Seven Deadly Sins – Revisited

The human animal may be, individually, capable of some subtlety, but collective action tends to be pushed along by broad-stroke principles functioning in the weeds of daily detail. Faced with a specific decision, the direction of action can be most often surmised from the general principles upon which the society sees itself as being based. Thus the attachment to lists of such principles: The Ten Commandments, The Bill of Rights, The Seven Deadly Sins, the 12 steps and a number of other shorthand prescriptions for both action and remediation.

If we examine these lists closely, we find internal contradiction, limits of application and other exceptions to strict adherence, but we don’t really understand these devices as absolute anyway, but rather as guides. Even those that have the force of law, like the Bill of Rights, must be adjudicated in specific situations since a few words can do no more than offer direction for a journey, not prescribe its every turn.

It is in this spirit that I offer this list of the Real Seven Deadly Sins. The limits and contradictions may seem especially glaring, but this is only because we are not use to them – and I will deal with some of the exceptions.

The “original” Seven Deadly Sins have a long history, quite a variety of inclusions and have been 5, 7, 10 and more sins at different turns. A society picks its sins; they are adaptive.

We have come to a time when we desperately need a new list. This is not to say that the list that evolved from Dante (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride) has become acceptable, although fashion has certainly changed for several; in fact, if we had been more serious about these, we might not be in such a present pickle. But we need to refocus on those activities and, especially, the principles that have morphed from sin to saw.1

These are the New Sins:

1) Progress
2) Economic growth
3) Property
4) Excess
5) Censorship
6) Repression
7) Religion

One of the first things that you might note from the new list is that it is easily adaptable to collective action, where as the Dante list is more easily seen as the unfortunate qualities of individuals. For this and other reasons, we might best keep those seven available for personal use. The new list is, in some cases, the “originals” writ large.

It is, today, our institutions that are dominating human action, and human institutions are not just the summing up of individual human behavior, but are, under the Consciousness System of Order, developing into new entities with new properties for which new guidance is needed.

1) Progress

This is the most insidious sin and one from which some others receive their motive force. We have come to see this greatest source of devastation as the essential positive value – and we rarely question it; taking the assertion, “It is progress,” as a substantive and often final argument.

Progress is change that arises from some previous condition, change that is judged by some humans as an improvement. But it has come to pass that the only guiding principle for the design of change is a previous condition that formed from some even earlier progress. That this seems perfectly normal to you is a measure of just how insidious this sin is.

Living things “progress” by adapting to the biophysical realities of the living space. Of course, they begin with what they have, but the changes occur in a universal context of long scale forces and processes. In humans, progress has come to mean changes that modify some existing condition arising in the human context, a condition that came to exist with the last round of progress. The speed of adaptation and the power to discover and use specific bits of information about how the biophysical world functions has allowed humans to ‘defeat’ certain biophysical rules. By bringing enough energy to bear and using mechanical physics, heavier than air machines can fly. By concentrating specific chemical species a concentrated consequence can be made to happen: poison, acid, lighter than air balloons, metals, etc. There are millions of examples. These things we call progress.

An evolutionary system would have to integrate every consequence that occurs within evolution’s time frame. Consciousness Order system time frames are so much more rapid than biophysical time frames that we have avoided the consequences of our behaviors. This we call progress.

Progress is building dikes to keep the waters out – both literally and figuratively; and then building buildings behind and on the dikes, and then building more and better pumps to remove the water that seeps through, and then, and then… The reality is that the water level is higher that the land level. Think for a moment on this from a position of sanity.

The sin of progress is to act outside of the context of the biophysical time frame, to make changes in response to existing conditions in such a way that the biophysical costs are deferred to other humans, other species and the future. Our societies today are dependent on billions of jobs that are the products of progress and all but a handful are made from the overcoming of the overcoming. We now have to keep trying to overcome the very fabric of universal reality to continue to ‘make progress.’ Such is the depth of our depravity.

And so Progress is a sin. Rather than seek it, we must make appeal to attempt it; must be able to demonstrate that the proposed changes enhance integration into biophysical reality, not attempt to defeat reality with some slight of hand. We would continue to change, to learn and to use the living and physical worlds, but at a pace to which all living and physical process on earth could adapt; a pace that will not create the dramatic synergies of a convulsive rejection of living things as the consequence of our progress.

2) Economic Growth

The sinfulness of growth is more obvious than the sin of progress. One need only think for a moment of the concept of the exponent. And it needs to be clear that human capacity has created a new model for growth; it is not the same process as growth of biological systems – just the same word. Biological growth is replenishment with the capacity to exceed its bounds, but fully inhibited by homeostatic feedback so that ecosystems are no-growth, sustaining systems.

