Just Walk Away From the Democrats

The left needs to organize the unorganized. The working people, the unemployed, the young, and the restless. The right wing has their core group of supporters who organize around fear of the other. The liberals have those who believe in the myth of American equality because they have no class analysis. The Left needs to organize the rest and they need to do so without the Democratic Party. It should be quite clear to almost every left-leaning American by now that the Democrats are nothing more than another wing of the party that works for Wall Street and the Pentagon. To continue to work for and elect their candidates is self-defeating. As the first year of the Obama presidency has clearly shown, not only do the Democrats support the right wing agenda, that support makes it easier for the right wing to put their candidates into power. Why? Because after promising progressive reforms and then failing to deliver, voters tend to either not vote or vote for the right wing candidates out of anger and frustration.

This occurs because the current system provides no alternative. There is no progressive third party or grassroots movement to support such a party. There is not even a grassroots movement that vocalizes the desires of millions for a fair and just society where people’s needs come before Wall Street’s profits and the Pentagon’s wars that help protect and expand those profits. So, the Democrats step in as they have always done and pretend that they are the party that will address these desires. There was a time when such an argument was plausible. From FDR to LBJ, the Democrats were the party that passed many reforms making life better for America’s working people. They even passed bills outlawing racial segregation. Of course, this occurred because of immense pressure from the Left–pressure a hundred times greater than the pressure from America’s right that the Democrats claim has caused them to compromise on virtually every progressive piece of legislation during the current period. Yes, there was a time when that claim could have been made.

Today’s Democratic Party however, is not that party. It is the party of Wall Street as much as its opponents are. It is the party of war as much as the GOP is the party of war. Sure, there are a few congresspeople under the Democratic mantle that oppose the greed and bloodlust of Wall Street and the Pentagon, but they are such a small minority they are irrelevant. Indeed, if they truly wanted to be effective, they would leave the Democrats as soon as possible. Nowadays, when leftists and progressives align themselves with the Democratic Party and its positions, they also align themselves with the reactionaries that run the Republican Party. When leftists and progressives align themselves with the Democrats, they align themselves with those who have sent billions of US dollars into the coffers of the war industry and hundreds of thousands of US men and women into combat for the princes of oil and finance. When leftists and progressives align themselves with the Democrats, they tell the people of the world that they support the transfer of America’s wealth to the bankers and insurance industry through bailouts and so-called health care reform. When leftists and progressives align themselves with the Democrats, they tell the American people that they are willing to give lip service to the concerns of America’s workers and poor, but when it comes right down to it, those workers and poor will have to figure out on their own how they will get jobs that no longer exist. Jobs that are not being created because the Democrats and the GOP bailed out the banks instead.

The Democratic Party has never been the party of the people. It served the slaveowners of the US South until the Civil War ended that foul practice. Then it served the slaveowners’ successors: the cotton and sorghum producers that kept their workers in serflike conditions and never saw a lynching they didn’t like. In terms of America’s growing industrialization, the Democrats were right there with the GOP pushing through legislation favorable to capital and (at best) ignoring the conditions of American labor. As mentioned before, the Democrats’ best years in terms of serving the working and poor people of the United States came during the years between 1936 and 1968, when they passed legislation like Social Security and Medicare and pushed through laws outlawing racial apartheid in the United States. Also, as noted before, this occurred only because of extreme pressure from mass movements of progressive and leftist opponents of the anti-worker and racist policies of the government in Washington. Even then, however, the role the party played was designed more to diminish the strength of those movements. Nonetheless, the reforms occurred because of the movements, not in spite of them. In terms of economics, today’s Democrats resemble the Democrats of old more than they do the Democrats of the New Deal and the Great Society. They are in the pay of today’s equivalent of the slaveowners–the global capitalists that roam the world searching for labor pools easy to exploit because of their desperation and national governments willing to brutalize workers into submission just like the slavedrivers and field bosses of old. Not only are they in their pay, but they push through legislation like NAFTA designed to make that search for exploitable labor and new markets easier and more profitable than it already is. On the domestic front, it was the Democrats under Bill Clinton that dismantled the system of public assistance for women with children and it is under Barack Obama that a new commission designed to bypass the Congress on the question of possibly dismantling Social Security was recently set up.

