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This Is What Resistance Looks Like

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Posted on Apr 4, 2011
AP / Reed Saxon

A woman who sympathizes with people whose homes have been foreclosed is arrested at a protest outside a Chase bank in Los Angeles.

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

“If Bank of America paid their fair share of taxes, planned cuts of $1.7 billion in early childhood education, including Head Start & Title 1, would not be needed,” Zeese pointed out. “Bank of America avoids paying taxes by using subsidiaries in offshore tax havens. To eliminate their taxes, they reinvest proceeds overseas, instead of bringing the dollars home, thereby undermining the U.S. economy and avoiding federal taxes. Big Finance, like Bank of America, contributes to record deficits that are resulting in massive cuts to basic services in federal and state governments.”

The big banks and corporations are parasites. They greedily devour the entrails of the nation in a quest for profit, thrusting us all into serfdom and polluting and poisoning the ecosystem that sustains the human species. They have gobbled up more than a trillion dollars from the Department of Treasury and the Federal Reserve and created tiny enclaves of wealth and privilege where corporate managers replicate the decadence of the Forbidden City and Versailles. Those outside the gates, however, struggle to find work and watch helplessly as food and commodity prices rocket upward. The owners of one out of seven houses are now behind on their mortgage payments. In 2010 there were 3.8 million foreclosure filings and bank repossessions topped 2.8 million, a 2 percent increase over 2009 and a 23 percent increase over 2008. This record looks set to be broken in 2011. And no one in the Congress, the Obama White House, the courts or the press, all beholden to corporate money, will step in to stop or denounce the assault on families. Our ruling elite, including Barack Obama, are courtiers, shameless hedonists of power, who kneel before Wall Street and daily sell us out. The top corporate plutocrats are pulling down $900,000 an hour while one in four children depends on food stamps to eat.

We don’t need leaders. We don’t need directives from above. We don’t need formal organizations. We don’t need to waste our time appealing to the Democratic Party or writing letters to the editor. We don’t need more diatribes on the Internet. We need to physically get into the public square and create a mass movement. We need you and a few of your neighbors to begin it. We need you to walk down to your Bank of America branch and protest. We need you to come to Union Square. And once you do that you begin to create a force these elites always desperately try to snuff out—resistance.

Chris Hedges’ column appears every Monday at Truthdig. Hedges, a fellow at The Nation Institute and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, is the author of “Death of the Liberal Class.”

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, June 5, 2011 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

Cliff Carson, June 5 at 8:19 am:

Anarcissie:
“I’d like to think that I accomplish a little ideological subversion or seduction, but there sure isn’t much evidence that I succeed.  I guess I don’t follow your distinction.”

FRAMING?

Outside of my little icon, the only thing I contribute to Truthdig is writing.  Of course, like almost everyone else’s, that writing is organized on several levels, including assumptions or proposals about the frameworks which give what is written its meaning.  Sometimes I am explicit about the framework, in an attempt to make clear what I’m writing about, as when I said I was writing about social welfare within the liberal framework.  But it’s still writing.  I can’t see it as on the deeds side of the good old deeds-versus-words contrast.

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By ardee, June 5, 2011 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

I must reaffirm that I generally turbo scroll past the offerings of our resident MADame Martha/Thomas. I did, for reasons unknown to me, actually read the first paragraph of his/her most recent post. I was then forced to wade through the rest of it with some sort of morbid fascination, the same rapt attention one might give to the death throes of some poor animal.

I was reminded immediately of the words of this obviously deranged individual , one of his/her first efforts here in fact. The poor wretch noted, after a few negative responses were posted to his/her rantings, that h/she had “brought down several forums” where h/her views were less than enthusiastically received.

As it happens, I had a house guest today, a psych professor at a nearby University in fact. I asked for her opinion as to the content of this posters latest effort and, after advising her that I usually refused to bother reading h/her efforts, she only stated that I was making a rather wise choice.

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Gary Mont's avatar

By Gary Mont, June 5, 2011 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

Well I guess that settles that then.

You really do not read what you write.

Can’t say I blame you though.
Reading it is a waste of time and energy.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, June 5, 2011 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

John Best, Gary Mont, Anarcissie, Cliff Carson and all others of like
minds:

The teaching and use of structuralism in thought and language in
the American system, is the American way of legitimizing
advantage by way of singular structural definition, so that by
singular structural definition it becomes structurally good for the
triumphant exception to do bad to the loser, and it becomes
structurally bad for the loser to want benefit; this type of
singularly defined structuralism is not possible when structuralism
in thought and language is replaced with gestalt causation,
because the pattern of cause and effect is demonstrated in the
structure of thought and language that does not lend itself to be
used in singularly structural ways that empower binary emotional
rhetoric, propaganda.

It would appear that since no one on this thread has spoken out
against the systemic American use of singularly defined
structuralism in thought and language in favor of thought and
language based upon gestalt causation, an x=x unity of equal
balance, that all are either too ignorant and foolish to know the
difference; or, that all on this thread are advocates of sophism and
propaganda, and that all on this thread will, without a sense of
shame, use singularly defined structuralism to defend their use of
singularly defined structuralism, ie, the singularly defined use of
such terms as good, bad, right, wrong, winner, loser in binary
emotional rhetoric, propaganda to obfuscate thought and
language based upon gestalt causation.

It I take “you people” at your word, that you are not ignorant and
foolish people doing nothing more than chattering like monkeys on
this forum for your own amusement and entertainment, the only
alternative is that you are sophist propagandists, and if “you
people” are sophist propagandists, who are you spewing your
sophistry and propaganda for? ———the Conservative Right-Wing
Republican EXTREMISTS, or the Conservative Right-Wing
Democratic Middle Class
, neither of which represent the Left, the
American Populace, the 70% Majority Common Population of the
United States.

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Gary Mont's avatar

By Gary Mont, June 5, 2011 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

John Best:A recommendation for making productive use of Mart(a) types: Re-post the essential points of the post(s) immediately preceding those of the Mart(a) post.

To be honest, I find that most of the posts by our intrepid obssessive compulsive don’t really lend themselves to discussion. They are basically the same thing over and over again

“Magic Formulae” = “answer to all ills” and only sub-omega morons do not understand “Magic Formulae”

Its more of a “I’m a genius and you’re not.” comment.

Its why I think M(B) is a dude and young. Pure Ego.

Most of these lecture posts are quite easy to ignore actually, as you know in advance they’ll contain nothing new.

Of course, this last one was so wacked out, it needed a response - of amazement. I mean, what better argument AGAINST the Magic Formulae could be made than to offer China’s repressive regime as a golden example of the McPopulation process. Jeez!

===========

John Best:On an altogether different note: is fluoridated water really problematic?  Bottled water contains plasticizers, which are questionable too.

Chlorinated, flouridated water is so silly, it just never ceases to amaze me. It might not be so bad if it was done by an intelligent species.

An intelligent species might use a deadly toxin to kill off the germs in the water supply, but they would definitely not thereafter, leave both the toxin and the dead germs in the water to drink.

If you use a toxin to kill the germs in your water, you should remove the toxin and the dead germs before you drink the water. This seems so rudimentary that I had to look further for a rationale behind leaving the chlorine/flourine in the water after the germs are dead and I think I found one.

Apparently, during WW2, the Nazis used Chlorine in the drinking water of POWs because it made them suggestible and docile. North Amerca began using the shit in their water right after the war ended.

Coincidence. Unlikely.

Probably what’s keeping the American public from rising up and overthrowing the parasites who have invaded the land.

Water in plastic bottles will also contain estrogen like chemicals - like the ones that are making North American lakes fish-free, by turning all the fish female. I guess it improves the sales of Viagra.

Most modern industries seem to have taken the idea of The Advantages of Adversity extremely seriously.

Toothpaste is a combination of powdered glass, sugar and a nerve toxin or two - guaranteed to cause cavities. Asswipe is bleached wood-fiber and is the likely cause of haemmoroids (sp?) and cancers of the pop shute.

Cough medicine actually stops the natural processes the body uses to kill cold germs/viri - fever, cough, runny nose, etc. - insuring you have your cold 3-4 times longer and can consume 3-4 times more cough medicine.

Most modern drugs are actually just poisons that turn off/deactivate a variety of organs and thus mask the symptoms of whatever the drug is offered for by shutting down the mechanism that counteracts the disorder.

Most poisons will deactivate a number of organs and so can be offered for numerous purposes. The side effect of one use becomes the actual desired effect of another use.

I could go on all day in this vein as so much of our modern day commodities are designed to aggravate the condition they claim to alleviate. Advantages of Adversity in action.

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By Cliff Carson, June 5, 2011 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie

“I’d like to think that I accomplish a little ideological subversion or seduction, but there sure isn’t much evidence that I succeed.  I guess I don’t follow your distinction.”

FRAMING?

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, June 5, 2011 at 7:05 am Link to this comment

Cliff Carson, June 5 at 6:41 am:

Anarcissie

“Well, for one thing, I believe the only just distribution is a communist distribution, which puts me somewhat at odds with the liberal Nozick.  But as for my actions, what actions are you talking about?”

Words = what you write

Actions = In what context you frame the words you write

OK?

It seems to me an odd usage.  The only context here is more writing.  To me, the contexts are subjects I have some interests in and ideas about, and I like to bounce my ideas off other people for mutual benefit and entertainment.  It is true that some kinds of speech are transitive (get someone to do something) or performative, but I haven’t seen much of that on the Net.  I’d like to think that I accomplish a little ideological subversion or seduction, but there sure isn’t much evidence that I succeed.  I guess I don’t follow your distinction.

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By Cliff Carson, June 5, 2011 at 6:41 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie

“Well, for one thing, I believe the only just distribution is a communist distribution, which puts me somewhat at odds with the liberal Nozick.  But as for my actions, what actions are you talking about?”

Words = what you write

Actions = In what context you frame the words you write

OK?

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, June 5, 2011 at 5:45 am Link to this comment

A recommendation for making productive use of Mart(a) types: Re-post the essential points of the post(s) immediately preceding those of the Mart(a) post. 

I haven’t a solid statistical basis, but I think I notice a correlation between certain ‘nuggets’ (ideas or observations), and the likelihood of a lengthy response. 

Further, I recommend that additional observation and analysis be conducted on the ‘nugget-response’ incidences in order to identify ‘a certain charachteristic’ of those nuggets, then, disseminate to other electronic media.  Essentially, this forms an anti-troll mechanism.  Condensed anti-disruptive memes easily disseminated.  The power of ideas.  This might be what resistance looks like.