Economic growth means an increase in the volume and speed of transactions of exchange. Transactions of exchange are the trading of one thing for another. Since there are basically three kinds of things (material/energy, behaviors and abstract tokens of exchange) there are a variety of forms that exchange can take, but ultimately increasing amounts of real stuff must be extracted, moved, modified and consumed as an economy grows. To some extent the need to actually raise crops, dig in mines and cut forests brings perspective to our economic growth, but…

economic growth can occur, so long as participants believe that tokens of exchange represent real things, as a result of trading those tokens – really betting on how many of a particular token will be required to trade for a particular real thing at a particular moment. This allows ‘not real things’ to increase in amount without limit. If the tokens are in a demand relationship with real things, then it is possible for there to be more ‘real stuff’ represented by tokens than there is or ever can be. The result is that demands are made of the earth’s capacities that cannot be met; the reality of the effort and limits of extraction is overcome in the perception. This is a sin.

A component of economic growth is investment: I loan you a hatchet to cut firewood and you return the hatchet plus a bit of cut wood, or I could loan you tokens to trade for a hatchet and you give me back the tokens plus a few extra. Either way you have to cut more wood than you require. The amount of material or behavior traded becomes more and more dependent on the obligation and less and less on the actual state of need. Economic growth mutates into increasing states of obligation.

If there is not a constantly increasing need or obligation, then there can be no more than momentary or situational occasions for investment. And so – placing the cart squarely in front of the horse – our economic system sustains the investment model without regard to the relationship of human economics to the natural biophysical economy. This is a sin.

3) Property

Property once seemed so simple; I learned it at my father’s knee: It is mine, you may not use it or touch it without my permission. I hold it by a force as close to a divine right as such things get. And yet, my ball (hat, toy or _____ ) could be taken and tossed around and eventually tossed onto a roof in the age old game of ‘humble the property owner’, AKA ‘keep away.’

I have discovered that humans come with a great variety of respect for property. Some have arm’s length rules and others will take even useless things. Different groups of people define property in different ways – what can be property, degrees of holding property, what must be done to identify property.

“Keep away” offered this instruction: property and force are intimately related. Property is mine so long as I am willing and capable to use sufficient force to keep it. A powerful man in my town lived at the end of a long road; the sign at his gate, “If you trespass, you will be shot.” This was not at his front door – his house could not be seen – but was at the most easily approached edge of the 30 or 40 acre mountain valley to which he lay claim. Records show that his family drove out the previous inhabitants with legal trickery and one punctuating dynamite explosion.

There are 3 ways that we can view property: 1) that which is, 2) that which is ours (or theirs) and 3) that which is mine (or his or hers).

“That which is” belongs to all and to no one. You may use it only as long as you don’t change it or deny its use to any other organism or process. “That which is ours” belongs to the commons, the community decides potential uses and what compensations and ablutions are required. “That which is mine” belongs to me; again, however, the community decides what can be personal property and often the limits of control and use – this should tell us something. The attempt to turn ‘that which is mine’ into absolute domination without regard to the rest of existence is a sin.

It is circumstance and excess that moves the sustaining to the sinful. Human progress and economic growth have driven property from balanced patterns of use, compensation and replenishment to the assumption of more and more private ownership; so that today we claim we can not only own the contents of our pockets and immediate living space, but we can own the land, the water, the air, living things, DNA, chemical processes and ideas. And we have even added a specialized instrument of private ownership called the corporate collective to own in even greater amounts and with greater force. This is sin.

4) Excess and Wealth

Excess has almost always been a sin in almost every culture. Yet, in our present condition the application of Sins 5 and 6 (censorship and repression) have led the way in justifying excess, usually claiming envy as the reason of objecting to wealth. This is quite simply sin supporting sin.

Excess is a sin because it perpetuates the sins of property, is the product of growth and can only be justified by dishonest and coercive means. But, primarily it is a sin because it damages the human relationship to the planet and to each other.

Ultimately the excess of wealth (both private and societal) can only be extracted from the universal commons and it can only be extracted by the coercion of one human entity by another. It is difficult to say who is harmed more in the existential sense, the miner who must dig or starve, yet retains some vestige of specieshood or the owner who believes in the madness of his right of power to steal the life and labor of the miner and the product of the land. It is, of course, not difficult to see who lives in the greatest distress of the moment.

5) Censorship

It is obvious to many that we must not speak of dangerous, harmful and distressing things. To do so would bring upset and disruption to our settled lives: speak the Devil’s words and call the Devil.

There is, as there always is, a major difficulty: How are we, or who is, to decide? We are ultimately faced with this simple choice: freedom of speech with only the most limited restrictions or speech controlled by whoever can wrest power over its methods and topics.

Control of speech is control of idea, is control of possibility. And yet we cannot live in a world without design, a world that limits and organizes possibility. The probability of glucose moving through a cell membrane in controlled by insulin, which is controlled by a dozen other conditions of the organism. We can expect nothing less for a super-organism collective like human societies. But there the analogy fails; the process by which biological evolution designs physiological function leaves out nothing. Every force and movement of the natural world gets its say without inhibition because it is exists in the total reality. Again, we can have nothing less for our collective social order.

Lying is a special form of censorship that denies access to a factual basis for action, but lying should be no more reviled than demanding that the truth of another’s understanding not be spoken.