As if one needed more convincing, after the recent defeat of the Democratic candidate in the Massachusetts special election, an op-ed appeared in the Wall Street Journal. The piece was written by a mainstream Democratic party member who blamed the left wing of the party for the defeat. It was time, said the writer, to move back to the right in order to win the next round of elections. In other words, try and steal the traditional GOP voters away from the GOP instead of going after the traditionally unorganized mentioned at the beginning of this piece. In case I haven’t made it clear already, the writer in the Journal is what the Democrats really are. The party is not interested in genuinely addressing the concerns of the poor, the newly unemployed and the rest of America’s disenfranchised. That is why most of these voters (many who voted in 2008 for Obama) stayed home in Massachusetts this last time. They understand that the Democrats are for someone other than them and they won’t be lied to again. Unless the Left gets it act together, they are willing to let the chips fall where they may–even if that means a resurgence of the GOP.

I can’t be emphatic enough, there is no reasonable reason to waste a dollar or a moment of your time campaigning for the Democratic Party. Barack Obama’s campaign based on false hope and promises and the subsequent reneging on almost every promise of change should be enough to convince any left-leaning or progressive person in the United States who voted for Obama in 2008 that the time has come to end this relationship for good and forever. Like the cheating and lying spouse that keeps asking for one more chance after you find them in bed with your enemy once again, there comes a time to end the relationship. Not only have the occasional moments of bliss and the crumbs that say I care become fewer and fewer, they are no longer enough. The denial so many left-leaning Americans have lived with in their relationship with the Democrats is causing more harm then it is worth. Walk away, close the door behind you and begin the work required to build a real force for progressive change in the United States.

Ron Jacobs is the author of The Way The Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground and Tripping Through the American Night, and the novels Short Order Frame Up and The Co-Conspirator's Tale. His third novel All the Sinners, Saints is a companion to the previous two and was published early in 2013. Read other articles by Ron.

132 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Charlie said on January 23rd, 2010 at 11:28am #

    I feel like you’ve been reading my mind and taking notes!

    I came to the same conclusions during the Clinton years. In those days, I would hold my nose and vote Democratic, convincing myself that the Party’s core principles were like my own but it was necessary to compromise or to settle for less than an ideal candidate.

    I bought into the illusory “differences” between the two major parties, refusing to see that those differences are non-existent or are even self-servingly created by the parties themselves for their unified political agenda.

    It is heart-breaking and infuriating to see the social and economic mess that comes from one ruling party pretending to be two in the service of the military/industrial/economic elites. But it is also sad to see the ferocity of the people who will not let go of the Democratic lie. Most of my friends, for instance, still believe in the “change” that Obama will bring, still cling fiercely to the false notion that he will lead us away from the problems caused by the Republicans.

    I’m afraid that I’m not too optimistic about the American Left realizing its mistake. It may take more than the Massachusetts vote to wake them up, much more. My only hope is that an intelligent, articulate liberal can rise quickly to national prominence and serve as a rallying point for all the disenfranchised. And thanks to the Demopublican/Republicrat parties, the ranks of the disenfranchised are legion. As a voting bloc, they could bring actual “change we can believe in.”

  2. bozh said on January 23rd, 2010 at 12:22pm #

    walk away, i say from the dems and repubs! Count on, tho, that if u do and vote for nader [but only if he establishes a party] the two wings of one goose wld suddenly drop off.
    S’mthing like in B.C. When NDP became a majority party, conservatives and liberals formed one party; called it Liberal Party. Federally, both of these parties are stronlgy asocialistic and prowar; representing plutocrats mostly!

    Repubs wld gladly join dems [btw, they always been there]; being tired of being redumbs; i.e. perennial bad cop!
    I think that convicting amers that there are two parties in US, represnts of one the greatest snake oil sale. tnx

  3. Don Hawkins said on January 23rd, 2010 at 1:13pm #

    Maybe not Bozh there are still a few good minds that have not sold there soul to the system. It has to start somewhere and the truth the knowledge calm at peace people helping people and the Ferengi can go back to there home planet far far away. Alright how do we get this started and soon.

  4. brcoll said on January 23rd, 2010 at 2:08pm #

    The neglect of the mass of unemployed, uncovered, and, perhaps, unassimilated masses by the corporate party (both Democratic and Republican wings) presents a genuine opportunity. With the events of the the last year and last week – Obama’s unequivocal endorsement of the corporate agenda and the Supreme Court decision opening the way for total corporate control over elections – we are at a point where the way divides. The elites have been very successful in their attempt to gain total control over tax revenues and the military apparatus of the U.S. government. But there is a great mass of humanity that has been excluded.