I will humbly self-nominate the ‘Social Contract’ comments as it did seem to consistently provoke a response. 

I also nominate the food quality/Coca-cola/CIA nugget as having launched a respectable shit-storm.  Or, it might have been the banksters/FED comment.  A review of comments preceding the more gaseous Mart(a) farts is in order. 

Please, please, more nominations??  A general ‘problem’ with this ‘comment mechanism’, is that there are a lot of extremely interesting comments.  Unfortunately, they sort of drift by, commented over, and unfortunately they fade a bit.  So damn many great ‘neggets’ have been made in this thread alone one might write a very interesting electronic pamphlet.  A separate wiki page is in order for such a project. 

On an altogether different note: is fluoridated water really problematic?  Bottled water contains plasticizers, which are questionable too.

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Gary Mont's avatar

By Gary Mont, June 5, 2011 at 1:49 am Link to this comment

Good Grief! China as a shining example of enlightened thought and Majority Common Population based government!!!

Do you actually read what your write? How the hell do you expect anyone to ever take anything you say seriously when you post crap like this??

Well MarthaB, if China is heavily into sublated x=x unity of balance dialectic, then I certainly want nothing whatsoever to do with the shit, so you can stop including my name in your lecture notes and reprimand posts.

And Henry Kissinger…. what were you thinking?

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, June 4, 2011 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

Actually, I detect a great variety of thought coming out of both ancient and modern China, rather than some sort of monolithic wisdom.  However, the fact that the modern Chinese sold us poisoned pet food and responded to our complaints by shooting one of the factory managers in charge of poisoned pet food production suggests to me that, as a political entity, they are somewhat less enlightened than I would like them to be.  So my favorite Chinese is the guy standing in front of the tanks.  But—surprise!—no one knows what happened to him, but he isn’t around any more.  There are a whole lot of people in jail there, however, apparently for talking out of turn.  I guess they’re the lucky ones.  Or maybe not.

As for Kissinger, I really don’t have time to look at and listen to the ugly old war criminal.  Can his wisdom possibly be boiled down to a few choice nuggets?  My cats can do this.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, June 4, 2011 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

One of our greatest problems is the imbalance going on perpetrated by the top 10% and their cronies and partners in education, entertainment, military, press etc. Until that imbalance is addressed we will lose the remnants of our Republic just from that imbalance alone. Without a shot being fired.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, June 4, 2011 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment

John Best, June 4 at 6:49 am, also Gary Mont, Anarcissie and all of
a like mind:

The problem in reality, is the same as the problem addressed and
exhibited in YOUR posts, that of getting caught up in sophism,
rather than seeking a unity of equal balance; the problem is
structuralism
vs. gestalt causality.

I suggest you work long and diligently upon understanding what
billions of Chinese have known for thousands of years; I feel
certain for some reason, that if you try long and hard that you and
your ilk may be able to understand, but if you can’t, you might
want to consider the value of all of your dialogue on this Truthdig
forum, and whether or not anyone would want to listen to one
who claims to be too simple minded to grasp what billions of
Chinese have known for thousands of years.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, June 4, 2011 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

John Best, Gary Mont, Cliff Carson, Anarcissie and
anyone else struggling to understand a unity of
equal balance in dialectic that the Chinese have
been using for thousands of years:

A discussion on China with Henry Kissinger:
http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/8740

Think of thought and language as
moment to moment consideration of NO
Way, WRONG Way, and WAY; this is the first
three dimensions
of thought and language.

For the fourth dimension of language
there are two options; the first is ideological
definition
, a singular device that is known as
sophist definition; the second is that of
cause and effect, causality, a
beginning, and end, and all points in between,
x=x sublation that is a unity of equal balance.

According to Henry Kissinger, the Chinese have
been using the equivalent of an x=x sublated
unity of balance in their thought and language
for thousands of years as the fourth
dimension
of their language and America has
used structural ideological sophist
definition
for the term of its existence.

The Chinese Model brings elements of thought
and language together into causal unity.

The American Model separates elements of
thought and language into structurally
isolated elements of sophism.

According to Kissinger, this schism between
Chinese and American thought and language has
created a breakdown in communications
between China and America that, if not
addressed in a meaningful way, will most
probably lead to war.

If x=x sublation in thought and language that
reflects a unity of equal balance is so hard for
Americans, that it is impossible to comprehend,
why is it that, according to Henry Kissinger, the
Chinese have been using the system for
thousands of years?— I suggest that you all
think about this long and hard, because the
problem exists within “you people,” and the
flawed American Model of thought and language
that resolves itself down to nothing more than
organized sophism.

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Gary Mont's avatar

By Gary Mont, June 4, 2011 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

John Best:...the fact that we do not consider what is a waste of resources and what is not is helping those who do planned obsolescence, slash and burn environmental practices…

To accomplish such a feat it would first be necessary to reinstate honesty as policy.

For instance, the production and distribution of flavoured, cafienated, sucrose waters to children is likely the single greatest factor in childhood disorders and diseases, but you can’t get anyone to investigate this industry as its too rich to touch.

Any findings that show real cause and effect are immeditely drowned out in a flurry of fake science and conttradictory claims paid for by the industry and dutifully repeated ad infinitum by its paid minions in the media.

Apparently, the CIA uses Coca Cola as its front shop world-wide, as it has as much power as any government entirely due to its wealth and favored position under the fed’s protection.

While this industry creates huge yearly profits, it does so entirely at the expense of the society’s health and is thus in my opinion totally detrimental to the society in which it thrives.

Without the ability to investigate such operations honestly and shut them down once a determination has been reached that they cause more harm than good, the whole idea of eliminating wasteful and anti-productive processes is never going to begin.

Another example would be the banksters who caused the global economic meltdown. It has now been shown that the people who took the greatest risks and got the gretest bail-outs, were also the ones who spent the most money lobbying government to eliminate the regulations that used to keep them in check.

These people will get off scott free and will get raises in pay rather than fines or time in prison for their efforts. What possible laws could be brought to bear against such waste when the federal government itself protects them?

The drug war is another hole in the ocean the fed uses as an excuse to tax the hell out of the nation.

Really just a war on Cannabis, the drug war costs millions of times more than it pretends to alleviate in drug abuse costs.

Drug abuse is a medical problem anyways and should have nothing to do with the fed.

It would have to be ended immediately - the laws of prohibition would need to be erased entirely from the law books and the fed permanently and legally prevented from ever participating in any sort of moral or medical prohibition process ever again.

If these sort of things cannot be accomplished then the idea of eliminating resource waste and detrimental operations is impossible.

Without honest evaluations, none of this can be considered as anything short of a pipe dream. Honesty is definitely not a part of the modern federal government, which instead depends on confusion and the belief that there is no right answer to anything.

Personally, I think the elimination of the fed would be the single best first move that America could make. It is the best example of the greatest expense for the least return possible and in fact, may turn out to be the primary source of almost all of America’s problems.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, June 4, 2011 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

It occurred to me long ago that, except for vernacular production, the interactions and interrelationships of workers and those who supply, support, protect or tolerate them are so complicated they can’t possibly be unwound to some formula deciding which one has been most productive, meritorious, creative, and so on.  Later I was told that Kropotkin had preceded me with a similar observation, and we two are not alone.  The idea that people are rewarded in capitalism for productivity is totally a fiction. 

Actually anyone who has worked in a major corporation with functioning eyes, ears and mind knows this, although the more successful at office politics often pretend not to.

Liberalism actually sidesteps the issue of righteous distribution; instead of trying to determine who has produced what, the fruits of production are divided up according to prior agreement, possibly adjusted during the productive process.  The agreements, of course, tend to favor those who can bring the most wealth, social status, tradition, personal connections, persuasive talents, and possibly force and fraud to bear on the question.  Yet in theory it is at least abstractly voluntary, which seems to satisfy the liberal mind.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, June 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

Cliff Carson, June 3 at 8:36 pm:

Why choose to deny a philosophy that you appear to espouse?  Even though you say you don’t agree with Nozick, your words and actions belie you. ...

Well, for one thing, I believe the only just distribution is a communist distribution, which puts me somewhat at odds with the liberal Nozick.  But as for my actions, what actions are you talking about?

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, June 4, 2011 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment

I’m actually not suggesting that any algorithm be devised to determine pay based on productivity or contribution…...rather, I’m proposing much more general awareness of the capital wasted by pursuits that are not only un-productive, but counterproductive. 

The general awareness just allows the market to work a little better. 

I strongly agree with limiting the amassing of personal and corporate wealth.  This dovetails nicely with what I propose.  Currently, the argument that is made is: we need this extreme earning potential to motivate people.  BS.  If you need unlimited potential to motivate, you’re motivating the most greedy to keep exercising their power as it is accumulated, including the usuries you mention. 

It is very possible to attain a nice level of luxury at a far more modest level, and the excess, taxed of course,  is re-directed to strengthening the social fabric, the underlying education and health of the population that makes any wealth possible.  No argument. 

But please re-consider…...the fact that we do not consider what is a waste of resources and what is not is helping those who do planned obsolescence, slash and burn environmental practices,  usury based financial practices, ultra-speculative (paper) investing, etc.  I offer that inadequate consideration of utility allows the sort of brain dead consumerism which fuels the system of concentrating wealth.

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Gary Mont's avatar

By Gary Mont, June 4, 2011 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

Note:

Please forgive the numerous typos and errors in my posts, but I find that by Submitting without Previewing, I somehow manage to bypass whatever causes my posts to fail, regardless of the size of my post. It appears I’m becoming dyslexic with age!!

Even when I get a timed out browser page, the post is published properly if done without Previewing first.

I do on-the-fly proof-reading, but miss a few here and there.

Some day, I’ll consider using the auto-spell-check. smile

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Gary Mont's avatar

By Gary Mont, June 4, 2011 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

And as a side-note, in a system based on capitalism, no mmatter how well its hidden behind other labels, there is no way to escape the rich vs poor syndrome.

Once a man becomes somewhat wealthy, he is better able to provide the sort of education for his children that will make it easier for them to become wealthy, plus his own wealth can open doors for his children that simply are not available to those without wealth.

In other words, wealth itself changes the playing field, such that any fairness originally planned, is eliminated.

Wealthy people can re-direct opportunity away from the poor, towards their own offspring, insuring greater numbers of opportunities and greater ability to utilize them, than can be had by the poor.