This is an especially dangerous sin as new and powerful forms of human super-organism are demanding and receiving the power to censor speech that challenges their domination by controlling the means of speech and using that means to control the topics of speech.

6) Repression

The rejection of one identifiable racial, ethnic, language, cultural or behavioral group by another is one of the oldest human actions. When there was space and available niches, this was less sin and more signal to spread the species around. It even served certain other useful functions by reducing the spread of disease and supplying gene pools from which vigorous crosses could test the genetic waters.2

But today and for some many hundreds of years the repression of one group by another as been in the service of quite other forces: economic and political power. Billions of human lives have been lived out in the greatest of distress – truly painful, brutal and short because of the sin of repression.

Life has never had a guarantee – or so is my belief – but to assign beforehand that billions of lives will be lived in horror and pain is a sin. And this is a sin that is likely to continue to increase dramatically as it has over the last few thousand years. Never have so many lived such deprived and devastated lives as in today’s moment.

Two hundred years ago there were one billion people on the earth, nearly half of whom lived in deep poverty at the advancing edge of European expansion and industrialization and in islands of industrial servitude. One hundred years ago there where two billion people on the earth, nearly half of whom lived in the deepest poverty as the first world nations were converting the rest of the world into their larder. Today there are almost 7 billion, nearly half of whom live at the edge of survival. Local sustaining practices have been so damaged and demonized that even those who are not in immediate peril today are but one global economic decision away from dust.

7) Religious Piety

Religion is one of the least understood of human behaviors. Its supporting structures and designs are deep in our origins, but it has become a chimera, a crossing with politics, economics and the institutional super-organism. Religion is a developmentally dysfunctional entity demanding the privilege of an infant while having the strength of a powerful adult.

In its origin religion was the combined effect of the Stories that integrated human action within the environment and the instinctual emotional connections to environment and community. It gave strength to the adaptations that formed the basis of human success. It did not create the behaviors, but responded to them as the collected Stories that organized the behavior of a group, carrying them through space and time.

Devotion to religious story has become the central madness of our time and one of the greatest inhibitions to our survival. There were in the past many thousands of religions because there were thousands of situations in which people lived. Since religion’s function is to define a way of life, then it must be completely connected to immediate and sustaining reality – it used to be! Now religions are devoted to the remains of Stories that once had some relational meaning, but are no longer connected to reality. This makes the Stories of religion easy prey for any entity to use as devices of censorship and repression.

Summary

These are the sins that we need to “hold in our hearts” as unacceptable. These are the sins that are devastating our world. 30 years ago drunk driving was a laughing matter (even as people were killed), but became a matter of scorn and rejection as people incorporated into their habits of thought, into their lists of sins, driving drunk. We need to see these seven sins in the same way. Just as with the original seven deadly sins a small number of people are empowered by them if allowed, but if enough people reject those behaviors, actively reject them, they will be weakened and more of us may begin to see them for what they are.

  1. It is an irony of our time that those who claim to champion individual freedom are really speaking for the institutional collective and the individual’s subservience to it, while those who are accused of socialist “collectivism” see the collective in service of the individual. []
  2. Cultural habits combining with instinctual behaviors associated with incest created complex rules that often involved either males or females moving from one group to another. []

James Keye is the nom de plume of a biologist and psychologist who after discovering a mismatch between academe and himself went into private business for many years. His whole post-pubescent life has been focused on understanding at both the intellectual and personal levels what it is to be of the human species; he claims some success. Email him at: jkeye1632@gmail.com. Read other articles by James, or visit James's website.

32 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Tennessee-With-Zelaya said on July 25th, 2009 at 8:23am #

    Indeed, and I would say that according to some liberation, socialist christian prophecy theologists the and mercantilist and capitalist-system that we’ve had for thousands of years represents The Devil, Lucifer, The Dark evil forces of this world.

    .

  2. Tennessee-With-Zelaya said on July 25th, 2009 at 9:18am #

    I AM THINKING ABOUT THE NEED OF A UNITED JEFFERSONIAN SOCIALIST FRONT IN U.S.A. IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE BOLIVARIAN-REVOLUTION AND OTHER MORALIST GOOD-INTENTIONED MOVEMENTS IN THIS WORLD.

    i am thinking about the need in USA of a United Jeffersonian-Socialist composed of small socialist and alternative anti-war, anti-fascism, anti-rich people, anti-upper classes, anti-concentration of wealth, pro-workers, pro-economic democracy, pro-moralism, pro-humanism, pro-egalitarianism parties in USA.

