaf of bread, or a pound of gold, from a poor person to a rich person, you destroy wealth because the use value of any of these to a rich person is much less than it is to a poor person.  There is a lot of that sort of moving going on already.

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By Ed Romano, March 27, 2012 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

Sorry again. Time for a break. The last post was meant for another forum.

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By Ed Romano, March 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

Thanks to Anarcisse…The correct spelling of the name of the author of Disaster Capitalism is Naomi Klein.
  MORE NEWS FROM THE FRONT….reported on Democracy Now
... Sgt. Robt. Bales, who murdered 17 Afghans recently, was probably given the anti malarial drug Mefloquine. This drug has been implicated in a number of homicides and suicides. The army recently said the drug should not be given to soldiers who have suffered traumatic brain injuries as it causes psychotic episodes, paranoia and hallucinations.But, evidently the drug has been regularly administered to troops in combat areas.
  ( Asian Orange and now Mefloquine…. the beat goes on ).

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 27, 2012 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

And what is the basis for consumerism?  Vanity and jealousy.  The 99% can do something about that.  Unfortunately scarcity of real necessities will replace scarcity of frivolous shiny new consumer stuff.  Demand for clothes, cars, electronics, etc, we can perhaps moderate with awareness based cultural shifts.  But, I would be prepared for scarcity of food and water to create new demands.  That’s how it works in the ‘third world’, isn’t it?

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By Anarcissie, March 27, 2012 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

Klein.

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By Anarcissie, March 27, 2012 at 10:58 am Link to this comment


‘... Buy, buy, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).  Why do we let our ‘system’ (an illusion?) influence us into acting like frenzied cattle on the stampede? ...’

Because scarcity is the lifeblood of capitalism.  Where it does not exist it must be created.  One of the methods of creating it is consumerism.  Others are waste, imperialism, and war.  The point is to create a continual succession of crises which only the ruling class and its great leaders can deal with.

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By Ed Romano, March 27, 2012 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

Sorry for the mispelling. The author of Disaster Capitalism is Naomi Kline.I think it is safe to say that anyone who is unaware of what she unveils in this book is not well informed regarding the transformation that is taking place in modern capitalism.You can pick up a used copy at Amazon for a decent price

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 27, 2012 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

Why did I not read Anarchissies link the way you did Lee? 

Actually, I thought it had a few good thoughts that I don;t see expressed enough, at least not enough to make people stop and think.  Here’s one…..
“.....the question of what growth is for anyway, and what we count when we measure GDP in ways that prioritized ‘societal well-being, as well as measures of economic, environmental, and social sustainability’.”

Slow down, relax, and reject the artificial stress that the continuous media hype imposes.  Buy, buy, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).  Why do we let our ‘system’ (an illusion?) influence us into acting like frenzied cattle on the stampede?  ‘Socialize’ more.

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By Leefeller, March 27, 2012 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

Anarcessie, Your link seems a tad strange in which it sounds very much like British stiff upper lips discussing the help at the mens club!  Then the poster named Leerick got served notice for being quite nasty.

What seems to be happening is the new world order is coming down and all the common people of all nations are nothing more than another resource for profit of the few!

Seems the Republicans are the front line and the Democrats may be the back up and any other fictitious party is only a gleam in the eye!

Call me a cynic!

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By Anarcissie, March 27, 2012 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

In regard to the happy confluence of capitalism and pseudo-socialism, here is about as good as it gets: http://crookedtimber.org/2012/03/26/counting-what-really-counts/

Notice how they’re talking about the people as if they are a mass without will or agency?

In other words, better regulation will save the plantation.  A kinder, more attractive Massa is all we need.  I don’t think so, though.  Power does seem to corrupt.

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By Ed Romano, March 27, 2012 at 7:30 am Link to this comment