The only way to avoid this is to eliminate wealth altogether. And that, according to every individual I’ve ever met, is utterly impossible.

The only other way and the way that has been successfuly used, is legal limits on personal and corporate wealth. This leaves the drive for wealth in place and of course retains all the privileges and opportunities and bonuses for the wealthy as they today possess, but eliminates a great deal of the ability to alter the laws limiting wealth by buying politicians and hiring armies of lawyers.

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Gary Mont's avatar

By Gary Mont, June 4, 2011 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

I’m afraid that as soon as you start to base social value on the work ethos based productivity, you end up playing into the same old problem of who decides whether a rich man who spends 8 hours a day managing his money is more productive than a man who digs ditches for 8 hours a day.

It is simply impossible to quantify productivity and in my opinion, a pointless effort. Does a philosopher, or artist produce anything of real value? Is the manufacturer of toxic children’s candies more productive than the producer of healthy vegetables?

Its a sitaution that cannot be defined by any complex algorythm and is not necessary in the first place.

All that is needed is a limit to personal and corporate wealth atteched to laws that insure there are no loopholes for hiding wealth and other immutable laws that prevent the first laws from being changed.

We used to have the first two - limits through taxation backed by laws that prevented shady off-shore stashes and phony financial hording, but we never had any rules against changing those laws and the wealthy found that loophole and exploited it to death and voila - we have the modern day economic situation.

Limiting wealth held by individuals and corporations has worked very well, but without restrictions on lawyers and politicans against their altering such laws, they’re simply hired crooks waiting for a job.

No man needs 2 billion dollars. No corporation needs to earn 47 billion dollars a year. There simply is no rational excuse for possessing that sort of capital.

Moreover, when any one individual or corporation holds that sort of wealth, they invariably stash it away to earn usury interest, which causes an equal depletion in the free capital usable by everyone else.

Eliminate usury entirely and you eliminate one of the primary causes of financial foolishness - Money Out Of Circulation should simply never earn money and in fact, should be taxed heavily.

Worse, once an individul or corporation finds themselves in possession of more wealth than they can spend, they will inevitably begin toi use that wealth to make their ability to earn more money stronger, by attempting to change the laws that prevent greater profiteering. This is the nature of the beast.

The term currency is based on the idea of current or flow, and so currency should not be stashed or stopped from circulating through the social system beyond momentary storage prior to re-distribution.

If you base personal value on productivity, you literally condemn some individuals to poverty for life, unless you include 100% free education for every child and eliminate prvate schools for the wealthy.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, June 4, 2011 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

Anarchisse & Cliff,
Perhaps we might look at the problem as not being rich vs. poor.  I maintain that the problem is productive vs. unproductive.  The unproductive (rich and poor) form knowing and unknowing alliances to keep the productive from thinking in these terms. 

Who is ‘carrying their water’, and producing what or more than they consume? 

Certainly people of absolute leisure, who expend no effort are unproductive, this includes everyone from Paris Hilton types ‘down’ to the welfare mother / absent-deadbeat father.  The other end of the extreme might be say, Warren Buffet, who works diligently to be sure his capitol is producing ‘real’ (non paper) returns, and of course, the ‘average working stiff’, who does the blue-collar heavy lifting and production work, agriculture, mining, timber. 

Of course the situation again becomes marvelously complicated when we look at all the shades of gray between ‘productive’ and ‘unproductive’. 

We get caught up in these clever and convenient rich vs. poor arguments, and the value system is geared toward rewarding favors on this basis.  For example, if a rich guy is going to get ‘cut some slack’ in the courts, it would be better if he were favored less if his occupation were casino owner, rather than an owner of a vertically integrated french fry manufacturing operation. 

In my simple world view, this is a basic and age-old problem.  We need to have a diverse robust society, which means production capacity among other things.  And I’m not talking about producing luxury yachts for the rich and cheap toxic plastic toys for the poor kids at Christmas.  I’m talking about high quality food, energy, durable housing, durable necessities, the basics.  Of course, education to keep improving our capability, and medical technology and health awareness to keep people healthy, and productive.  Stuff people individually and collectively need, not want, need, and built to have a long service life.  To me, this underlying ability to make the stuff that keeps life decent.

In any case, you could slice through all the worldwide crap, and look at the misery that comes from greed, and corruption as having its roots in the simple laziness and selfishness of trying to acquire much more of the productivity of society that to which one can legitimately lay claim. 

Think of the religions, the ideologies, the marketing, the packaging, the posturing, the systems that go into this age-old charade. 

Anarchisse, you might want to consider “....some kind of tension, between the notion of freedom and the institutionalization of coercive force which is central to government.” in light of what I just wrote.  I maintain that the force I just described…...trying to avoid legitimate productivity…....is the basic cause of perversion and mis-use of the force of government.  I have to wonder if indeed large governments could be more as envisioned by the enlightenment thinkers, and pointing toward Scandanavia, I’d say, yes.  They redistribute wealth in a way that creates educated competitive hard working people who are committed toward supporting those who legitimately can not.  And they certainly have their wealthy, but their wealthy carry their own weight and pay for what they have been so lucky as to prosper from…....a strong and robust productive society.  Hubris is properly scorned in these societies.  Productivity is understood and nurtured. 

But back to Chris Hedges land, and ‘Resistance’......I’m of the opinion that unless we get a broader understanding of the importance of properly rewarding productivity, and simultaneously, dis-incentivizing wastes of productivity, that we are not really going to solve the real problems.

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By Cliff Carson, June 3, 2011 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment

Why choose to deny a philosophy that you appear to espouse?  Even though you say you don’t agree with Nozick, your words and actions belie you. 

Nozick argues that natural advantages that the well off enjoy do not violate anyone’s rights and therefore have the well off have a right to them.

Do you endorse the following quote?:

“All men are by nature equal, made all of the same earth by one Workman; and however we deceive ourselves, as dear unto God is the poor peasant as the mighty prince”.

Natural advantages! Gives you more rights? One natural advantage of the elite is favoritism
in any court.  That doesn’t violate my rights?

Since you say you don’t agree with Nozick and you say you want to point me in the right direction - toward those to blame, why didn’t you just say that those to blame for the immoral and corrupt Society we must contend with daily is the Rich and Powerful?

Instead you make me have to go read up Nozick to see what you are talking about.

This is what I had been writing about, but I think I put it in very plain English.  Please use simpler English when you address us Peons.

I get a crick in the neck from all this looking up.

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By Anarcissie, June 3, 2011 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment

Well, there is certainly a contradiction, or at least some kind of tension, between the notion of freedom and the institutionalization of coercive force which is central to government.

Now, if you want the libertarian argument, you can’t do better than Nozick’s Anarchy, State and Utopia.  You can find the entire text on web sites for free, plus there are some good précis of the work.  I recommend the full text, though; it is an example to us all of clarity and economy.

I don’t agree with Nozick philosophically, but you seem to be taking me for one of his tribe; therefore, take this as a signpost moving you down the road to the folks you actually want to get after.  While Nozick has passed on to the great big libertopia in the sky, people who think as he does are legion, readily available to be argued with or put down, as may be your choice.  Some even pop up on this web site from time to time.

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By Cliff Carson, June 3, 2011 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie

You seem to think that the desire for Freedom and the desire for Government sponsored Taxpayer Social Programs are mutually exclusive.

They are not.

First, I am sure that those who do not desire freedom are very rare in number and I am equally sure that those who desire that a Social Program that benefits themselves in their time of need are vast in number.  Social Security and Medicare was a Social Contract between the people and their Government.  Yet you disdainfully declare these members of the public as leaches of the “Good”  Americans.  Sounds Tea Party.

Pay attention:  The people who draw Social Security and Medicare have kept their end of the bargain.  It is the Government that has not.  This fact does not mean that the people drawing these benefits are some kind of welfare parasites.

For your information they haven’t cost you or people like you one dime.  These benefit receivers have paid Trillions of Dollars over the years in EXCESS of what they have drawn.

You are letting the real thieves off the hook.  The thieves are those in Government who have made off with those excess Trillions. And the people who blame it on the receivers of the benefits are nothing more than enablers of the thieves.  Enables of a crime can truthfully be named as accessories to the crime.

Why do you continually blame Social Security recipients and Medicare policyholders as those who are unworthy of drawing what they have earned?

Shame on you.  You should be raising hell about the Trillions of dollars the Government has stolen - from you as well as me.

You seem to parrot the Republican Line that only the Rich and Powerful are worthy.  Do you really believe your spiel?  Or are you just a Party First partisan?

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By Anarcissie, June 3, 2011 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

John Best, June 3 at 5:29 am:

‘... Suppose we put aside the ‘welfare program’ the one originally designed to help those who couldn’t ‘pull their own weight’, and out of a sense of decency, we set up this ‘welfare’ program.  Never-mind how good or bad it is, let’s put it aside or give it another name, OK? ...’

I think the main function of that kind of Welfare (which I usually distinguish by capitalizing the W) is to guarantee a certain kind of environment for the middle and upper classes.  They don’t want hordes of destitute losers begging in the streets, commit crimes, and spreading disease and rebellion around.  Spending a certain amount of money to mitigate the desperation of the poor is prophylactic, like the provision of sanitary sewers and the collection of garbage.  (Sometimes the poor are collected as well, as when they’re homeless, and concentration camps are provided for them.)

More broadly, that sort of welfare, along with the public-health measures, and the other things I mention, like Social Security, unemployment insurance, Medicare, and so on, could, in theory, be provided privately, as some libertarians, at one end of the liberal spectrum, argue it should be.  (See Nozick’s Anarchy, State and Utopia.)  After all, in liberalism the freedom of the individual and his control of his private property are paramount values.  On the other hand, two centuries of experience have given most liberals an appreciation of having the government perform a good many welfaristic functions.  In addition, many religions adhered to by the liberal populace, such as Roman Catholicism, Judaism and Islam, more or less command that these functions be performed by the state (as an agency of the people); they are not a matter of arbitrary individual choice.

So I think the argument about social welfare between liberals (broad meaning of the term) about both aid to the destitute and other measures like unemployment insurance, Social Security, public education and so forth, are about one general question—the extent to which these functions are to be performed by the government, by some other part of the state, or by private individuals.  This reflects a basic paradox in liberalism, the desire to have a social organization that protects one’s individual private property and other rights—that agency being the government—and the desire for freedom.