    This is just an idea in my mind which i will suggest to some socialist political leaders of this

    country, to see what they think about it, it might be called “United Jeffersonian-Socialist Front”, which would be based on the humanist christian traditions of: Jeffersonian, Lincolnian, Washingtonian, Christian, Marxist, Trotskist and humanism ideology. And which would include the following political parties, politicians and independent intellectuals:

    The green party, Ralph Nader, Socialist Party of USA, Socialist equality party, workers party, The Labor Party, Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul, green party, Ralph Nader, Cindy Sheehan, Howard Zinn, Ray Mcgovern, David Ray Griffin, Noam Chomsky bob bar, Cynthia Mckinney, James Petras, Michael Hudson, Bill Van Auken (President of the Socialist Equality Party), Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzalez, Juan Cole, Seymor Hersh, Chalmers Johnson, Alan Maass, Michael Parenti, Alexander Cockburn, Paul Craig Roberts, Tariq Ali, Jimmy Carter, Chris Hedges, and many other americans who are moralists, humanists, altruists, and rational human beings.

    However this is just an idea in my mind, a work in progress, its is still a utopia and a dream, not realized and materialized yet. I still have to propose this idea to some of the leaders in the US progressive and humanist anti-fascism, anti-war movement. It will be a United Front in solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution, The Iraqui Revolution, The Palestinian Revolution, The Iran government, The Evo Morales Revolution, the Cuban anti-Imperialist revolution and all movements, liberation churches, and just anybody who has good intentions and morality in this world.

    .

  3. bozh said on July 25th, 2009 at 4:59pm #

    i’ll be rereading keye’s piece tomorrow. I wld just say for now that the seven sins are part of a whole and not separate events.
    i also think that causes for these sins is delusional thinking by first people who subjugated us millennia ago.
    we the people are better than that! tnx

  4. James Keye said on July 25th, 2009 at 5:08pm #

    Mr. Tennessee: We require both the idea set and the structure. The ideas are easy — they can be found in the listing that you offer. The structure is difficult. First we must know what structure will support and sustain idea and we have to be willing to do the things, all the things, to create it. These are questions that have not yet been answered in a sufficiently believable way.

  5. B99 said on July 25th, 2009 at 5:59pm #

    Regarding repression, it will be fundamental to any successful left movement in the US to achieve true working class solidarity across the racial divide. This means convincing working class whites that they are privileged – but that these privileges are ephemeral, that blacks (and Latinos) are not their competitors but instead their comrades, and that far greater gains will be made as one than by accepting the divide and conquer strategy of capital. The race divide is huge, and nothing will be accomplished if it is not addressed at a fundamental level.

  6. Deadbeat said on July 25th, 2009 at 6:44pm #

    What B99 says about bridging the racial divide and that is very true amongst the Left. That is the place to start and why the discussion about Chomsky’s denial of Zionism’s influence on the U.S. body politic is quite important. It goes hand in hand with building trust (i.e. solidarity). One of the ways that the Left can reach out to people of color is by rejecting all forms of racism.

    To reach the white working class, it is true that they need to reject racism and their “race privilege” however what I think the white workers also want an acknowledgment that they too are getting screwed by the system despite their “relative advantage”. It is one of the ways of at least of opening a dialogue.

    Race has always been the great divide and conquer that has weaken movements and white workers need to wake up to the fact that they are getting screwed by the system and that they need to organize with people of color.

  7. Tennessee-With-Zelaya said on July 25th, 2009 at 8:34pm #

    James: you are right, it is easy to plan any thing we want to do int his world. But the problem is how would we make it happen. The US anti-war, anti-capitalism parties, anti-corporatism parties are too divided, there are many smart intellectuals in the American Left like Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Paul Craig Roberts, Scott Ritter, leaders from the workers parties, etc. but they are just too divided, too sectarian. Divided the US anti-war anti-corporate parties won’t be able to defeat the imperialist corporate system.

  8. Deadbeat said on July 25th, 2009 at 9:29pm #

    Divided the US anti-war anti-corporate parties won’t be able to defeat the imperialist corporate system.

    Which is why analysis of the division and discussion is extremely important. It helps to construct a real ideology. For example the discussion of Chomsky (as an example) helps to understand why the Left (as an example) is so divided.

  9. Lou said on July 26th, 2009 at 12:27am #

    birds of a feather flock together………

  10. Don Hawkins said on July 26th, 2009 at 4:58am #

    The result is that demands are made of the earth’s capacities that cannot be met; the reality of the effort and limits of extraction is overcome in the perception.

    Man you can say that again.
    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    We are in deep do do and the speed that just the ice in the North is melting man those Polar Bears are in big trouble, perception. The weather not the climate is already changing and the reality is the demands that are made of the Earth’s capacities are going to get rather tuff to be met. So far it looks like the Capitalists the so called leaders are going to give it a try anyway. It sure looks like in about ten years and that could be pushing it a whole lot more sinning going on. There is still time right James but not much about 9 years for very hard choices and a Herculean effort it will take is that right James. Forget health care as that will be the least of out problems as the system that is now out of control get’s more out of control is that right James. So far the so called leaders and there third grade thinking and perception illusion of knowledge in clown town USA seem to be getting there word out and is it working? Sort of. So far this story the path the low road does not have a good ending. Even if we start today tuff times ahead is that true James but we must start now. Boring it will not be. Somehow we need to get our word out that third grade level thinking the bullshit pure unadulterated crap is not the answer. Ok one million to start Capital one voice calm at peace. Again the ice going bye bye is not good for Polar Bears yes that is true and draw a line around the Earth at about 48 degrees and think food and water, crops. Health care and this cap and trade bill will make it so are kids will not have a future and who tell’s us that? Some of the worst sinners of all time. They know not what they do well let’s help them with that.