    The reason for the failure of the masses to embrace left-wing critiques and alternatives has to do with institutional control over the bounds of acceptable political discourse. Since the only available images of freedom and humanity are those of wealth, power, and fame, the working class has adopted the values that these images embody. This is often accompanied by alienated forms of religion that promise a restoration of lost humanity, but only in a magical realm. So the oppressed have internalized the image of the oppressor and adopted his guidelines. Their imaginations have become so constricted by mainstream propaganda that they are intellectually incapable of even understanding left-wing critiques.

    All of this presents an opportunity. The strength of current corporate dominance is also its weakness. The troops which the elites have marshaled are too dehumanized and intellectually truncated to be effective overlords. When their crude measures fail, they resort to torture, detention and murder to enforce their will, but these are the means of the incompetent.

    In addition, power and wealth have definite limits when it comes to motivating loyalty. Conscience must also be involved and alienated religions serve here as a reinforcement for material motivations. But the appeal to the truths of religion tends to call into question the actions which are necessary to enforce domination.

    Once we have rejected the corporate parties and their attempt to subvert and rechannel our struggle for justice, the field lies open and ready for harvesting.

  5. Don Hawkins said on January 23rd, 2010 at 2:18pm #

    The current leaders, in power are human’s some may be from another planet but for the most part human. They the so called leaders were once kid’s and did do do in there pants These people are not God’s well there probably are no God’s another misconception but they are human’s there is probably a creator and if you know who or what that is tell us please. Now these so called leaders many went to Harvard Business School or maybe Yale some were in a little gang called the scull and crossbones that’s so cool. There is much knowledge in the World the real thing and also much illusion illusion helps to make much money funny how that work’s. Knowledge the real thing could just save our you know what as it looks like we are at the crossroads we either make it or we don’t. Am going to keep fighting back it’s so easy to do as the illusion has become so stupid I just can’t help myself. Don’t get me wrong I try to judge no one but these people who used to do do do in there pants so called leaders who try and control my mind with pure unadulterated foolishness illusion of knowledge BS for some reason it is important to me to try and protect my mind. Granted I have always’ had a problem with suit’s they seem to always’ want something from me. Sorry I just caught myself profiling and Monday morning I will turn on the TV to one of the financial channels and probably do just that and is it because I don’t like rich people no it’s the stupidity stupid with what we all know now. Calm at peace the truth the knowledge and think of this as kind of a war.

  6. lichen said on January 23rd, 2010 at 2:50pm #

    Doesn’t everyone here know by now that the democrats are not our friends? Thankfully this website isn’t stuffed with democrat-apologist articles as some are. I agree with some of brcoll’s points; the system for defining what is acceptable politically is controlled by the political elite, consolidated corporate media and the culture it spawns; this is a huge, perhaps completely impassable limit; it may mean our very extinction as a species. Also, I think, it is due to the fact that people are overall controlled by the meanness of our society; experiencing the cruelty and the violence and the ‘you’re on your own’ culture from birth, many simply don’t have it in them to move towards a more, beautiful, greener, kinder, more equal world. Some of them can never be ‘recruited.’

    In a way, I really hate elections–elections of the “decide which rich celebrity get’s the power” because they are ultimately so reactionary–“representation” itself is so grossly ugly and inefficient. We need to totally remodel our media/political system and society so that we can have direct participatory democracy, a new constitution, a new world.

  7. brcoll said on January 23rd, 2010 at 3:08pm #

    Thanks for your comments, lichen. I think you make a good point about the nature of our society, but the “you’re on your own” culture is structured that way for a reason, though the corporate media wants us to believe that it’s just human nature. This society encourages a certain type of selfishness because it makes people easier to control and the whole machine run more smoothly. A different kind of society could encourage cooperation and reward behaviors that help preserve our natural environment, but awareness of this type of alternative has been systematically excluded through the main institutions of our society and this has been quite intentional.

  8. brcoll said on January 23rd, 2010 at 3:49pm #

    It might be helpful here to bring up the idea of “repressive needs”. This is the idea that particular social interests impose “needs” on us which perpetuate toil, aggressiveness, misery, and ecological suicide. We try to satisfy these “needs”, but this effort involves a complete submission to the economic interests we serve. One of primary purposes of the media is to cultivate and reinforce these needs, but they are reinforced in many other ways as well. The effort to meet these “needs” requires a great deal of selfishness because economic pressures make it difficult to share and there is the fear of competition for the same goods. This is one of the mechanisms used to keep us isolated and incapable of organizing.