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By Gary Mont, June 3, 2011 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

Thnak you very much for that link John.

http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm

It says so much in so few words about what is most frustrating in these blogs, that I feel somewhat light headed after reading the thing. An excellent guideline for all of us who care about communications and an excellent description of the methodology used by so many who wish only to impress and decieve.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, June 3, 2011 at 5:29 am Link to this comment

Anarchisse, you are drilling down into good stuff by picking this apart.  I’ve combined two of your statements, substituting your evolving definition of ‘social welfare’.

“....most liberals have thought that moderate redistributional taxation in the interests of” - “
poor relief, unemployment insurance, subsidized public housing and rentals, Social Security (disability, old age, dependent), Medicaid, ‘socialized’ medicine, and so on”

Suppose we put aside the ‘welfare program’ the one originally designed to help those who couldn’t ‘pull their own weight’, and out of a sense of decency, we set up this ‘welfare’ program.  Never-mind how good or bad it is, let’s put it aside or give it another name, OK? 

‘Social’ ‘welfare’. 

Gary: One of my favorite quotes: “1984 was a warning, not a recipe”  This essay hits the mark: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm

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By Anarcissie, June 2, 2011 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

Cliff Carson, June 2 at 11:36 am:

Agree we need that definition of “welfare”.

Anissee lumped Social Security and Medicare in with things she said were “paid for by taxpayers”.

First, hopefully everything is paid for by taxpayers since the only Money Government has is “taxpayer” money. ... etc. ...

I’m speaking above within the liberal ideological framework where people have distinct private property and the government taxes their income or their property holdings, thereby getting money which it spends on things like poor relief or old-age pensions (among other things).  In this system money is generally held to reliably represent some sort of value.

In my view things are a bit different.  The questions of who owns what, who has power over stuff and services, and so on, are pretty complicated.  There are many levels and partitions of ownership and control (a good example being one of those mortgaged houses that figured so prominently in the Great Meltdown.)  And our money is pretty much a convenient fiction which the government creates and destroys in the twinkling of an eye.  I won’t go into all that here.  If we’re talking about social welfare as we usually do we’re in the liberal world, the liberal framework.  At least, that’s how I’m thinking of it.

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By Cliff Carson, June 2, 2011 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

Agree we need that definition of “welfare”.

Anissee lumped Social Security and Medicare in with things she said were “paid for by taxpayers”.

First, hopefully everything is paid for by taxpayers since the only Money Government has is “taxpayer” money.

But Anissee did you mean that “Paid for by taxpayers” really is “Welfare”?  If so you need to take out Social Security and Medicare since for years and years they have paid in more than they have received from the Government?  Amounting into the $Trillions of dollars stolen by our Government - surely you don’t mean these two programs are
Welfare?

If you do, you need to do some serious research.

I am not a Liberal nor a Conservative.  I like to think I am my brothers keeper in his time of need.

Do you believe that the parable of the good Samaritan has any use or should it be removed from the bible?

I don’t ask this to be argumentative, I know someone who is a Deacon in his church who will tell you in a heartbeat that ALL people should take care of themselves - if they can’t it is because of their poor decisions.  And he says we should nuke the Middle East except for Israel of course.

Would it surprise you to know that he is a loudly avowed Republican?

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By Gary Mont, June 2, 2011 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie:This can be something of a problem because as Orwell observed in the appendix to 1984, if you can’t talk about something (because the vocabulary is missing or obscured) it’s hard to think about it.

In a way, I think that Orwell’s book is as much a blueprint for the fascists current agenda as PNAC.

(Conquest was probably the original word at the end of that title).

Methinks it might be time to re-read both.

What really puts me at odds however, is the fact that the fascists hire the brightest of today’s youth to do the actual think-tank methodology for ruining the language for them, and these kids would very likely be anything but fascist in nature, just young and loving the income the job earns them.

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By Anarcissie, June 2, 2011 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

Gary Mont—I’ve thought of preceding everything I write with a list of definitions, but no one would read either it or whatever else I wrote.  (Maybe that would be for the best.)  Consider how long it would have to be.  It’s not just that meanings have changed, but that (as you observe in the case of conservative, they are so often used in a loose, incoherent, and self-contradictory way.

This can be something of a problem because as Orwell observed in the appendix to 1984, if you can’t talk about something (because the vocabulary is missing or obscured) it’s hard to think about it.

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By Gary Mont, June 2, 2011 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

Truth is, almost every politically active phrase has undergone massive alteration over the last thrity years and it has literally become necessary to include a glossary of terminology in order to clarify the meanings of the terms used.

Fascists care nothing for political terms since their whole agenda is 100% commercial. They can use any version they might need at any time and because they all understand that they’re just lying anyway, it simply doesn’t matter what the terms mean.

Liberal, Conservative, Socialism, all have new meanings, nearly diametrically opposed to their originals, re-designed over decades by fascist fifth columnists to confuse those who consider honesty a necessary part of debate.

For instance, Conservatives actually want more than anyone else to exploit and use up the natural resources of earth as fast as possible. Why they are called Conserv-atives is no longer obvious.

It might be pertinent to come up with very short terminology descriptions to place at the head of a posting to explain in advance what the term you use menas. Otherwise, you’re stuck with everyone using the most recent douible-speak version of the term when they read something like the word “liberal”.

Pain in the ass, but probably going to be necessary anyway when the oposition is willing to deceive at every opportunity.

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By Anarcissie, June 2, 2011 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

By ‘social welfare’ I refer to such as poor relief, unemployment insurance, subsidized public housing and rentals, Social Security (disability, old age, dependent), Medicaid, ‘socialized’ medicine, and so on, administered by government and paid for out of taxes.  One might possibly include things such as free public education and subsidized public transportation.  I don’t know what MarthaA means by ‘sublated unity of balance x = x’ and I don’t feel like getting into it just now.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, June 2, 2011 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

Anarchisse, “social welfare” is one of those phrases that means different things to different people.  You know what you mean…..I know what I think you mean….....Ardie, Night-Gaunt, Gary Mont and Cliff know what they think you mean.  MarthA knows for certain it does not mean “sublated unity of balance x=x”.

What do you mean…..“social welfare”?

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By Anarcissie, June 1, 2011 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

I think most liberals have thought that moderate redistributional taxation in the interests of social welfare was reasonable, even Hayek and von Mises, beloved by today’s libertarians.  Or so I’ve been told—I haven’t really pored over their works, I’m afraid.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, May 31, 2011 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, Great advice: “Don’t feed the trolls and albatrosses.”  What set her off was my use of the word ‘balanced’.  Sorry.  Apparently it triggers the “unity of balance x=x reaction”.  Well, since she’s been fed, here’s an article that I’d been meaning to point Anarchisse toward, but have held off for fear of upsetting the ‘unity of balance’ machine.
http://www.liepie.com/grannys-blog/148-thomas-jefferson-liberal-menace
Peace all.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 31, 2011 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment

Talking about abstractions just muddies the waters of clarity. One needs to speak clearly and unambiguously on matters of today that are important not only in the matters of truth but in understand. Name calling isn’t the way to gain interest, just operates as a major turn off. Any who do so only become disruptive, not helpful no matter their intent.

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By MarthaA, May 31, 2011 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

“I mean, we had the age of enlightenment, and instead of the decent folk
evolving to ‘dominate’ the world in a balanced mindful
way, it appears the ‘nasties’ have a culture which contains
evolutionary advantages.”
—John Best, May 31 at 11:58
am

It is interesting to note that YOU reject an x=x sublated unity of
equal balance with regard to dialectic and sophism, and then whine
on this thread about a “balanced mindful way”,  HOW is it that you
hope to achieve a “balanced mindful way” by rejecting the use of an
x=x sublated unity of equal balance in sophistry and dialectic?

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By Cliff Carson, May 31, 2011 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

To Gary Mont and John Best

Right on!

I am pasting four quotations that I know the author of two and don’t of the other two.

They seem to be appropriate here.

“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey that no one can take for us, or spare us.  Marcel Proust

“When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing more to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.
Plato

“The law will never make men free; it is men who have got to make the law free

“Every war… with all its ordinary consequences… the murder with the justifications of its necessity and justice, the exaltation and glorification of military exploits, the worship of the flag, the patriotic sentiments… and so on, does more in one year to pervert men’s minds than thousands of robberies, murders, and arson s perpetrated during hundreds of years by individual men under the influence of passion.

And to make matters worse in the last few days China has given the United States a warning that an attack on Pakistan will be considered an attack on China.

The Pentagon has answered back that a Cyber attack on U S vital interests will be a Declaration of war.

The game of chicken is being ramped up and if we people don’t start getting rid of the War crowd in our Government we may get to participate in the last war on earth.  “The War to end All Wars” .  No survivors.

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By MarthaA, May 31, 2011 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

The Middle Class, Gary Mont, are doing an excellent job,
with regard to your May 31 at 2:21 pm post.

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By Gary Mont, May 31, 2011 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

The last comment may or may not have posted properly. My browser timed out again.

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By Gary Mont, May 31, 2011 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

John Best:I wonder if previous cultures recognized this nasty trait and tried in any way to warn the next rise of civilization?  Easter island?  Ancient Egypt?  I’ll bet there’s something that survives from Roman times, or perhaps small city-state situations of the Renaissance.  Likely when a civilization burns out, no-one has the leisure or means to write something with adequate persistence or ‘find ability’.

This may not be exactly heartwarming, but methinks this be the first civilization in human history that has a basically educated peasantry.

Even the lowliest of our city peons today has a rudimentary knowledge of reading and wriiting, although the powers that be are definitely trying very successfully to stop that in its tracks.

While the last 2-3 decades have definitely seen a dramatic increase in illiteracy and plain stupidity, it is, I believe, a 100% institutionalized process being induced into civilization for precisely the reason I posit here:

That this civilization has a better chance of retaining knowledge about basic science and math and literature and general thought stuff, than any other civilization in the whole of human history, after an elite initiated dark age has been manufactured and runs its course.

In the past, once the wealthy barricaded themselves behind the walls of their mountain fortresses and began sending their tame troops into the land to terrorise and kill the peasants, complete savagery could be accomplished in just a generation or two.

Using the oldest trick in the book - Join the terrorizing army and torment and slay peasants, or remain a peasant and be tormented and killed - the only peasants to retain a modicum of intellectual undrstanding in the past, were the tamed troops of the wealthy, who owed loyalty and life to their liege lords.