  11. Don Hawkins said on July 26th, 2009 at 5:30am #

    I forgot something I am now going to watch Fox New’s in the morning it’s Fox and friend’s and get my daily dose of happyland then turn to CNN for more Happyland sort of. Then MSNBC to see if Palin will be our next President in clowntown USA.. It would be kind of refreshing on those programs to see one million people in front of the Capital as the Sun set’s calm at peace singing tomorrow tomorrow it’s only a day away then start walking to New York for another get together in front of Wall Street, Goldman and Fox News. I wonder if they would cover that? I can hear it now, “We have a rule of law in this country and these people kid’s, radicals who want to save the human race who are in front of our building are misguided”. “and now a few words from Karl Rove our guest host to guide us through this”.

  12. Don Hawkins said on July 26th, 2009 at 6:04am #

    http://www.uni-koeln.de/math-nat-fak/geomet/meteo/winfos/synNNWWarctis.gif

    Put this under favorites.

  13. bozh said on July 26th, 2009 at 7:07am #

    DB,
    i do not know enough of any US Leftist’s policy to determine for self that they are indeed leftist.
    None of the ‘Leftists’, as far as i know, had condemned latest US war on a principle; it is always protested for variety of [un]disclosed reasons.
    tnx

  14. James Keye said on July 26th, 2009 at 7:25am #

    Tennessee: Yes, and even more so: underlying belief structure and organizational structure. You can see in reading these and other comments how each reader’s frame dominates the reception of idea, and organizational structure tends to function as a limiting form for idea. It is very difficult to accept idea and structure that damns one’s way of life.

  15. B99 said on July 26th, 2009 at 8:13am #

    deadbeat – The usual formulation of white privilege is that the white working class is screwed but the black working class (often employing the euphemism ‘the black community’) is screwed more. I would maintain that the white working class is screwed BECAUSE the black working class is screwed more. Historically, the fortunes of the two are contingent upon each other which makes it imperative that we (as you say) ‘reject all forms of racism.’ This has to be an activist position rather than one where white leftists accept a certain amount of racism in order to move forward politically. Most people in our country are working class, if they withheld their labor jointly – it would be earthshaking. Of course, this also involves a total push to end the legal strictures that curtail labor organizing (as per our constitutional right to free association) and a total overhaul of our labor unions so that they fully enroll all manner of labor.

  16. bozh said on July 26th, 2009 at 8:17am #

    to be is to be related; thus, progress is related also to regress/damage caused by socalled progress; particularly, the ‘progress’ that is privately owned/directed.
    a progress that wld be owned/guided by people wld be better than the ‘progress’ run by ceos, et al; however, even then some damage cld occur.
    and ‘improvement’ is connected to [mis]education, entertainment, media, advertising, military, social structure, ‘religions’ [read, please, cults], supremacism arising from cults/culture, greed, fear, [vain]glory, lust for power, degree of our dependency/serfdom, being trusted/trusting or degree of being interdependent, degree of master-serf relationship on interpersonal, interclassic, and internat’l levels, water, whether, etcetc.

    it wld be nice if intellectuals and scientists of the world wld study all phenomena that pertain to our and biota’s being.
    this is beyond me! tnx

  17. Tennessee-With-Zelaya said on July 26th, 2009 at 8:19am #

    Dear friends of this site: The real problem i see is not the US government itself, nor the Israeli Government, nor the De Facto Interin coup de etat Honduras Government !!

    The real problem from my own point of view is the followers and supporters of the US government and of the Israeli government, and supporters of all fascistic governments of this world.

    I posted in one of my former messages that the Middle-Classes, including the lower part of the middle classes (Lower middle classes) always side with the mainstream political parties, because from the middle-class’s point of view they think that any revolutionary political-change would be a threat to their relatively stable lifestyles. The US, Europe, Asia, and even many nations in Latin America still have a large middle-class. A big proof of this is that Argentina has a large middle class and elected right-wing candidates in their congress election just recently.

    So my theory is that we will just have to wait for people to pass from the middle class to the lower-class for them to wake up. I mean we just got to wait for a rise in poverty levels in this world to see a real hunger for change in the majority of people. In other words, as long as this world has a large middle class we won’t see a change.

    So think psychologically and sociologically and economically in order to be aware of why many people still vote for capitalist imperialist fascist political parties.

    .

  18. B99 said on July 26th, 2009 at 9:27am #

    I think the working class usually sides with mainstream political parties because they have been convinced through propaganda (aided enormously by the state/capital crushing of working class institutions and favorable laws) that they have escaped poverty and they need to ally upward with the middle and upper classes (rather than the dregs they left behind). This is especially true with its myths of individualism and class mobility, and the reality of a big race divide – a combination repeated no where else in the world.