    As to elections, the ruling elite does not really want the public to be involved in politics and they’ve succeeded in making politics seem degrading and something to be avoided by the cool. The purpose of elections is to provide a ceremony of endorsement for the celebrities that work for the the elites who rule us.

  9. lichen said on January 23rd, 2010 at 4:39pm #

    brcoll, you are right that there is a terrible selfishness at play–often wound up in the lie that if you do (or don’t) become very well-to-do or an elite it was because of some exceptional greatness (or lack thereof) inside of you as opposed to a coincidental consequence of the very intentional policy and prejudices coming from the top. This erodes at solidarity because, as you say, chasing after personal success means you ignore everyone else; you are also made to be alone in the feelings of shame and self-blame if you haven’t ‘made it.’

    I think there is also a strong element of: when someone has experienced something extremely difficult, limiting, cruel, and unnecessary, but instead of revolting against it in hindsight decides that it was “good” and that thus everyone should have to experience it–so they reject social change and actually become quite unsympathetic to their fellow man. I think this is very prevalent in the US–not necessarily in the ‘labor movement,’ but what exists in place of it.

  10. dan e said on January 23rd, 2010 at 7:14pm #

    Thank you Ron J for this excellent article which I fwdd to my list of acquaintances.
    Thanks also to those who have appended thoughtful comments. I hope this discussion continues. How to get well meaning politically engaged people to escape the traps the Dems have set up for them? Is it really possible that a significant number of these Libertarian-style Republicans can be brought around to embrace genuine “social change”? When is it right to participate in struggles to bring about Reforms, to wring concessions from our rulers, when we know that all such reforms/consessions are invariably A) partial and B) temporary? That as soon as our rulers grant a reform they immediately set about revoking it? That many of the campaigns for “change” are simply swindles, bunco games from the jump, organized and promoted to keep wellmeaning kiddies occupied?

    It seems to me that in the near term, that is the current election cycle leading up to Nov 2012, we need to engage in a winnowing process which will produce one single unified Presidential Ticket that all anti-Planetary Destruction, anti War/Militarism/Empire people can and will support.

    The Democratic Party’s bedrock base is A) African American voters; B) the remaining vestiges of the Labor Movement. Doesn’t it make sense that if we want to challenge Obamism it would be best to have a spokesperson who is Black and can communicate with Labor activists? If we want to mobilize nonvoters who are eligible to vote, what demographics are we talking about? May I submit that there are more Poor and Working Poor eligible nonvoters than there are mildly affluent Libertarian minded types?

    I’ve been talking in terms of the electoral arena mainly because I don’t see a better focus for activity aimed at “social change” in the USA. But that could be due to the limits of my vision; if you know of a better focus don’t be afraid to suggest it:)

  11. brcoll said on January 23rd, 2010 at 10:31pm #

    For all the commentators,

    I also hope the discussion continues. I want to make one thing clear. I’m not just condemning selfishness or careerism. Of course, these are real and should be fought. But what I’m saying is that this is not just human nature, but the result of a deliberate policy of social conditioning in order to allow the social mechanisms deployed by corporations to function smoothly. We need to move the focus off the deficiencies of individuals, even powerful ones, and move the focus onto the system that such behaviors help to maintain. Once we understand how and why we accept these false needs that divide us from our brothers and sisters, we can begin to fight the conditioning that keeps us subjugated.

    “The most effective and enduring form of warfare against liberation is the implanting of intellectual and material needs that perpetuate obsolete forms of the struggle for existence.” – Herbert Marcuse. It is these obsolete forms that the current society is perpetuating in a vain attempt to hold off the liberation that we must demand if the planet is to be saved from those blind to the catastrophe they are causing.