A poster here wrote “The question….is whether America is headed either to a corporate or state run capitalism”. I’ll resist the temptation to criticize the thinking that goes into a statement like this, and instead deal with the reality of the situation as it is and where it seems to be heading…..The capitalist system as it exists TODAY is totally dominated by corporations. It is not heading in that direction. It is already there and has been for some time. And this government, of the corporations and by the corporations, exists almost solely to advance corporate interests. Anyone vaugely familiar with the history of this nation for the past 20 years or so should be aware of this. But, since the word “examples ” is a sort of war cry in this forum, let me cite just a few. The modern nation requires a successful industrial base if it is going to be successful very far into the future. Yet the US government has done nothing to slow down the steady dismantling of the industrial base by corporations seeking cheap labor overseas….By the way, since this should be perfectly obvious to even the most fervent defenders of the status quo ,it seems reasonable to assume that we should finally be able to agree that the wealth of these companies is based on the exploitation of labor…. But the point here is that , even though this process was detrimental to the American population the government did nothing to stop it, slow it down or ameliorate it…. And to show how dim witted the government thinks the citizens are…Washington is now gearing up for an election in which the cry will be…Jobs, Jobs Jobs….A recent example of the government’s indenture to the corpoations was the transfer of billions of dollars of tax money into the coffers and pockets of Wall Street and other corporations such as General Motors. This has not resulted in resurrecting the economy. However, if some of that money had been given to the people, who were devastated by the crimes committed by Wall Street and the banks, the money would have been spent on consumable items which, in turn, would have created demand for more products to be produced. But the needs and desires of corporations preceed any other reasonable alternatives.
  The poster “highly recommended Michael Harrington’s book, Socialism. This book was a respectable effort at explaining the tenets of socialism. However, it was written before the problems we face today were evident or even on the horizon. If anyone wants to learn something of what we are up against today….I highly recommend…Disaster Capitalism, by Naomi Klien.

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By Leefeller, March 27, 2012 at 7:18 am Link to this comment

Yes, the isms do seem to be indoctrinations of some sort when thinking on it. If I recall a previous poster “Lew Cefer” said he did not believe in ‘isms’, he may have had a valid point? Maybe they are stereotyping with just a bit of sloppy tightening, otherwise generalizations? From how they are thrown around they really do not seem to have solid merit except to be utilized for negativity?

I need to check out Shes other links.

One thing I grabbed onto from your post John, was the ‘limited monopoly’ comment. Brings me to the concept of too big to fail and medical insurance companies, from what it seems to me, the medical insurance companies are in close collusion together and it took the government to force them to do things they would rather not, (hence why it is in the supreme court?) which cut into their bottom lines, also I heard possibly the medical insurance companies may be connected closer then at the hip, anyway much closer then we suspect, after all it all about the money.

Great topic and discussion.

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By - bill, March 27, 2012 at 6:29 am Link to this comment

To recall anything more, Shen, you’d have had to put on your reading glasses so that you could actually read what the posts said.  But if you insist on listening to the voices in your head instead (as you have all along) and continuing with your schizophrenic “I’m the ballsiest chick you ever did see!”/“Oooh, those nasty men are picking in me again!” schtick, knock yourself out.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 27, 2012 at 4:48 am Link to this comment

I wish we could apply $1 to the national debt for every time someone criticized Shenonymous.  Keep ‘em coming Shen.

Agreeing with Lee, I found the flavors of capitalism interesting…...they start to make a bland general ‘ism’ more useful.  Now, we get closer to what these ‘ism’s’ obscure, that is, what are we doing with them? 

I am also not digesting this statement, ” “Examples of LMEs are the U.S. and the U.K economies while most of Scandinavian countries and Germany are CMEs.”.  When one looks at the characteristics on the table in the Wikipedia link - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varieties_of_Capitalism

Some characteristics agree with reality, but say ‘mode of production’ lists ‘direct market competition’, for LME (US?) economies, and in reality, we are into an era of very subtle price fixing, and defacto monopolies.  Where is the real competition for something like your cell phone?  We have mergered ourselves into so few ‘competitors’ in many areas, that the ‘consumer’ is getting milked.  So it comes back to what are we doing with these ‘ism’s?  Serving society, or screwing consumers?

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By Shenonymous, March 27, 2012 at 4:45 am Link to this comment

Sweden is socialist, but also democratic. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_democracy
http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/sweden.htm
http://tinyurl.com/cxyvk64

See ya later alligator….Love that old 50s expression.

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By Shenonymous, March 27, 2012 at 4:37 am Link to this comment

Let’s see dashbill, 5 yups…all that can be recalled of your
posts is that you blather on and on and on, nothing but blather.
Are you really such a mental pillarist of an old man with nothing
better to do with your life?

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By Leefeller, March 27, 2012 at 1:50 am Link to this comment

She your links where very enlightening but the one on Capitalism hits me most of all and really caught my attention for I had been under the impression Sweden was a socialist country. Of course the ass hole Republicans are the ones touting this line and makiing it sound Commie, what morons, they know of what they speak.