    Indeed, the middle class has also certainly voted to the right – besides the above, they also have the added burden/privilege of being the direct supervisors and overlords of the working class for capital and have been given some reward for that in the form of increased remuneration and more control over their work process.

    There’s no assurance that the middle class will be more conscientizizied (a word?) by dropping into the working class. And it cannot be done without active efforts at cross-racial/ethnic solidarity by whites. Speaking of Latin America, where the military is usually more about internal repression than border wars – most of the military is drawn from the ranks of the working class, and provided with a uniform, steady pay, and a sense of camaraderie. The State uses them as a warrior class to crush working class opposition – as well as an outlet for their miserable position in society.

    Anyway, your theory is in line with other socialist theories that take hope in the worst possible scenario in hopes that the direst of conditions will spawn working class solidarity and revolution. I don’t know about that.

  19. Ron said on July 26th, 2009 at 10:20am #

    PROGRESS:
    I’ll probably comment in my own arrogant assumptions as we go along, but I find life to be liquid, un contained and if it’s progress that is a sin then so is regress or any other energy that is manufactured to contain human deisre to elevate oneself beyond the immediate in the pursuit of sharing the experience of life with his ideas and aims.

    The operative word is to share to me. Life is after all a shared experience, and if we restrict those that have exuberance for invention of progress we demoralize the invention of newness that some see in lives advancing.

    We didn’t get where we are through one method, I see no ability to grow without allowing people the freedom to advance there ideas. The focus I would see is, how to allow those gains to prosper all if the masses take all the power of the gain themselves and discard the importance of those that discover that gain?

    Prosperity has its curses but then so does stagnation. I prefer progress in measure but then who does the measuring will in fact become the flaw.

    I like the race, I like the game we call life, I especially like its realism and how one can’t hide from disaster for long as human lack of wisdom is always exposed at every corner creating the need to trust and work with each other to survive. Progress doesn’t create the folly but it sure adds fuel to the fire of selfish desires.

  20. Ron said on July 26th, 2009 at 10:27am #

    Economic growth,

    is only a curse when the ability to escape it is closed off or its value is manufactured beyond each humans leveraging its value.
    Basic simple survival is access to food shelter and a way to acquire it. That in itself is tied to skill and success which is a growth away from starvation.

    The curse here I think is that some take a pleasure in suppressing value and hyper inflating value beyond the means of reality.

    Economic growth is not a sin in my opinion but a tool misused by many to subvert reality and oppress another’s value.

  21. Ron said on July 26th, 2009 at 10:44am #

    Ownership; of thoughts ideas and property are temporary holdings of value that a person uses to sustain his value toward society. If we are to think a persons value is only worth what he can offer freely to society and take nothing with him to set himself apart from the risks of survival then our lives may be more intense but certainly less long and fruitful.

    We have thousand of years of conflict to prove man doesn’t need property to instigate hatred of others. Simply we should respect others and their desired claims of value and not create a system that allows transgressions by fabricated political power to be a predominant force.

    Tribal warfare exist even when there is no property, but jealousy, want and envy still exist even in base human tribalism. One must not rule out the fact the people have evolved constantly with property and with out but have almost stayed relatively the same despite the changing values of property. To me that nullifies it as a sin but just another variable in the matters in which we cope to co exist.

    This is where I agree with repression as a sin, excess, oppression and censorship. Humans that choose to limit others on their quest for survival too must repress, oppress or censor to guide things in their more righteous way which takes us back to how do you respect others even when they are harmful to others?

  22. Ron said on July 26th, 2009 at 11:09am #

    Religion is no more a sin then wind blowing. Humans need to explain themselves and define their existence. If they do not follow a current religion they will invent one to fulfill the needed purposes of aiming habit and reason and to another extent; self acknowledgment.

    Calling religious piety a sin would be like calling physical exercise detrimental too. All spiritual and mental as well as physical efforts can be perverted and mismanaged. For one not to seek ones highest aims for fear it would offend another is a matter of self impose oppression. In itself piety of purpose does no harm but when it is used in conjunction with the original deadly sins it does.

    Mankind has questions, he seeks answer and follows his beliefs based on what he sees or needs to fulfill with ideas, precepts and practices. there is no sin in following a belief otherwise intellect itself must be considered a sin.

    Politics as well as massed religious intent has been a tool for the powerful to use. When mankind has no religion or pious belief toward an individual manufactured or realized belief, governments will invent themselves into being the next best thing. If any thing human frailty and the need to be accepted is a process that has been exploited by those in power as frequently as religious piety has been manipulated to horrific results.

    Life is a liquid and must be filled to the value of those that wish to live it and then spilled out to be shared by others. One can’t contain it to share it if one does not seek to understand it and define it to ones self. Men are not so courageous as to act without encouragement so religious piety sometimes is the catalyst of generosity as much as it is perverted for self interest.

    I disagree with religious piety as a sin but self arrogance and elitism as the folly of those wishing to oppress others to gain heightened value.