  12. Don Hawkins said on January 24th, 2010 at 6:09am #

    Something has to give. Wall Street seems to think investing in China could be the answer for them. The way these people think to me is the top of the quite literary crazy ladder. Climate change is still a few years out for major changes for millions then billions how far 20 years is probably pushing it. Oil in the short term a bit of a problem. Something has to give or slow down. Has anybody ever watched on the History Channel “How It’s Made”? When I watch that the first thing I look for is how much energy it takes to make stuff and it appears a lot. You always’ hear well renewable energy only gives us say 2% of our energy we need the other. Then of course you have the people who want to make money as the price goes up and here’s where the quite literary crazy part comes in. So far the big plan is just more illusion and build smaller cars oh that will do the trick. I don’t think there will be a energy bill in the Senate and again that is quite literary crazy. So something has to give or just maybe take from others might be on the table. Oh yes call call now go shopping eat until you can’t get out of a chair listen to your leaders and watch your parking meters and someday maybe you can be the President of the greatest nation on Earth or a CEO of a corporation that is quite literary destroying life on Earth. Just think after this supreme court ruling much more messages coming on how you should think and what you are suppose to do to keep yourself great and America and it looks like insanity is the way forward. You know doing the same thing over and expecting a different result. Then again that expecting a different result could be up for grabs so to speak. I see Osama bin Laden put out a few words and I put on Fox New’s on the tube and they are all happy you see we told you so. What do you think attack Canada for the tar sands. Quite literary crazy.

  13. MylesH said on January 24th, 2010 at 6:36am #

    I’ve often said, “You can always count on the Democrats to live up to the campaign promises of the Republican Party.”

    I spoke to Kucinich at the anti-war demo recently in DC and asked him why he’s still a Democrat. Although he says he struggles with that all the time, he says he feels he can best change from within. I have a great deal of respect for Dennis but that is a false approach. It’s like apartheid. You don’t reform it; you abolish it, or in DK’s case, leave it.

  14. Don Hawkins said on January 24th, 2010 at 7:25am #

    We hear about profiling and in the Capitalist system that let me add with what we now know is
    quite literary crazy are we the people the masses profiled? No we need to use another word like insanity. On msm are we profiled and now with this supreme court ruling will we be more profiled. What if a talking head on TV talked about this what would they say. Well it’s just the American way oh really and how does the American way going these day’s of strangeness being spread through out the land. Just think very soon Fox New’s will be sending out the messages with dear old Bill and Glenn and a few more the truth the fair and balanced way to look at life and what to think and what we should all do. Then of course we will still have commercials on what to buy and kind of how to think we are your friends we are here only to help you. Can hardly wait until the climate bill comes up for 15 seconds and then the elections this insanity should be one hell of a show in clowntown USA.

  15. bozh said on January 24th, 2010 at 8:34am #

    Brcoll, lichen,
    both of u make excellent points. I wld just add that what we r today, we were like that millennia ago. We may have not been that way before rise of priestly rulers who divided us into a very valuable people [nobility-priests] and less valuable people.
    To me, it does matter whether we say we are what we are or we BECAME over centuries or millennia this way or that way.
    Verb “to be” implies immutability of what one IS, but the verb “becoming” does not. To become anything also includes time factor and possibility of change
    Wld children; who, seems to me, learn w.o. knowing they r learning distinguish between implications of YOU ARE and YOU BECAME?
    It seems better to say, Watch it, u may lose it than u are a loser or u lost it.

    As children we learned a language with no effort of whatever kind. I do not know how i learned my own language. I do not know how i accepted so many small and large lies as true and became near-totally deluded for decades.

    But i now know how children accept lies as the truth! A lie is as powerful as the truth; liars always knew that and they knew that children had no capacity to distinguish a lie from truth.
    Even now i am from time to time taken in by a lie; usually, w.o. awareness. tnx

  16. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 24th, 2010 at 8:37am #

    Hello, Everybody. I’m brand new here, just created my account. I like your good article overall, Mr. Jacobs (and the thoughtful discussion following it caused my desire to weigh in), but I’d like to focus on your very first and very last sentences and contribute a seemingly counter-intuitive view I’ll bet has not been presented here before.

    You see, I think we have the organizing cart before the education horse, and that’s our problem. It’s too soon to be organizing the unorganized – because the question is: organizing them to do what? To continue more of humanity’s sad and sorry and senseless history of endlessly begging wealthpower giants for our rights? Can we all get really really real enough to see that we’ve been there, done that, over and over forever – and it has been a fundamentally misconceived strategy that has failed us miserably?

    Are we humans ever going to break out of all our various mental grooves long enough to realize we could just get rid of the irrational and optional practice of HAVING wealthpower giants?

    It is my firm conviction that begging wealthpower giants for our rights sends exactly the wrong message to everyone. Until you have majority general opinion united, you are coming from a position of no power, which means you can’t make demands – only requests. And all the requests I hear being made boil down to this one request: Give us our rights, Honour our rights! So by continuously requesting our rights from those who have the wealthpower to deny us the power to exercise our rights, we are sending the message that we SHOULD beg wealthpower giants for our rights, that it is GOOD to beg wealthpower giants for our rights, that it is NECESSARY to beg wealthpower giants for our rights, that it is RIGHT to beg wealthpower giants for our rights, and that it is always going to be good and right and necessary to beg wealthpower giants for our rights.