I had always suspected the McCarthy like myopic comparison of Communism and Socialism never seemed quite right in his head, especially if one looks at Europe and used Germany and Sweden as socialist models?

Folks take a look at the two variates of capitalism,  they appear opposite to what I had anticipated or expected, I found the difference on the power of unions fascinating. I had heard about Germany unions.

‘Two distinct types of capitalist economies: liberal market economies (LME) and coordinated market economies (CME).’ What really is surprising to me is; “Examples of LMEs are the U.S. and the U.K economies while most of Scandinavian countries and Germany are CMEs.”

I would have expected the opposite to be true and now realize how little I really know about political science and how little I have wanted to know about economics.

So Socialism seems to need some defining input from Stewart Alexander, and the community bus service, those pinko commies!

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By - bill, March 26, 2012 at 11:21 pm Link to this comment

My, my, Shen.  When Ed said “But, for me, it’s all over now” you responded “No no no, Ed, we won’t put this to sleep until you show some real insight” - and yet now you’re presumptuous enough to pronounce “But it is time to put it to rest” without having demonstrated one whit of insight yourself.

Typical control-freak behavior once again.  I let your last diatribe pass without a response not only because you clearly don’t bother to read criticism with the slightest comprehension of what’s being said but because the degree of hysterical denial that post exhibited made me wonder (as perhaps I should have earlier) whether you were not merely a typical forum asshole but might have real clinical problems (as contrasted with my suggestion to Ed that he was being a bit paranoid, which I made in the vernacular rather than in any clinical sense) - in which case you should probably be dealt with quite differently than I had been.

However that was nothing like a firm conclusion on my part and since you just couldn’t resist one parting shot I’ll make my own point one more time:  if you want concrete examples of your incompetence (which you claimed - incompetently - you lacked in that diatribe by whining about being “castigate(d)... with absolutely no examples of my denseness, or inability to rationally discuss anything relating to my behavior!”) you need only revisit my own posts which provide very specific examples of precisely that:  March 22 at 5:02 pm (first and last paragraph of the part applying to you), March 18 at 5:49 pm, March 17 at 9:48 am, March 16 at 9:58 pm, and March 14 at 10:58 pm (though this post was metaphorical so you may have more difficulty understanding the examples in it).

Before that point, you were behaving fairly rationally even though it had been clear for over 2 weeks already that we did not share the same perception of the value of the Democratic party at the national level.  I tried to put that issue to rest in March 13 at 5:26 pm and move on.

Oh, by the way, I don’t always bother to correct your incompetent drivel.  For example, in March 25 at 12:20 pm you scoffed at my comment in March 25 at 10:53 am about having “resisted the temptation” to apply the ‘Those who can…’ comment that Ed made to you despite the fact that I had made it clear exactly WHY I DID so resist it.  It’s hardly worth scouring your voluminous babble for other such instances - I just happened to recall this recent one.

Now, if you’d like to correct your faulty memory in this area by revisiting those points and actually addressing them (as you’ve never been willing to before) I’m game.  Or if you’d like to “put it to rest” (as you just said to Ed it was time to) and simply shut up about the matter that’s OK as well.  Otherwise, we can continue as we have been for as long as you care to (or until my evaluation of your mental state becomes such that I don’t believe that’s appropriate).

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By Shenonymous, March 26, 2012 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

Purposely being inclusive, everything about nations is complex.  We
try to simplify it to facilitate understanding.  But, while it might be an
inborn proclivity,  it is not ever so simple as one might think, and that
includes our own country. There is much claimed in the comments but
not much in the way of solid and sound advice nor much in the way of
references, where claims can be checked out. 

Communism is just a stronger more tyrannical authoritarian form of
socialism where the power becomes invested in a Central Committee. 
As has already been said in the comments, It puts control of all property
into the hands of the government directly.  The results have been
impressive: over 100 million people killed in the last century on direct
account of Communism. 

It is good to note that the dynamics of socialism is more liberal than
a place setting for power.  That means it is centered in the people. 

So the question that runs rampant through political discussion groups is
whether America is headed either to a corporate or state run capitalism? 
And what are the virtues and vices of the kinds of economic systems we
should be thinking about.

Seems a good thing the residents on TD air out the warts and scars of
our economic system.  Change has to start somewhere.