This time it will take a tremndous effort on the part of the Elite to bring the peasntry all the way down to savagery methinks. They will need all their hi-tech toys, just to keep the necessary tame troops in line.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, May 31, 2011 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

..........biological chemistry, genetics, nano-technology, space-age surveillance technology, computerized prediction technology….......  To play Devils advocate…...what are you going to do with a population that simply cannot evolve so as to live within it’s means?  I mean, we had the age of enlightenment, and instead of the decent folk evolving to ‘dominate’ the world in a balanced mindful way, it appears the ‘nasties’ have a culture which contains evolutionary advantages. 

No doubt, this is a battle between philosophical organisms comprised of individual people.  The philosophy, TAO Walkers ‘disease’ which wins the most converts has a reproductive advantage and therefore dominates. 

I think you are right Gary…..“Oh there’s a change a-coming alright.”  The only way I see to avoid it, and perhaps it’s too late, is to plant “retro-viral ideas”.  Lacking any use of the media, this is going to be damn near impossible. 

Ardee, I am jealous about that fishing trip.  I used to do a lot of white water canoeing, so I know what you mean by “awe at how very beautiful our planet remains”, but sorry to be a buzz kill, unfortunately, there is a lot of very ugly shit that is invisible.  Perhaps our best case scenario is that the coming population die-off will cause us to lose the nasty technologies Gary mentions.  I’d hope the ‘culture of nastiness’ that would sanction using those technologies would die too, but it’s a persistent gene in homo sapiens.

I wonder if previous cultures recognized this nasty trait and tried in any way to warn the next rise of civilization?  Easter island?  Ancient Egypt?  I’ll bet there’s something that survives from Roman times, or perhaps small city-state situations of the Renaissance.  Likely when a civilization burns out, no-one has the leisure or means to write something with adequate persistence or ‘find ability’.

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By MarthaA, May 29, 2011 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment

What you are saying, then, Anarcissie, is that you define
Liberalism by way of sophist definition; in this manner, Thomas
Jefferson, a slaver, who enslaved his own children can be defined
as a Liberal.

A Liberal that is defined as a Liberal by sophist definition is NOT
constrained to Liberal behavior, thus Thomas Jefferson could be
determined to be a Liberal and Capitalism can be determined to be
Liberal.

However, with regard to an x=x sublated unity of balance, so that
Liberalism can be quantified and logically balanced against a
STANDARD of what Liberal is, neither Thomas Jefferson nor
Capitalism can be determined to be Liberal.

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By Gary Mont, May 29, 2011 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie:...some kind of fundamental change will have to occur.

Oh there’s a change a-coming alright.

I’m afraid its already in progress and according to the histroy of the earth, it will be a return to the most common situation noted throughout human history, repressive exploitation of the masses by a few incredibly evil men and women, this time using biological chemistry, genetics, nano-technology, space-age surveillance technology, computerized prediction technology, and a myriad other hi-tech tools.

This is the normal state of things on earth. Periods of enlightenment are essentially non-existence in comparison to the periods of feudal, fascist, dictatorial tyrannies that make up about 99% of human history.

The world will be swept up in the corporate wars of population culling. Soldiers will once again believe they are waging war on a would be invader while the international corporate state sets up one race against the other again for fun and profit. Once a new global state of war is achieved, the international corporate state will have a free hand to execute the various programs developed in secret over the last fifty years, which they hope will seperate humanity into truly inferior slaves and truly superior masters.

A New Roman Era of Fuedal Chivalric Romance for the wealthy is their dream. It will fail of course, but not before they destroy the world’s civilzations once again in the effort. If any survive the new self inflicted Armageddon, we’ll start setting things up so we can do it all over again.

It is after all, the only game we know.

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By ardee, May 29, 2011 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, May 29 at 7:23 pm

Interesting and thought provoking idea, disregarding, of course, the interjection of Martha/Thomas who couldn’t find her intellectual ass with both hands in a well lighted room. Aside to Martha, keep making your lists like some demented Madam LaFarge. I would be insulted to be left off actually.

Back to Anarcissie You speak , I assume, to the industrialization of former colonial and exploited nations now becoming industrialized and competing in the marketplace with their former rulers. That you posit some startling new change seems to indicate a lack of understanding of exactly how capitalism works. Please forgive the assumption but it sort of sets up the rest of my argument. It also begs the question of whether all the emerging nations will choose said system, or resist the powerful suggestions of those kings of capitalism to join their club.

In a perfect world I would hope to see socialism come to the fore and be a barrier to the killer capitalistic methodologies that currently devour the weakest, eating their way up the pyramid ,so to speak, until the last remaining two fight to the death leaving one huge corporate entity ruling the planet.

I guess my love of science fiction is showing. Or perhaps, having just returned from the Columbia River Gorge, battling huge Sturgeon and being in a constant state of awe at how very beautiful our planet remains yet, I am given to flights of fancy..

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By Anarcissie, May 29, 2011 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

When I say ‘liberalism’ I mean the political philosophy written up by Locke, Jefferson, Mill, and so on, even unto our own era. 

The three cardinal principles of liberalism are life, liberty, and private property; but the greatest of these is private property.

Capitalism is the economic system of liberalism.

The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution are prime examples of liberal theory in political action.

In the modern world, there are many branches of liberalism, called by a variety of names, but practically all of them revere life, liberty, private property, the Bill of Rights, democracy, equal rights, the republican form of government, progress, self-actualization, individualism, personal responsibility, privacy, and so on, or at least they give these principles lip service.

I realize this is the poli-sci definition of liberalism, rather than the popular usage, but the popular usage is incoherent.

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By MarthaA, May 29, 2011 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

“Liberalism-capitalism is now reaching an interesting stage.”
Anarcissie, May 29 at 7:23 pm

In a word, the answer with regard to Capitalism, is
PRIVATIZATION.

By privatizing necessities that are currently readily available
markets can be established.

Those markets will require money from a workforce to buy back
the necessities privatized, and the fundamental change will
continue to be more and more privatization until there is nothing
left to privatize, but water and air, and then you will be forced to
work for privatized water and air as payment for your labor.

Do you, Anarcissie, perceive privatization of resources
by Conservatives on the level I have indicated to be Liberal?
——and, if so, how do you come to that conclusion? ——because
I do not find Liberal ideals to be connected to this Conservative
type of Capitalism, Conservatism, in any way.

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By Anarcissie, May 29, 2011 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

Gary—Liberalism-capitalism is now reaching an interesting stage.  Formerly, there was lib-cap and there was the rest of the world, in various states of social organization, which could be conquered and exploited in various ways.  Soon, however, there will be no ‘outside’ to lib-cap, no frontier, so to speak.  This stage is interesting because it means that some kind of fundamental change will have to occur.

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By MarthaA, May 29, 2011 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

What exactly is a troll?  Is a troll a Hard-Right or a Lite-Right
disruptor on a Left-Wing forum, Truthdig, for instance, a troll?———
or, is a Left-Wing contributor to Left-Wing dialog on a Left-Wing
blog, Truthdig, for instance, a troll?

I would submit that Right-Wing disruptors of the Hard-Right and
Lite-Right, such as Night-Gaunt and others such as
John or Tom Best, Gary Mont, Cliff Carson, Inherit The Wind,
OzarkMichael,
and all the rest are a more apt definition of
what a troll really is on a Left-Wing forum.

It is interesting that Hard-Right and Lite-Right trolls alike feel so
comfortable on this Left-Wing forum, Truthdig, that they make
reference to Left-Wing contributors to Truthdig’s Left-Wing forum
as trolls.

The atmosphere is entirely different on Right-Wing blogs; on
Right-Wing blogs the Left-Wing perspective and anyone
representing the Left-Wing perspective will be defenestrated in a
heart beat and quieted in a Right-Wing Hitleresque Fascist manner
reminiscent of Chrystal Night and totally denied a forum for
dialogue.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 29, 2011 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment

Don’t feed the trolls and albatrosses.

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By MarthaA, May 29, 2011 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

Since everything I talk about, Gary Mont, is easily
understood by other academics, and the only people that have a
problem with understanding what I say are those in the American
Populace
, I will make the assumption that you are culturally
deprived, ignorant, or stupid; you tell me which.

It is slow and tedious work counteracting the work of
Professor Charles Edward Merriam as outlined in his book,
“The Making of Citizens,”
because the kind of citizens that
were made in the Public School System are an aberrant
abomination of savant mind control that submerges independent
thought into savant acceptance of authoritative domination———I
am sorry to hear that you and your friends are a part of that
bunch——— I would rather dialogue with “you people” as
disingenuous sophists with the ability of independent thought,
than to know outright that you have been engineered by act and
deed to be Epsilon-Minus Semi-Morons and that you are
happy in the occupation of that position in society.

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By Gary Mont, May 29, 2011 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

Gary Mont: May 27 at 12:11 amYou really are a child pretending to be an adult right. You’re now going to have another massive tantrum - I can almost feel it coming.

Utterly predictable. A truly massive tantrum…

Where once there was a sense of annoyance, I am now simply disgusted by your childishness.

It will never occur to you WHY you have wasted a decade trying to get others to understand your magic formulae. Even after the people here have patiently expained it to you in great detail, it eludes you completely.

If you cannot put your magic formulae into sentences that others can understand, you will continue to spew meaningless phrases and the world will continue to wonder what on earth you’re mumbling about, no matter how many decades more you waste repeating these senseless claims.

Try screaming Help, in Cantonese, to a room full of Arabs and see how much help you get.

Your “sublated x=x unity of balance” makes as much sense as a “truncated pie=pie horde of bananas”.

Either learn how to talk to others in their own language or get used to being laughed at, ridiculed and rejected by everyone who is unfortunate enough to have to read your comments or listen to your claims.

Grow up and stop pretending its we who are failing your test of comrpehension.

To the rest of the forum - I promise, this was the last time I will waste my time and your space on this poster. My apologies.

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By MarthaA, May 29, 2011 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

Fascism is corporate governance with a religious face,
Leefeller, a way of using government to implement God’s
Will.

With regard to Adolph Hitler, Adolph Hitler was the preeminent
Fascist with regard to lesser Fascists of the Axis Powers of
Germany, Italy and Japan during the World War II Era, in this
regard Adolph Hitler was first, not as the first Fascist ever, but as
the preeminent Fascist in an era where many Fascists existed.

It would be well to understand that in today’s political Zeitgeist
that a Right-Wing Republican EXTREMIST and a World
War II Right-Wing Fascist
are the same thing, and bear in
mind what it is that is being enabled when Right-Wing
EXTREMIST Fascism
is condoned and tolerated as legitimate
political representation in American politics and leadership of the
government of the United States.