    If anything one should spend ones political life disrupting those in power not inventing new lords to worship and enslave the masses under new perversions of the same oppressive beast.

  23. bozh said on July 26th, 2009 at 11:56am #

    i stay away from thinking or writing from what religions are; it is much better to observe what people who believe in `gods` do and say.
    it seems to me that explaining what a religion is, appears as a process that never ends.
    this appears, to me, main cause for fragmentation of islam, judaism, and christianity.
    defining any ideology- religions being also ideologies, resting on apriori `knowledge`- may be labeled “ thinking“.
    and understood as such, there is nothing wrong with ideating, musing, guessing, etc.

    thinking ab. our experiences appears sane; thinking ab. our nonexperience- gods, angels, devil- leads to insanity.
    crusades, arabs spreading their cult by sword, judaists killing palestinans for no reason whatsoever burning `heretics` on stake, killing doctors who do abortions, persecuting homos prove to me that most or even all pious people are at least unsane and most likely quite insane. tnx

  24. Don Hawkins said on July 26th, 2009 at 12:10pm #

    Well all well and good and maybe in 100 years or 500 years a thousand we can answer these thoughts and put them into reality. If we could all wise up at the same time what two generations. Guess what we are all in just a few years going to wise up at the same time and if that wise up comes in say 10 years to late. The time is now to make major changes to the way we thing of ourselves and the Earth better known to some as the golden goose. In just a few years are goose will be cooked. The time is now. That’s NOW.

  25. Don Hawkins said on July 26th, 2009 at 12:39pm #

    When you go to the front page of DV what do you see? A boy drawing peace signs on the sidewalk. That boy has a snowball’s chance in hell of reaching my age. What are they doing high upon the hill in Washington DC these day’s? NOTHING! It looks like we will get maybe a watered down Health care bill so these idiot’s can then not give this little problem called climate change a try. Is that a sin no it’s nut’s. These morons go to work everyday if you can call it that dressed so nice and have a nice breakfast then probably start thinking about lunch and in between take call’s from lobbyists who work for big this and that on what to think about and how to vote. We have to bring the system back to normal right and Dick Cheney and junior were the best leaders this country and the World has ever seen. Mobutu Sese Seko and Idi Amin comes to mind, worst have and have more. Well that have and have more is still alive and well at least for a few more years. One million to start Capital one voice calm at peace and think of this as kind of a war.

  26. James Keye said on July 26th, 2009 at 2:10pm #

    I have already given the point by point reasons that I would list these activities, attitudes, as sins, but perhaps more clarity about sin would be good. Sins damage the relationship of beings to their environment and to each other. Sins are matters of excess and misuse of common place, even essential, activities. I choose the word ‘sin’ for the strength and depth of its meaning. I agree with Ron that many if not all of the new sins I list have benign states, but disagree that we can accept them in anything like their present form. Censorship and repression exist in the service of progress, growth and property which establish conditions of excess, all using religion’s origins in the human connection to the universal as a goad and a confusion.

    Humans are like every other organism in this way: they are limited and only live fully within those limitations. Our incredible adaptations have confused us and led us into the sins of failing to be a part of the very basis of our existence.

  27. kalidas said on July 26th, 2009 at 5:22pm #

    What’s not so important is how we are alike as compared the rest of the animals.
    What’s important is how we are not alike.

    Some would say that “very basis” is the key.
    That humans are able to know this and animals are not.

    I think we all agree that animals are not capable of sin.

    Obviously, we are..
    And it is most certainly vividly apparent in how we treat these sinless, innocent creatures.

    YIKES!

  28. Tennessee-With-Zelaya said on July 26th, 2009 at 6:09pm #

    The Bloodbath Belongs to the Thugs of Tegucigalpa

    Any bloodshed in Honduras has been, and continues to be, shed by the illegal Micheletti (Pinochetti) government, aided and abetted by the Obama administration. Any further bloodshed will also be at the hands rocking the Latin American cradle, not the poor bugger trying to climb back into it.

    Are we seriously expected to buy this US State Department-brokered “negotiated, peaceful solution to the integrity of Honduran democracy and the safety and well-being of the Honduran people”?

    Puhlease! That is exactly what they had until 29 June, when their peacefully-elected president, who had been safeguarding and progressing the safety and the well-being of ALL of the Honduran people, was abducted and illegally bundled out of the country. What’s to negotiate?

    Zelaya was conducting an openly democratic government, in accord with the Honduran Constitution, democratic precepts, and international law. There was freedom of assembly, open media, free transit within and across Honduran borders, open free and fair elections, and even if the rule of law did not operate perfectly, at least it demonstrably existed. The “integrity of Honduran democracy” and “the safety and well-being of the Honduran people” was there for all to see under his presidency.