Those who wring their hands in the public political forum these days rant
and rail against the socialistic current that is starting to permeate the
population as a justifiable economic antidote to the total enthralldom
free market capitalism has bequeathed the American people, and as an
eminent agent for the rest of the world to imitate. 

But there are also forms of capitalism just as there are socialism.  OFYI
(Only for your information)  The four types of Capitalism most easily
identified are: 
Market Led  - Historically this is the flavor of American capitalism;
Corporate or the one in which our China buddies imbibes, and
some soothsayer economists think America may soon follow in this train;
Social-Democratic  -This is what the denizens of blogs bluster a
lot about; then last but not least, ta dah!  Drumm rollll please…State-
Led
- this one is commonly called Communism, and some on the
more conservative side tie their shorts up in knots and chew on them
over this one but could it be where America is headed anyway?

We might take a look at Germany’s configuration of capitalism, called the
Reinish Model, or my one offer of advice is to start seriously considering
socialized capitalism.

http://www.importanceofphilosophy.com/Bloody_Communism.html
http://www.mendeley.com/research/capitalism-capitalist-type-state/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varieties_of_Capitalism
Michael Harrington’s book on Socialism has already been referenced, and
I highly recommend anyone interested in a concise read this is an
excellent choice.  And mentioned earlier, A Documentary History of
Communism and the World: From Revolution to Collapse )Two Volumes)
by Robert V. Daniels

Ed Romano, March 26 at 7:08 am ”Shenonymous,  Methinks thou
dost protest too much.”
  Yeah, I have protested, but the amount was
just about right.  But it is time to put it to rest.

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By Ed Romano, March 26, 2012 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller,  Yes, many unexpected changes awaited us when we stepped over the threshold into the Kingdom Of Old Goats, or Old Buggers as my elders used to call them. I also used to read a book entirely before going onto another. Now I’ve got 2 or 3 going at the same time. Is this due to the advent of the double time world we’ve been plunged into ? Can’t say, but ain’t progress wonderful ?

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By - bill, March 26, 2012 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

(Comment disappeared into never-never land on the first try - sorry if it turns into a duplicate.)

Thanks, Anar - I had a feeling it might be something like that.  History is certainly replete with horrendous examples of exploitation, but I’m not sure that there are enough (if any?) good examples of really non-exploitative and successful mixed economies gone bad to give up on that possibility (if I’m missing examples of this or mistaken in my impression that some of our current social democracies are doing a pretty good job of being non-exploitative please let me know:  I’d certainly not categorize the U.S. as ever having been this non-exploitative in the past - though I think we seemed to be heading in that direction until about the time Reagan became president - so I wouldn’t consider us an example of such a society gone wrong).

My own attitude (which Harrington seems to share from the little I managed to read) is that capitalism is a great motivator for progress and that it would be preferable not to have to throw it away entirely in order to achieve a good life for all.  Even significant degrees of economic inequality don’t bother me much IF those at the bottom of the economic heap can be guaranteed good lives and real opportunities for upward mobility by virtue of appropriate social programs and redistributive practices coupled with strong regulation in other areas (e.g., environmental).  This does not appear to me to be simply another version of the Bismarckian con even though it bears some resemblance to it - in no small part because with mechanisms to prevent money from dominating politics (or a sufficiently engaged population to make such domination impossible) the economic elite (to the degree that it existed at all) would not be in a position of control.

I recognize that maintaining such a system would require the traditional eternal vigilance.  Then again, if we’re not willing to exercise such vigilance, do we really have much cause for complaint?  After all, our CURRENT system in this country is still under our aggregate control if we can get our act sufficiently together to exercise it to our benefit.  If our general population is too comatose to do so, perhaps those of us who aren’t should be discussing whether we can EVER wake it up or should instead just be looking for a place to live which has better prospects (i.e., voting with our feet).

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By - bill, March 26, 2012 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

Thanks, Anar - I had a feeling it might be something like that.  History is certainly replete with horrendous examples of exploitation, but I’m not sure that there are enough (if any?) good examples of really non-exploitative and successful mixed economies gone bad to give up on that possibility (if I’m missing examples of this or mistaken in my impression that some of our current social democracies are doing a pretty good job of being non-exploitative please let me know:  I’d certainly not categorize the U.S. as ever having been this non-exploitative in the past - though I think we seemed to be heading in that direction until about the time Reagan became president - so I wouldn’t consider us an example of such a society gone wrong).