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By MarthaA, May 29, 2011 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

What is the meaning of “factual” sophism?———
NOTHING!!

Harping continually upon “factual” sophistry is nothing
more than engineered obfuscation of a unity of balanced interests
and benefit by way of singular ideological definition.

What is the meaning of “factual” obfuscation as
intentionally engineered sophistry to promote a false sense of
advantage?
———the meaning is that of propaganda that is
engineered for purposes of control and denial of benefit and
advantage
to those who follow without understanding———
the meaning is that of sophist propaganda to obfuscate x=x
sublation of a unity of balance.

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By MarthaA, May 29, 2011 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

Here we go again, Gary Mont with more harping in your
May 28 at 9:21 pm post on a Social Contract WITHOUT any
quantifiable means
of establishing benefit,
responsibility and breach of contract, and
enforcement authority other than sophism.

As I have said before, a Social Contract is meaningless other than
as an instrument of propaganda, unless a Social Contract contains
an x=x sublated unity of balance between the parties to the
contract that establishes class and cultural entities with duties,
responsibilities, obligations, and benefit clearly defined and
quantified relative to the other class and cultural entities that are
parties to the contract, so that Breach of Contract and contract
compliance can be determined and enforced by all parties to the
contract according to a relatively quantifyable measure of an x=x
sublated unity of balance accepted by all parties to the contract.

All else is self serving sophistry of the greedy and deluded, that
have both complex sophist ways and simple minded ways to
present meaningless gibberish as being meaningful.

I have been trying to get a unity of social balance understood by
the general population of the United States for nearly a decade
and I have tried many strategies in my efforts to do so; in this
regard, I genuinely feel that the general population pretend a lack
of awareness and disregard with regard to a balance of social
benefit between the three (3) main class and cultural entities and
resistance to their own best interest in the United States that is
mind staggering.

Over the years I have tried many ways of explaining the concept,
and my current approach, although the same in concept as in the
past, is more clearly defined based upon the work of G.W.F.
Hegel.  I have independent thought and explain because people
who don’t have independent thought are inclined to follow
authority, rather than best interest, and G.W.F. Hegel is clearly an
authority that admirably defines a means of attaining class and
cultural balance in society, although this was not the intent of his
work.

The problem with the Left is that the American Populace as a class
and culture is the 70% majority common population of the United
States, that is the Left, and that the Left always has the Middle
Class, the 20% minority population of toadies to the Aristocracy
always trying to lead the Left against the Left’s best interest, push
the Left over the cliff and sell the Left down the river for self
serving benefit from the American Aristocracy; this sick and sorry
relationship between the American Populace and the Middle Class
must end, and the American Populace must emerge as an
independent class and culture that relies upon itself, the 70%
MAJORITY Common Population of the United States that IS the
Left, rather than self serving control of constituents of the
American Populace, the Left, by the American Middle Class, a New
Class of self serving toadies on the Right, the American
Aristocracy, that occupy the space in the middle of the Left and the
Right, the American Populace and the American Aristocracy; a
class in the middle that is neither Left or Right
, a class in the
middle that are “middle class self serving toadies to the American
Aristocracy.”

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By MarthaA, May 29, 2011 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, May 29 at 6:47 am,

“* ‘The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the
upper hand, has put an end to all feudal,
patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn
asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man
to his “natural superiors”, and has left no other
nexus between man and man than naked
self-interest, than callous “cash payment”. It has
drowned out the most heavenly ecstacies of
religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of
philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of
egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal
worth into exchange value, and in place of the
numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has
set up that single, unconscionable freedom—Free
Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by
religious and political illusions, it has substituted
naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.’”
—Anarcissie, May 29 at 6:47 am Marx
Manifesto excerpt

*******

The bourgeoisie IS the Middle Class.

*******

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By MarthaA, May 29, 2011 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

When considering a Social Contract in this resistance campaign,
Gary Mont, one must consider just who the Middle Class
is, the Middle Class is the middle between The Left and The Right;
the Middle Class is NOT The Left; the Middle Class exists as the
zero point between The Left and The Right that panders to The
Right for benefit and presents a false sense of advantage to The
Left in pursuit of self serving benefit at the expense of The Left.

The American Populace, the 70% MAJORITY Common Population of
the United States as a class and culture is The Left, and The Left
will NOT be represented in the making and enforcing of legislated
law and order in the United States, unless The Left is represented
by the American Populace as a class and culture——it is not in the
best interest of the 20%  Middle Class to represent the best
interests of the 70% American Populace contrary to the best
interests of the Middle Class, and it is “NOT” going to
happen, never has and never will—past, present, or future.

This is something very important to consider in that so called Social
Contract that you and others on this thread continue harping
about.

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By MarthaA, May 29, 2011 at 8:47 am Link to this comment

“The one thing that doesn’t seem to exist in nature is the
atomized individual of liberalism.” —Anarcissie, May 28 at
6:32 pm

Anarcissie, with regard to your claims made regarding
Liberalism, Liberalism is one side of an x=x sublation of unified
balance between Liberalism and Conservatism, which is the same
as a balance between Creation and Conservation, which is also
the same as the x=x sublated unity of balance between Creation
and Chaos.

The best explanation that I know of with regard to the explanation
of the dichotomy between Liberal and Conservative is Ralph Waldo
Emerson’s, “The Conservative:”

http://www.emersoncentral.com/conservative.htm

To make a connection between Liberalism and
Capitalism, as you do in your post, is pure
SOPHISTRY, unless you can show how Capitalism
is connected to a unity of balance between
Creation and Chaos.

If you are trying to find a connection, from my
perspective, I would think that the Economic
Cycle of Privatized Capitalism would demonstrate
a causal connection between Creation
and Chaos that is fairly easy to document, don’t
you agree?

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By MarthaA, May 29, 2011 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

[Private]”“capitalism, have conquered or are conquering every
other ideology and economic system on earth.” “—Anarcissie,
May 28 at 6:32 pm

Anarcissie, with regard to your claims of capitalism
WITHOUT defining a unity of balance, x=x sublation of both the
community interests of social capital and socialized capitalism
BALANCED with the privatized interests of private capital and
privatized capitalism is nothing more than blatant sophism in
pursuit of self serving greed, at the expense of community
interests of society as a whole
, so that pedantic parsing of
structural aspects of sophism can obfuscate x=x sublation and
gestalt perception as a unity of balance between private and
community interests.

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By Gary Mont, May 29, 2011 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie:So what do you propose to replace liberalism and capitalism with, now that they’ve given us the modern world with all its goodies and problems?

I don’t really see replacement as a possibility. As your own comment points out in the quote, naked capitalism is the final stage of every form of government. Wealth, accumulated through whatever means, leads towards the gathering of forces which conspiree to rewrite the rules specifically to allow the mass unfettered exploitation of everything for pure profit. This appears to be an inevitability beyond repair through any system of government.

Even massive and apparently permanent legislation to limit the amount of capital any person or corporation can own, can be rewritten once those who desire freedom to steal legally gain enough power to buy their way into the legal system. As any good capitalist knows, all that is necessary is to fake an attack by an outside power and the people will willingly give up all their rights and freedom to a government that promises to protect them from the enemy at the gate. Using 9/11, the capitalists brought the USA to Fascism in less than a year.

If I had an answer to this problem I would offer it, but I am here in the hopes of learning how to solve this problem. So far as I can tell, the only obvious way is to somehow eliminate money itself as the be all and end all of human society.

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By Anarcissie, May 29, 2011 at 6:47 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie: “The one thing that doesn’t seem to exist in nature is the atomized individual of liberalism.  And yet liberalism and its economic system, capitalism, have conquered or are conquering every other ideology and economic system on earth.”

Gary Mont, May 28 at 9:11 pm:

‘The reason for this is quite simple. You have likely heard the term “Its just business.” and its corollary “Its my job.” These are socially acceptable methods capitalists have folded into civilization to allow men to be completely irresponsible and do horrendous things to others without guilt.’

That more or less goes along with Marx in the Manifesto*, but it’s a considerable condemnation of liberal values and practices which could be developed only by destroying the complex relations of feudalism.  So what do you propose to replace liberalism and capitalism with, now that they’ve given us the modern world with all its goodies and problems?

* ‘The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors”, and has left no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment”. It has drowned out the most heavenly ecstacies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom—Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.’

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By Cliff Carson, May 28, 2011 at 10:35 pm Link to this comment

You are right Tom Best

All Bills need to be written in simplistic language and the allowance of letting Bills refer to other statements in bills not even related to the one at hand is worse than stupid.  It is smart cover for the hiding of what is really in the bill.

When the first TARP was released I noticed that Banks outside the United States - Not U S Banks but Chinese Banks for example could be bailed out by the American Taxpayer, I wrote an article about it.  Many others (possibly millions) saw it also and complained.

Next thing you know the thing was completely rewritten and the fact that Foreign Banks could be bailed out by the U S Taxpayer still was in the bill, but no longer in clear concise English.  You had to now be able to find that needle in the haystack.

But at least you had a Government site to go find the bill and read it.  Just this year the Republican Party has announced that these sites are going to be shut down if the Republicans get their way -  “to save money they said”.

So if the Republicans get their way you will no longer be able to go get the bill on a Government site and read it.  And the Republican faithful stood and cheered.

Ignorance is curable, Stupidity is forever.  Lets just hope the Republican faithful are simply ignorant.

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By Gary Mont, May 28, 2011 at 9:21 pm Link to this comment

A social contract should lay down the limits of government, precisely. It is a working contract between the people and those elected to work for them in governing the nation. Its purpose is the construction of the job-description of governing and what it entails and what should be done if the hired help decides to take power into their own hands.

The Late Constitution of the USA literally states that the Federal Government should have been overthrow and legally dissolved by the People when GWBush stole the presidency - the first time.

I’m pretty sure that’s why he trashed it as soon as possible.

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By Gary Mont, May 28, 2011 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie:The one thing that doesn’t seem to exist in nature is the atomized individual of liberalism.  And yet liberalism and its economic system, capitalism, have conquered or are conquering every other ideology and economic system on earth.

The reason for this is quite simple. You have likely heard the term “Its just business.” and its corollary “Its my job.” These are socially acceptable methods capitalists have folded into civilization to allow men to be completely irresponsible and do horrendous things to others without guilt.