    Wrong, says I. All I can see we are doing is guaranteeing we will suffer from hope-fatigue over and over.

    How obvious is it that it’s far far smarter – and much less work, too – to just stop having wealthpower giants to have to beg our rights from?

    If we organize people now, all we are doing is organizing a bunch of people who still have the world’s most terrible, most diabolically stupid, most irrational, most dangerous, most egregiously unjust, most self-defeating idea in their heads: the geno-sadistic and ultimately pan-species fatal idea to allow wealthpower giants. The bad idea to allow unlimited personal fortunes is stuck in almost every head on this planet – and it is that idea that is driving everything that is going on.

    Which brings us to your last sentence, Mr. Jacobs – and to just what work it is that we need to attend to. I argue it’s education alone that can save us – and I mean 3 billion adults sharing the work of educating each other about the principles behind the Mother of all issues: overpayunderpay (=overpowerunderpower) (=tyrannyslavery) – versus Fairpay. We have got to get riveted on changing from unlimited personal fortunes capitalism to Fairpay capitalism.

    Don’t wish to be too long in my first foray into this discussion, so I’ll end my first comment here with this big fat nugget of super-condensed wisdom:

    We humans will either RID ourselves of the suicidal injustice idea to allow unlimited personal fortunes, or we WILL succumb to the results of having the next and the next and the next wealthpower giants, ad infinitum.

    One question: Could somebody please remind me of the very good reason we humans ever had…to allow limitless personal fortunes?

    Anybody?

    Since we have today an economic inequality factor residing in the billions, surely there must be one sound, rational argument for allowing unlimited personal fortunes? Right?

    Right?

  17. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 24th, 2010 at 10:42am #

    wondering…maybe I should make clear…I don’t mean to say that electoral politics is useless. I wholeheartedly agree with another poster elsewhere who said “Without electoral politics it’s back to the caves with us oop oop eep eep.” It just seems to me it’s quite obvious that elections now and into the predictable future – for as long as we stick with this depraved encumbrance we’ve hung around our necks, this insane, fundamentally misconceived, unlimited personal fortunes capitalism – “our” elections are all about the careers of politicians who work for wealthpower giants, and have nothing to do with the people or their interests anymore.

    So not only do I agree it’s time to turn our backs on the Democratic Party (which could perhaps ultimately be retaken if enough people return to it with the right idea?), I think it’s time we see that we’ve been looking to politics to solve what isn’t at root a political problem (or a human-nature problem, or a race or religion problem) but an inherently-flawed-economics problem. A fraction few money-smartest humans can game billions of the rest of us forever, can continue to use Rinos and Dinos both to create more, new, different and better legal thefts until the people pull them down again in another absolutely predictable repeat of all the bloody revolutions of the past – because we are so generally ignorant of how money works. Down here, at the bottom – this is where the root problem of all problems – and the solution – resides. I submit it’s way past time we encourage each other to focus on Equitable Fairpay Justice as a virtue essential to happiness, safety, peace, order, security, fraternity, liberty, democracy. Time to be bringing to the forefront of everyone’s consciousness a few facts like these:

    The American Dream of Freedom was never about the freedom to grow limitlessly rich at the expense of your neighbor. The American Dream of Freedom was the dream of freedom FROM the money-tyranny in Europe – freedom FROM that which our Founders fled.

    Money is power. Power to influence and control, indeed power to make the history of humanity be what your moneypower says it will be. Therefore, we are out of touch with the reality of our situation when we speak of Democracy as if it exists. Democracy is – by definition! – made impossible by extreme inequality – and we have giga-extreme inequality now – and growing exponentially!

    And we have the violent struggle for justice that will never fail to come attached. And all of this is going on while there is bomb under every chair and bed and movieseat on this planet that we have wired to blow at the turn of two keys or by the statistically certain big nuclear accident happening in 50 years, give or take 50 years….and there are madmen at the helm…and yet everyone is SO CALM, so undisturbed by this perilous situation we are ALL – rich and poor – awash in every minute!

    Are we too blind to see that for as long as we dangle the carrot of unlimited personal fortunes in front of everyone it will always be the least scrupulous amongst us who will always be going after it the hardest?