    Pinochetti, by contrast, not only illegally occupies the seat of government, but participated in the self-confessed illegal abduction and removal of the legitimate president from Honduras. Pinochetti has overseen the suspension of almost all civil and political rights in Honduras, evidenced by curfews, censorship of the media, ejection of numerous foreign media and observers from the country, prevention of free transit by the citizenry within and across the borders, the detention of thousands of citizens, the deaths of at least seven, and the torture, beating, disappearance, and harassment of hundreds more. The “integrity of Honduran democracy” and “the safety and well-being of the Honduran people” has been decimated under Pinochetti’s regime.

    Listen up, Obama. Democracy is NOT negotiable. Democracy puts presidents in place through the exercise of free and fair elections. Zelaya was freely and fairly elected. Pinochetti was imposed on the Honduran people at the barrel of a gun.

    Honduran democracy cannot be served, or have any integrity, until the legitimate president is restored, and the criminal usurpers are held to account.

    Zelaya is the legitimate president of Honduras. He was not elected to be the powerless puppet of a coalition of sycophants to the U.S., but to represent the Honduran people’s interests, to protect and maintain their integrity, safety and well-being. His presidential term does not finish until January. Zelaya should be in his country now, fulfilling the functions he was elected by the Honduran people to carry out. Full stop.

    The criminals who, using state resources, illegally kidnapped him and whisked him out of the country and refuse to let him back, and who continue to repress the citizenry and breach numerous national and international laws, should be arrested and brought before justice. Full stop.

    The only negotiation required is that to get rid of the illegal government. …

  29. Tennessee-With-Zelaya said on July 26th, 2009 at 7:32pm #

    Don Hawkins: You are so right, we are ruled by Corporate men in black gray suits, white shirts and dark ties who’s attitude and behaviour patterns are just like Christian Bale and his friends in the movie American Psycho. We shouldn’t only blame the high circles of the Democratic Party and The Republican Party. The whole bourgeoise classes in America, specially in elitist colleges are just like American Psychos. Do you think that a college student from Yale, UCLA, Valley Forge Military Academy, etc will have the humanism, moralism, altruism and compassion for the weak that Evo Morales, Hugo Chavez, Mandela and Martin Luther King have? Not in this world. Most people coming from upper bourgeoise stratta are pure assholes.

    That’s why we need a total change of paradimg from being ruled by corporate assholes to a paradigm of being ruled by compassionate, emotional, affectionate, real humans. Not American Psychos, Souless, Godless Yale, UCLA, Harvard assholes.

    .

  30. Don Hawkins said on July 27th, 2009 at 3:23am #

    Tennessee so far it is true and yikes is a good word. Still time and must start now.

  31. Don Hawkins said on July 27th, 2009 at 4:09am #

    Sent this to CNBC this morning we are making progress think of this as kind of a war. Calm at peace.

    Morning,

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jul/26/climate-change-obama-administration

    Is there still time to slow this down, yes with Herculean effort and a new way of thinking. Things should be made as simple as possible but not simpler. Some of course will not like this thinking well what are your thoughts on the temperatures in the Northwest the next few day’s the drought in Texas and California not far behind. Flooding in China the ice in the North going bye bye and heck let’s eat every last fish in the ocean while we are at it. So what’s being done on this Herculean effort and a new way of thinking from our fearless leaders? Take call’s from lobbyists, cap and trade, have lunch, get the suit pressed for a minute or two to get the electrons moving. Remember in just a few years it will probably be to late and will people find out? Yes and color me crazy but that will not be good for any economic indicator you can think of and then the problem itself. That article I sent you junior and Dick Cheney wanted it kept secret. Well that game is still being played think it will work? Let’s us pray to the temple of doom. I am thinking more on the lines of a million to start Capital one voice calm at peace.

    Don

    Read DV so called leaders?

  32. Don Hawkins said on July 27th, 2009 at 5:28am #

    Then I sent these two e-mails to CNBC.
    Hello,
    From that article I just sent you.

    “These are one-metre resolution images, which give you a big picture of the summertime Arctic,” said Thorsten Markus of Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Centre. “This is the main reason why we are so thrilled about it. One-metre resolution is the dimension that’s been missing.”

    Working together could be helpful. Think of this as kind of a war. Once this kick’s into high gear it will make World War two look like a walk in the park. Just the ports alone is a big one.

    Don

    Hay,

    Did you listen to Palin the speech yesterday. That was amazing to hear. She used instinct to overcome reason. She probably watches CNBC. The way that goes is if we wish to survive we need to overcome our instincts with reason. Greed, fear and stupidity is good, I think not.

    The wise are instructed by reason; ordinary minds by experience; the stupid, by necessity; and brutes by instinct.
    Cicero

    The Palin speech was ordinary minds by experience; the stupid, by necessity and it looks like after this last election probably listening to who come on put on that old thinking cap listing to who? Nothing like a little Cicero to start the morning off. I told you the witting will change and just wait until the games start on the climate change bill then Denmark and let’s not forget the problem itself if we wish to survive we need to overcome our instincts with reason. Drill baby drill, right and let’s not forget coal that you dig for and better left right where it is. Will this be easy, no.

    Don

    Read DV Mr. President? That’s the best they can do sorry illusion of knowledge is not the answer. “My fellow American’s people of Earth”.