My own attitude (which Harrington seems to share from the little I managed to read) is that capitalism is a great motivator for progress and that it would be preferable not to have to throw it away entirely in order to achieve a good life for all.  Even significant degrees of economic inequality don’t bother me much IF those at the bottom of the economic heap can be guaranteed good lives and real opportunities for upward mobility by virtue of appropriate social programs and redistributive practices coupled with strong regulation in other areas (e.g., environmental).  This does not appear to me to be simply another version of the Bismarckian con even though it bears some resemblance to it - in no small part because with mechanisms to prevent money from dominating politics (or a sufficiently engaged population to make such domination impossible) the economic elite (to the degree that it existed at all) would not be in a position of control.

I recognize that maintaining such a system would require the traditional eternal vigilance.  Then again, if we’re not willing to exercise such vigilance, do we really have much cause for complaint?  After all, our CURRENT system in this country is still under our aggregate control if we can get our act sufficiently together to exercise it to our benefit.  If our general population is too comatose to do so, perhaps those of us who aren’t should be discussing whether we can EVER wake it up or should instead just be looking for a place to live which has better prospects (i.e., voting with our feet).

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By Leefeller, March 26, 2012 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

Ed, you mentioned the Becker on another thread, but I will comment here.

I have Becker’s other book someplace and will read it when I have opportunity, he is a good read.

Money is not a recent happening, soon as man built cities and started farming agriculture, money became what it is, well this was the big change from the hunter gatherers who lived as they wandered and had no need of money.

I seem to have difficulty reading as I used to not putting a book down from cover to cover, now days I suspect our world of soundbites has tainted my abilities to focus as I used to. Also, staying awake seems another part of getting older.

The money is power part of Becker’s thesis and work seems very accurate and reflects the unbalanced wealth and economics structure of today. For now I am a skeptic, unless OWS gathers much more traction and is not usurped by opportunists, which may be most likely, look what happened to the alleged grass roots Tea Bags,... Koch Brothers anyone?

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By Ed Romano, March 26, 2012 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

John, If I can use your point,about being hood winked by the banks, to make one of my own…The society founded on capitalism pushes aside and destroys all values that sit in the way of making profit. Marx wrote that it sacrifices every decent human ambition of the altar of greed ( or something close to that ). In its place we have installed one value… the value of money. The acquisition of money is the single goal posited by the system as worthwhile persuing….Since I understand the society in this way I am never surprised when a bank tries to hide its rip offs..never surprised when a Bernie Madoff shows up…not surprised when a product in the super marker that sold for 99 cents 18 months ago is now priced at $2.29…. as I was not at all surprised in 2008 when the nation learned that the future well being
of a majority of ourfellow citizens was now in great danger because of criminal greed on Wall Street….These myops are merely pursuing the goal they were taught is the only one worth pursuing…get your hands on the money, and if you can’t get it ethically, get it any way you can. Am I talking about something that is unique to the US ? Of course not.
Greed is part of the human condition and lies near the surface of us all. But it is something that we don’t like to look it. That’s whywe cloak it with
concern for the future of the children….our desire to bring “democracy” to foriegn lands….patriotic jingosim… and other mental contortions to hide the reality…..But once it is seen for what it is(only a fool would think to eliminate it from human nature )
A sane society however, should try to mitigate it so that its flagrant abuse is not allowed to be the predominant value that controls our lives…..Wow. This turned into a rant, didn’t it ?
Sorry. I get a little irritated at times from when I have to keep taking the hands of all these strangers out of my pockets. ....Keep plugging.

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By Korky Day, March 26, 2012 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

The other commenters are ignoring the last interesting comment here:
Korky Day, 2012 March 24 at 3:28 am.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 26, 2012 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, focusing on your first paragraph and question about the decline of respect for people….

I think it is down.  Are we getting a crowded feeling?  Are we being modeled as ‘consumers’ instead of citizens?  Is life cheaper?  Consider how we’re treated from the big-box store to the on-hold music whilst we wait to settle a dispute about some mystery charges the your bank.  ‘Back in the day’, they wouldn’t dare to pull a fast one, but the methods for obscuring various charges was not so intricate.  The fact that they feel empowered to make things confusing shows they have no calling toward a duty to really respect customers. 

A small example perhaps, but I think one can ‘feel’ this attitude of not really caring about any one customer…...there are always others.  It may be the same on the web?