    I think we need as the mother of all human needs for this herd’s bellwethers to savvy up about the fact that the non-negotiable price of survival is economic justice – pronto. Then the herd instinct can work for us.

    ok, me hush now and see if anyone agrees…

  18. brcoll said on January 24th, 2010 at 12:37pm #

    Fairpay, I think your instinct is correct. We need to go to the root of the problem which is the inequality of wealth. If you’re not familiar with it, you might want to take a look at znet: http://www.zcommunications.org/znet Michael Albert has probably thought through the issue of how to create an economic system without massive concentrations of wealth. Here’s a quick quote to give you an idea: “Economic production, consumption, and allocation should be classless – which of course includes equitable access for all to quality and accessible education, health care and the requisites of health like food, water, and sanitation, housing, meaningful and dignified work, and the instruments and conditions of personal fulfillment.”

  19. Don Hawkins said on January 24th, 2010 at 1:26pm #

    Fairpay good stuff and if you don’t mind I will write a state of the union speech and use some of your writting. Please keep writting.

  20. bozh said on January 24th, 2010 at 1:29pm #

    Miles H,
    Even nader may be working from inside the system let alone kuchinich and a few others.
    If one does that, one is of the system. Or to say it in another way,criticising wars, lack of heatlth care/education, begging, pleading, complaining, voting for one party is of the system.
    In other words, nothing of import happens in US that is not of the system;i.e., structure of society and governance.

    US system of mastery over ‘lowlife’ had been over 3 centuries honed to a near-perfection.
    The moment one establishes even a modest second party in US the loop had been ?forever burst.
    And the system or structure changes noticeably. In canada, the second party, the NDP, gets federally only ab 20% of votes. However, NDP had established govt in BC, ontario, manitoba, saskatchewan.
    It had been manitoba and its [a]socialists, headed by rev tommy douglas which first brought us healthcare.

    Thus, having changed the basic structure of society and governance. Hopefully, nominally the two parties we have, but in effect only one [very bellicose] wld not destroy NDP.
    I am amazed that nader, kuchinich have not espied this fact? Or have, but are either afraid or think that US constitution is infallible; thus, needs not be amended or emended.

    But how can they not see that slavery, civil war; later terror against blacks because they were held responsible for that war, nuking japan; waging some 180 major and minor wars, incursions/invasions, ab ten K CIA acts of terror, extirpation of indigenes, happened under the hallowed constitution.

    Nothing can change the fact that US constitution;i.e., a set of ‘laws’ had been written by “them” and not via referendum. In add’n, US constitution cannnot be understood; it can be only interpreted; of course by “them”. To conclude: go figure! tnx

  21. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 24th, 2010 at 1:58pm #

    Thanks for responding, brcoll. I gotta say it isn’t instinct that I’m going on – I have all cold, hard, unbiased *reasoning* behind my words. You’d be referring to Albert’s Parecon, right? What if I tell you I think there’s a much easier way to go than that idea? What if I know of 2 simple steps that would work to marry the capitalism everyone already knows to justice…2 steps that would effectively and efficiently work to gently counter the ceaseless, automatic drift of wealth (and power) from earners to non-earners? What if I’ve discovered the inherent flaw in capitalism resides in the very nature of transaction itself, that it occurs with or without human agency helping it along, and how to correct for the fact that market forces shift work one direction and wealth the other direction?

    And what if I tell you that we don’t have to change the world to get our sorcerer’s apprentices behinds out of the tremendous pickle we had just enough brains to get ourselves into?

    We have only to start acting in accord with what everybody really already believes.

    We start here: “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer” means the rich are getting more and more for a unit of work while the poor are getting less and less per unit of work. And only work creates wealth.

    As the Conceptual Guerilla (friend of mine) says: Anybody who isn’t convinced it’s true that only work creates wealth, right now take a dollar bill out of your wallet and tell it to fix you a sandwich.

  22. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 24th, 2010 at 2:09pm #

    Don Hawkins, if you think what I have to say through for yourself and find you agree with my thinking, then it is your thinking, too. So take my words, put your own name on them, and know you have my blessing. I AM trying to get a book about this done, eventually. There is much more to be said…but right this minute my rassin-frassin furnace is trying to go kaput on me. I’ll be back.

  23. lichen said on January 24th, 2010 at 2:14pm #

    I think it is very shallow to try to say that the only real problem is economic–and thus that somehow the full breadth of environmental and social issues are unimportant, will be automatically solved, or shouldn’t be taken on directly. I really don’t trust people who don’t want to put together a broad range of issues and fight for all of them.