Capitalists know in advance that they will use whatever means seem necessary to get what they want and suffer no moral qualms when the methods include theft, murder, deception, war, or anything else that affects others detrimentally, so long as it brings in a profit.

After all, its only Business, not personal.

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By Gary Mont, May 28, 2011 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

This is me on Firefox.

Just Submitted the post again - over 1300 characters shy of limit - and got Page Not Found, so the problem or interference is universal, or at least ubiquitous.

Looks like I’ve been reduced to lurking and and making small talk only.

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By Gary Mont, May 28, 2011 at 8:49 pm Link to this comment

But strangest of all, is that I can sometimes post a copy/paste comment when its my first comment of the day. Everything after that will screw up royally though. The List is an example. Posted without a hitch.

When I tried to explain earlier today that the list was just a bare bones needing a great deal of refinement, it failed repeatedly and that comment was typed in. I’ll try it again now.

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By Gary Mont, May 28, 2011 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment

John Best:Careful though the 4000 word counter is screwed….it locks out cut and paste functions when you go over, a real PITA.  You might try firefox.

For me, it locks out Copy/pasted messages of more than 1000 characters or so - I haven’t done any fine tuning to determine the actual number, but every unaccepted post is under 4000 by a chunk. Although in truth, it sometimes just sends me to “The website cannot display the page HTTP 500” error page in IE. It doesn’t seem to time out like that in Firefox which I use about half the time.

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By Gary Mont, May 28, 2011 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment

John Best:Can you take your PC to a wireless access point with a different IP address for a test?  I once had the trouble you describe, but it mysteriously cleared up.

Actually, no. I’m living at the end of civilization where the twilight zone begins and it took almost 6 months to get this beasty hooked into the grid. We don’t even have a barber nearby - about a three mile walk from here actually. Only theater is about twice that far. Luckily, I’m a walker - never owned a vehicle of any sort, save a Peugot 10 Speed for a couple years till it was stolen.

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By Anarcissie, May 28, 2011 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

A fairly cogent criticism of the social contract idea is that the ties (businesses, affections, laws, customs) which bind one to a community do not constitute a contract in the legal sense of the word—the supposed contract is not voluntary and it is not made with informed consent.  It is a metaphor, and metaphors can be very stretchy as well as useful or convenient.

However, if one sees a community of living organisms as an organism itself (another dangerous metaphor!) which it does seem to appear to be, then the ties and obligations of the individual to it are even stronger and more binding.  Communities sometimes even command their members to die for them; no rational person would be very likely to enter into such a contract.

The one thing that doesn’t seem to exist in nature is the atomized individual of liberalism.  And yet liberalism and its economic system, capitalism, have conquered or are conquering every other ideology and economic system on earth.

Our political theories don’t generally seem to recognize, much less analyze, the way people feel about their attachments to their communities (often contradictory).  Hence the ignored tribal mode sometimes seems to burst out of nowhere and create a great deal of incomprehensible wreckage.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, May 28, 2011 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

Cliff, I apologize, I just poked around and located a few model sites without looking in-depth.  When bills are written with so many unrelated amendments, it’s impossible to assign a ‘decency factor’ to a politician. 

Anarchisse: “The implication would be that one needs to bring about changes in the underlying culture and matrix of social relationships”  Yes.  Masses of people, instead of thinking ‘every man for himself’, need to realize the power in numbers, and that survival itself depends on a sense of community.  We give to the community, we get from the community.  Despite the bad-mouthing of a ‘social contract’, (there are good ones, and bad copy-cats), such a ‘contract’, is just the common understanding of the basic group rules.  But I think it’s chicken-and-egg, and the ‘superficial’ stuff, like ‘medicare for all’, can and should be addressed in parallel.  They give the contract an example, tangible meaning, and teeth. 

Gary: Can you take your PC to a wireless access point with a different IP address for a test?  I once had the trouble you describe, but it mysteriously cleared up.  Careful though the 4000 word counter is screwed….it locks out cut and paste functions when you go over, a real PITA.  You might try firefox.

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By Gary Mont, May 28, 2011 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

It posted but I was sent to the same error page twice before I could get back here. Simply too much of a pain in the ass I’m afraid.

If its an external interference, its working. smile

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By Gary Mont, May 28, 2011 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment

As just happened this instant, even though the post actually published - this is the message in IE.

The website cannot display the page
HTTP 500
Most likely causes:
•The website is under maintenance.
•The website has a programming error.
What you can try:
Refresh the page.
Go back to the previous page.

=======================

As this was just copied and pasted, I’m interested in seeing if it will post.

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By Gary Mont, May 28, 2011 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

It also appears that copy and paste does not get registered by the letter counter, as it reads 4000 no matter the legth of the comment pasted into the edit box. When I first began posting here, I occassionaly got a Time Out - Website Not Found error from IE which caused the edit box to be empty upon returning to the page, so I got in the habit of copy and paste before posting.

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By Gary Mont, May 28, 2011 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

I’ve tried Internet Explorer and Mozilla FireFox and get the same results if I try and post lengthy comments. I’ve cleared my broswer cache and even rebooted my Vista to start with a fresh ram and base app set, with no effect. The problem only began a short while ago when the site transfered to a new server and I’ve been in contact with TruthDig since the first failed post.

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By MarthaA, May 28, 2011 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

Repost backwards, Gary Mont, that way we can read
what you posted that got kicked out.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 28, 2011 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

You are so dense MarthaA, and it shows again. You do like accusations don’t you? A regular robotic inquisitor.

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By Anarcissie, May 28, 2011 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

Gary—what’s your platform?  Others seem able to post lengthy screeds here.  Maybe there’s a problem on your end, like with your browser or something else in the chain.

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By Gary Mont, May 28, 2011 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

I now have a collection of 10 posts that cannot pass the Page Not Found Barrier. Not impressed.

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By Gary Mont, May 28, 2011 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

I do have to wonder however, precisely what mechanism is being employed to determine that I have written more than allowed, since these short messages post just fine.

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By Gary Mont, May 28, 2011 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment

Looks like another Page Not Found day for me…

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By MarthaA, May 28, 2011 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

I did not say that you are personally a Conservative.  I doubt
seriously you really are a conservative, even if you think you are,
Night-Gaunt, or any of the rest of you, but that doesn’t
mean that you don’t advocate a conservative agenda, because a
Social Contract is a Conservative Agenda to bamboozle the 70%
Populace Class into thinking they are going to receive some kind of
benefit, when the only classes that ever receive any real benefit are
the Aristocratic Class and the Middle Class that is right under the
Aristocratic Class, altogether only 30% of the entire population.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 28, 2011 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

The one thing I have never been called is a “conservative” now that just shows you disconnect.

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By MarthaA, May 28, 2011 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

I am seeing much being posted on this thread by John Best,
Cliff Carson, Gary Mont, Anarcissie,
and Night-Gaunt
that advocate Conservative Solutions WITHOUT BALANCE.

Those who have honorable intentions in the best interests of
society as a whole will seek a balance that is inclusive of ALL of
society as a whole, rather than exclusive for 30% of the
population of the United States, the Aristocracy and the Middle
Class.

The Social Contract that is being sought on this thread is NOT
inclusive
of the 70% majority American Populace Class of the
United States, other than as a work force of wage slaves who toil
as Epsilon-Minus Semi-Morons to maintain a living standard for the
American Aristocracy and the American Middle Class.

Most of what is being posted on this thread by John Best, Cliff
Carson, Gary Mont, Anarcissie,
and Night-Gaunt is
nothing more than ignoble and inglorious promotion of self serving
Social Contracts for the American Aristocracy and the American
Middle Class at the expense of the American Populace Class;———
otherwise, a declaration that inclusive balance is being sought,
rather than exclusive benefit, would not be a problem.

It is NOT a hard thing to say “Yes, we are in favor of balance in
societal benefit,” yet John Best, Cliff Carson, Gary Mont,
Anarcissie,
and Night-Gaunt on this thread will not
make that declaration any more than the Democratic Party or the
Republican Party will, and by so doing acknowledge the existence
of the American Populace as a Class and Culture.

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By Anarcissie, May 28, 2011 at 7:33 am Link to this comment

John Best, May 28 at 2:29 am:
’... Without the well-being of the underlying social fabric, it’ll lose all value. ...’

A classical-conservative view, and a rather reasonable one.  More generally, if a community is an organism rather than a machine, it can’t be fixed mechanistically by replacing this part with that part—for example, changing this law or that representative, which has generally been the liberal view.  For the classical conservative, every substantial change has to be worked through an organic, whole-system procedure.  The implication would be that one needs to bring about changes in the underlying culture and matrix of social relationships, rather than just the superstructure.

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By Cliff Carson, May 28, 2011 at 6:45 am Link to this comment

Thanks John

The Links do show the problem.  But no problem has ever been solved without a beginning.

The different ideas about a generic statement such as “Return to Constitutional Law” for example can be many different things to many different people.

And your link is an effort that needs input to refine its process.  For example if you noticed the author quoted a mean and a standard deviation on a few things and on a couple I looked at the the mean and the standard deviation were almost of the same value.  Any good statistician will look at the result and quite correctly state that there is no useful data in such a scatter. I noticed one where the Std Dev was less than 1% differentiated from the mean.  For those who don’t deal in in Statistics the meaning conveyed in such is “What I have compiled is akin to a random yes-no outcome and leaves me gaining no knowledge of any trend in the data set”.  In other words, a lot of work for nothing.

I believe you said you were an Engineer and so am I.  Even though I am retired I still provide consulting services and am always using statistical principles for projects whether it is to examine trends in processes or studies in Moments of Inertia or whatever, the fact is that properly drawn statistical data will always reveal a truth.

As to how congress votes if you have ever tried to track how voting goes on any given bill you know the difficulty there.  It is something I have done over the years and what I have found beyond doubt is deliberate obfuscation but at least you can draw some info.  The Government sites used to be helpful, for example I have used those sites to track both Bush and Obama’s record in signing statements.  That is an exercise in despair.
Those sites reveal that neither has any intention of upholding the law of the land but you already knew that simply by observation.  But at least the Government sites gave you a means to prove it instead of just “saying” it.

Comes that wonderful GOP this year and promises to shut down those sites “to save money” - pure bullshit smothered in honey.