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By Ed Romano, March 26, 2012 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,  Methinks thou dost protest too much.

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By Anarcissie, March 26, 2012 at 8:06 am Link to this comment

- bill—I start out working from experience and history.  I especially pay attention to daily life.  It is pretty clear that where there are wide differences in power, wealth and social status, those with more will operate whatever system they find themselves in to increase their power, wealth and social status.  That is what we observe.  In more succinct terms, ‘To him that hath shall be given; but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.’

Where there are impeding factors like civil liberties, due process, and democracy, the ruling class simply learns how to deal with and manipulate these obstacles until they are no longer obstacles but decor.

Clearly, as long as there are some who have power over others, those with power will seek to maintain and increase their power.  Otherwise they would resign their superior power, and we would observe conditions of political and economic equality.  Since we do not observe the conditions, we can conclude that the more powerful people are not giving their power away.

Eventually, social orders of increasing disparity break down because there is less and less reason for the losers to support them.  The periods of breakdown, although exciting, generally result in even more misery than the oppression which preceded and produced them.

The fundamental problem is deep belief in the utility of violence and the social institution which embodies violence, the state.  Peace, freedom and equality cannot be achieved by the state because it embodies and perpetuates war, oppression, and inequality in the interests of its ruling class.

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By Leefeller, March 26, 2012 at 4:35 am Link to this comment

Respect seems down when reading the posts here on TD and elsewhere, there seems to be a deep rudeness and intolerance building in society overall, the Republican political campaign is a fine example of this. Evidently respect is afforded to fewer people in society today then when I was growing up, at least it strongly suggests and feels this way.
Lack of respect for people may seem worse today, but is it? Possible the web has changed how things evolve and the lack of respect seems to be main component with anonymity which has evolved into these classic hair pulling fests. 

There seems always the manipulator opportunists, dividing the people, I suspect the Republicans are working for these fewer people of power as brokers to the highest bidder, bought and sold like prostitutes.  Now if we include the ludicrous idea corporations are people too, the world has become one of consolidated profit for the few while the many lose opportunities at accelerated rates. Inequality and disenfranchise are real, economic distributions are unbalanced and now with so many people loosing their homes, this means land is owned by a much smaller number of people. Taxation is heaviest on the least able to pay, while the few are touted as job creators.

Economic balance is a challenging problem when jobs and business are in just a few hands, the game of monopoly has become an accepted reality, as this trend continues the attack on government regulations will grow. 

Looking at the media and press, we see a trend there also as the media is consolidated in the hands of fewer people, information is doled out and people must accept what they are told. 

Education seems to be attacked recently we see the negative attacks against science and history, the distancing of critical thinking, the line separating religion from government seems to be narrowing, making it so people dare to question.

In the end money is power, always has been and the consolidations of power is a never ending saga the game is fixed and everyone knows this, our government and its politics is the ugly underbelly of how it fits together and works or from what I see, doesn’t work!

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By Shenonymous, March 25, 2012 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment

Third-party Shenonymous here! Why Ed, didn’t you by proxy call me a
spider! hahaha Ed Romano, Mar. 25 12:00pm – “because I will not be
entering the spider web again after this”
That is true, because you
never left it.  It is your own spider web!  Again, do show just a couple
of those “half truths and innuendoes” of which you accuse me. Doesn’t
that imply some “bad” person? Do good people tell half truths? 
We won’t worry about the innuendos.  Or how about the analogy of
your encyclopediac friend, who was dense but not a “bad” person, but
a “bad” influence on people…”  Why would you make that comment
unless you wanted to make a comparison between him and me? Or how
about your parting comment that you were sure I am not a bad person,
either? Do you ever think about what you say?  If only you could show
just a few of my half truths!  Then you extrapolate from me to the entire
batch of liberal democrats, who “are going to save us from cess pool
that have helped to create.”
  Going from the one to the many!  Bad
bad!  That’s a no no.  And because I question you, you think you have
the right to call me a rigid thinking person?  You do have the “right” to
call me anything you want.  But you realize what you do say is on what
you are judged and is to what I will reply.

Well maybe you have never encountered anyone who would stand up
to your peculiar name-calling shenanigans.  And casting aspersions
on my mother
, what kind of troubled adolescent mind does that? 
Put your own dog to sleep.  Then you make a censure about my ability to
use language, yeowie kazowie.  Do you realize how petty that makes you
look, here in public?  You could do with a volume on fallacies, Ed.  I think
you might want to seriously take stock of yourself to see how messed up
your thinking is.  If anybody is mistaken about having a firm grasp on
what is being talked about it is you.  Better yet, take a course in critical
thinking.  You haven’t the foggiest notion what it is.

As for your twin, dashbill:  You and dashbill (in the third person) are
birds of a feather. He who also can castigate me with absolutely no
examples of my denseness, or inability to rationally discuss anything
relating to my behavior!  Neither of you have presented anything that
shows you know what the hell you are talking about!  Yup, youse guys
are joined at the hip but who lack the ability to speak beyond any
generalized reasoning.  Woe be to anyone who points it out.  Like
Leefeller!  Youse guys really are asses.  Jackasses.  You know dashbill,
you cannot wear me down.  I am made of carborundum!  As long as
you make one teeny tiny nitsy nasty remark to me or about me, I will
be here in your electronic face.  There is no confusion about that! 
You aren’t interesting in the least except as a kind of gnat that needs
swatting.  What did you say you would do?  If “someone else is having
trouble with your (Shenonymous’s) crap then if I think I might be able to
help them deal with it I’ll give it a shot.”
  What a hoot. So you have a
savior complex too!  Would that be invited or not invited?  If it’s not
invited, we would have to call on Godwin’s Rule!  Mamma mia.  Ohhh
doze po’beebles, what would they do without dashbill against the
eponymous Shenonymous! You remind me of Python’s Black Knight!  I
want to say Jesus Christ but I won’t.  Now youse boyz, youse be well
too!  Yah hear?

Socialism is the topic of this forum.  And I do apologize for having to
use the space and time to give my middle finger to a couple of conceited
sloppy thinking narcissists who think they have the license to call me
anything or say anything about me that they want on these forums. 
Na uh!  A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

Henceforth I will attempt to stay on topic, even if no one cares a whit if I
say anything at all.

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By Ed Romano, March 25, 2012 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment

Shen, I never said you were a bad person. Be well.

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By - bill, March 25, 2012 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

Looking at life through the bottom of your tequila bottle really doesn’t help your reading comprehension, Leef (though I still don’t know what Shen’s excuse for her deficiencies in that area may be):  what I said was, “BEFORE THAT (emphasis added since you weren’t able to parse it correctly the first time) I was just letting that dog remain peacefully asleep.”

The reason I didn’t feel it necessary to explain why your comment sank to your frequent level of whiney babble was because I had just explained why Shen’s restatement of it did.

HTH.  Now, run along back like a good little lap dog.

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By Leefeller, March 25, 2012 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

Well, slight difference Bill, though you conveniently seem to not notice differences but me suspects your comprehension problem is much further lacking than I anticipated, (practicing a bit of talking down me noise as Bill loves to do, except I am not near as proficient in the skill as Bill seems.)

She referenced and commented on an earlier post of mine, regarding a subject most endearing to Bill, so of course Bill wanted to let it sleep by using my name as you say Bill, except in the usual Bill hypocritical sense, you did not, nor did actually address my comment, except to say it was blather, once again talking about me in the third person like I was not in the room, a topic you seem to be highly proficient at, constantly insulting people in the third person when not busy doing it in the first person, though maybe the second person?

Now She,.... calling someone like Bill an asshole for his consistency in continuing to show insulting, condescending and obviously full of himself comments is not very polite in most circles ... but in this circle and for Bill?

“Talking about a person like they are not present and cannot hear seems quite rude to me, but in some circles rude is acceptable, and especially it appears not in comments secretions like here?  I have seen a lot of talking whining and carping about other persons as if the person of subjuct cannot hear all the whining, carping and even condescending comments, for some reason reminds me of a bunch of school girls.  (I know my comment may be sexist, but real boys never talk about other people unless it is about girls and never in the same room).  Oh wait, this is what seems to be going on here, after all She is a girl and it seems the boys are talking about her like she is not in the room when they know she is? ...  Damn you clowns,.... now you just got me to do the same thing?”

Of course my comment would be construed as blather by the main instigator who’s inflated worth makes them feel a self practicing expert on the subject of blather!  If anyone has any non important questions not requiring a real answer, just ask ole Bill!

Well it has been fun Bill, but got to find those missing socks you know!

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