I contacted most of the then 135 Independent Parties in 2004 and suggested to them the construction of a “Set of Principles” a short list obviously, and asked that the Independents form a “Coalition Party” based on a mutually agreed to set, no more than 10 broad basic tenets as the foundational basis.  I pointed out that if a Coalition Party could get 10% of either the Senate or the House they could truly influence the direction of our Government. 

But the various parties were more interested in talking rather than doing although some money groups did form some clandestine projects such as the one that spoke Independent but was a front for Bloomberg.  Or like the Modern day Tea Party - a Koch brothers project to further steal the American dream from the common man.

I have rambled enough.

The key to having freedom is the will to earn it.

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By MarthaA, May 28, 2011 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

Appearance can be deceiving, “Mein Kampf” was a social contract
with Germany’s people, which turned out not to be in the best
interest of Germany’s population, although it didn’t appear at the
time to be. 

A Social contract with a nation that is unable to be upheld by the
people of the greater majority is an exercise in futility.  How is it
expected that the greater majority, that is NOT REPRESENTED at
all, would be in any way able to hold those who violate and breach
the contract responsible?

We are currently unable to keep the Constitution from being
violated, therefore, it is unreasonable to assume that a social
contract would be anything more than an exercise in futility.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, May 28, 2011 at 2:42 am Link to this comment

Actually, that link: http://www.govtrack.us/ was for Cliff.  And I poked around and found this too:
http://www.votesmart.org/npat.php?can_id=24046  They have a neat feature called a ‘political courage test’ on the left menu.
Here’s an interesting model…..
http://www.clubforgrowth.org/powerRanking/ It lets members rank representatives, which is not perfect by any means, but members can resolve the difference between ‘the list’ and how the candidates promote the agenda behind the members interpretation of the list.  Unfortunately, the Club for Growth might not have the same idea about what ‘fair taxes’ are or ‘Immigration reform’.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, May 28, 2011 at 2:29 am Link to this comment

Night Gaunt: There’s this: http://www.govtrack.us/

But the problem is there is often not a clear linkage to Gary’s intent in the list and what ends up in various bills. 

Gary: I know what the list means, and you know what the list means, but it’s subject to misinterpretation.  Pick something at semi-random…...“Uphold the constitution” or “fair taxes”......what do they mean?  I’m thinking such a list can only be resolved under the light of a social contract, and the two might be a sort of chicken-egg relationship. 

I do sadly agree we are is such a poor position wrt. the list, that it is difficult to imagine being able to manage anything idealistic.  No point in putting on a clean shirt till you shower.  Lousy metaphor.  But actually, I think it helps to move the list in the right direction if there is a general broad based understanding that this country should not be ‘every man for himself’, and dominated by private corporate interests.  Without the well-being of the underlying social fabric, it’ll lose all value.

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By MarthaA, May 27, 2011 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

Cliff Carson, May 27 at 6:39 pm,

You seem to forget that there is NO REPRESENTATION of the 70%
Majority Common Population as a class and culture.  If you want
anyone in Congress to represent you, and the platform of the
American Populace, you will have to demand class and cultural
representation for the 70% Majority American Populace, because
currently the 70% Majority Common Population as a class and culture
is not represented in the making and enforcing of legislated law and
order in the United States and as a result there is no agenda
represented in Congress to be voted on.  The American Populace, the
Common Population, are
nonexistent in the whole political system.

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By Cliff Carson, May 27, 2011 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

There is a starting place here.  We only need to take a first step.

We could List all the Senate and the House Members and start a Matrix showing how these people voted on each item on this list.

We may want to refine the list.

Then we could publish it in every thread, on every site we could sign up for, using Action Posts, running surveys of agreement or not, publishing the results of the surveys, and asking people to vow not to vote for any congress person ever again who took the wrong position on these list items.  For example people who voted to allow the destruction of Social Security.

We could form a Group to track the numbers, or we could for example get volunteers from each state, from each county in each state, and form a National Group to record the Numbers, and daily let the Congresspeople how the numbers are building.  Members of the Group would have to have some way of communicating. 

We could give a count for each entry on the list.  We could let the Congresspeople know how many people tell us that they will never vote for them again if they vote wrong.

That’s how we could begin.

Does anyone agree?  Will Truthdig agree to track the numbers?  Will some site agree?

Who has any other ideas?

We need ideas and input to start anything.

Can we start right now?  If not why not?

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 27, 2011 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment

If, Gary Mont, what you say in your May 27 4:08 pm post
is ingenuous and forthright, why are you adamantly opposed to an
x=x sublated unity of balance that will allow the quantification of
logic to prevail in the application of your stated purpose as an
objective, rather than Hitleresque dialectic and Hitleresque
sophism?

I could find common cause with much of what you say if what you
say was intended by you to be applied with the x=x sublated logic
of a unity of balance.

However, when you reject a unity of logical balance that will allow
quantifiation of both balance and a lack of balance, your words
ring hollow and disingenuous, as one who is comfortable to saying
one thing, doing another, and getting away with this type of
disingenuous act and deed.

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By MarthaA, May 27, 2011 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

Gary Mont, May 27 at 3:30 pm,

Much of the content of the list in your post, I agree with.

However, the devil is in the details, and there is no good intention
that cannot be put to a cross purpose, if it is applied by means of
Hitleresque dialectic and Hitleresque sophism.

Those whose intent and purpose are forthright will not object to
their professed intent and purpose being applied by way of an
“x=x sublated unity of balance;” this is our main area of
disagreement.

I advocate balance that can be measured, quantified, and
balanced against an established “unity of balance,” x=x sublation,
so that both balance can be determined and a lack of balance can
be quantified, rather than be subject to the pedantic parsing of
Hitleresque dialectic and Hitleresque sophism that perverts good
intentions into self serving benefit for the few at the expense of
the many.

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By Gary Mont, May 27, 2011 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt:A very nice wish list.

Oh it is indeed a wish list, but as far as I can see, unless these things (and very likely 100 other similar things) are accomplished, the situation will only deteriorate.

That the people at the top of politics, commerce and law desire the exact opposite is, in my opinion, the only reason needed to have them all forcibly removed from their respective offices during office hours and incarcerated in outdoor confinement camps where they can be viewed by the public at will, until such time as they can be tried one at a time, alphabetically, for treason.

Or, a universal amnsesty can be offered immediately, allowing any of them who jump ship, (bringing with them all the documentation that incriminates their brothers and sisters in their respective firms and operations that they can lay hands on), the right of immunity from prosecution, which exonerates them also from all future criminal actions taken against their respective firms and operations.

No criminals in history have committed so many crimes against so many poeople, yet they sit free behind the doors of the halls of power like Roman Emperors, immune from prosectution and continue to bring about anguish and pain and death and destruction to the world, simply for fun and profit.

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By Gary Mont, May 27, 2011 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

Regarding military service for all, I agree 100% with each and every male and female at age 16, being given 16 - 24 weeks of fully paid basic and weapons handling training.

I think a fully paid refresher course should be also made available to anyone who desired it at age 24, for 16 - 24 weeks of specialized training in the military field of their choice.

The basic health condition of each child apllies obviously to whether or not they can take part in such a course of training, but other aspects of military training should be made available for those with less than optimum health or physical disabilities that do not rule out particiapation altogether.

Having a standing army composed of your general population is probably the greatest deterent to invasion possible as the army is always standing and already trained and ready to fight. It allows the creation of natural chains of command without imnmediate official leadership being on hand during times of emergency.

It also gives every citizen an understanding of both the rigors of training and the rewards of team based cooperation unavailable through any other medium.

But primarily I think these steps are necessary, because it would re-humanize the military.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

A very nice wish list. Too bad it has little or no backing from the powerful who determine if such things should stay or not. But maybe someday…

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By Gary Mont, May 27, 2011 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

I repost the starting list for getting things back to legal norm, without which a social contract will be stifled before its inception. This list was provided by Anonymous, but written by someone else, unknown.

If these things cannot be achieved, the chance of making the USA resemble its Hollywood version is probably not possible.

Enforce RICO Laws

Break Up the Big Banks

End the Fed

Break Up the Mainstream Media / encourage citizen journalists

Shut the Revolving Door

End Closed Door Lobbying

Increase Government Transparency

End Corporate Personhood

Amend Campaign Finance

Verify All Votes

Investigate War Profiteers

Investigate War Crimes

End the Wars

Restore Civil Liberties

Uphold the Constitution

Clean Air, Water & Food

Reduce Healthcare Costs, Profiteering

Make Healthcare a Human Right

Improve Education For All, Reduce Costs

Reform Prison System

Reform drug laws

Erase the Drug War laws from the law books permnanently.

Immigration Reform

Rebuild Infrastructure

Protect Internet Freedom

Empower States’ Rights

End Corporate Welfare

Fair taxes for everyone!

Enforce corporate responsibility

Force corporations to apply local labor laws in their global operations

Strengthen environmental laws and force corporations to clean up their act

Work for a real separation of church and state – and a real split between corp and state?

Reinstate Habeus Corpus

Allow felons who have paid their debt to restore voting rights

Stop prison labor from competing with local businesses
Additional objectives

End lifetime appointments to the SCOTUS

Abolish the “Patriot Act” immediately and entirely

Abolish the lobbying system (no paid lobbyists)

Close Guantánamo

Establish and define “financial terrorism” as a treasonous act and prosecute offenders vigorously

Enshrine gender equality in the constitution

End corporate money in the election process

Reduce non-emergency military funding

==============

Please feel free to add to this list.

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By MarthaA, May 27, 2011 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

Ditto my MarthaA post of May 27 at 2:47 pm to Cliff Carson, as a member of the Lite-Right and Hard-Right Fraternity of social contract stooges.

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By MarthaA, May 27, 2011 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

Present your social contract as a “unity of balance,” John Best,
Gary Mont, and Night-Gaunt
, so that both sides of the
equation can be evaluated as a presentation of balanced dialectic
that will present both balance and reveal a lack of balance based
upon x=x sublation if you can.

You keep harping on a social contract, but you are advocating a
social contract based upon Hitleresque dialectic and Hitleresque
sophism; with this in mind, what will distinguish the social contract
advocated by John Best, Gary Mont, and Night-Gaunt,
from the social contract advocated by Adolph Hitler in “Mein
Kampf?”

I have nothing against a social contract that is based upon an
“x=x unity of balance” that will allow the social contract to be
evaluated with regard to Breach of Contract and allow for
enforcement authority to remedy the breach based upon an “x=x
unity of balance.” So far as I know, we have never had a social
contract like this in the history of mankind, but one is sorely
needed.

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