    Bozh, yet, if you look at, for instance, statistics that tell us we are living in the least violent period of human history, I have to think that we really aren’t quite the same as mellenia ago; in act my general beleif is not in an ‘eden’ but that the further you go back, the worse things were–i.e. the more violent, the more repressive, the more suffocating. Ultimately, each child that is born is totally open to kindness, nonviolence, beauty, cooperation–it depends on how the adults treat him–whether they abandon the poisonous old ways or not. A single generation, in this way, could remake the world–or not.

  24. lichen said on January 24th, 2010 at 2:18pm #

    On Kucinich, while he isn’t my favorite topic, I will say that he probably would leave the democratic party if doing so wouldn’t cost him his seat in the house. Cynthia Mckinney didn’t choose that path willingly, so I don’t imagine he will. But I find it bothersome the way so many people want to focus on him and that “wrong paul” person to the complete exclusion of third party candidates.

  25. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 24th, 2010 at 2:25pm #

    ooh, lichen – I didn’t say the bad economics that kills more people more effectively than any other weapon is our only problem. I’m saying it is the ROOT problem and that it has to be focused on and fixed – or we’re going to just keep pulling leaf-problems that grow back faster than we can pull them. Strike the ROOT. It makes perfect sense. Don’t do that and you will always have a fraction few wealthpower giants with the power to thwart your efforts on other issues.

  26. Don Hawkins said on January 24th, 2010 at 2:47pm #

    The State Of The Union Is The Wrong Approach

    Am going to start tonight in a new way. You all are probably wondering why there are no seats and you are standing wonder no more. Am the President and this is an order first lose the ties and the suit coat. Don’t be shy do it. Now you see the center of the room all of you from both sides move together come on and sit on the floor. Yes I said sit on the floor. Do you know how to sit Indian style helps you to think. Ok let’s begin at the end of the beginning. My fellow human’s we are all in deep do do and “The American Dream of Freedom was never about the freedom to grow limitlessly rich at the expense of your neighbor. The American Dream of Freedom was the dream of freedom FROM the money-tyranny in Europe – freedom FROM that which our Founders fled”. “We my fellow policy makers we are out of touch with the reality of our situation when we speak of Democracy as if it exists. Democracy is – by definition! – made impossible by extreme inequality – and we have giga-extreme inequality now – and growing exponentially”!

    Did you all find that shocking well that’s only the beginning we are going to do something new it’s called the truth and we are going to start using the knowledge we have gained over the last 5 thousand years not illusion of knowledge but the real thing. Mitch you seem to have a strange look on your face like you don’t like these ideas. Try these out I have ordered Air Force one to be parked and this will be my last appearance in public for awhile all my speech’s will be from the White House and there will be many. I have contacted the best minds we have now and here is just a few names Hansen, Hawking, Oppenheimer there are more but are we getting on the same page? We have about ten years to stop destroying Earth for life you might have heard of it it’s called climate change and if that isn’t enough this very minute there is bomb under every chair and bed and movieseat on this planet that we have wired to blow at the turn of two keys or by the statistically certain big nuclear accident happening in 50 years, give or take 50 years and yet for my first year in office from us all of us nothing more than stupidity on a grand scale. Mitch you still have that look on your face. Do you all really think that as the climate warms and millions are on the move that those weapons will not be used. We are going to try no we are going to do this. Cap and trade is for wimps start thinking about taxing carbon and returning 100% of that tax back to the people. Mitch you don’t look good some water. This will only be a start much more needs to be done and everything will be made as simple as possible but not simpler. I have also order all the people you all remember that concept all the people at the White House no suit and tie’s we are going to work and just looking out I can tell or see pain on some of your faces and you don’t like these ideas. Those many speech’s I spoke of from the White House the people are going to hear the truth the knowledge and I can give a speech if I don’t say so myself. This will not be easy far from it but boring it will not be. Like I said you know where to find me if you want to talk and I will leave you all with something Einstein wrote a few years back and granted it can’t happen overnight or the next day or year or decade but it will grow exponentially.

    A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.

    That’s a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.

    Thank you thank you very much and Mitch you are starting to look a little better good luck we will all need it.

  27. lichen said on January 24th, 2010 at 3:16pm #

    Yes, Fairpay, I disagreed with what you said. Economics is not the root problem of all the changes I want to make in the world–and getting rid of all the ‘wealthpower elites’ won’t do anything when you still have so many right wing working class around who want stop social change, climate justice, and nonviolence. So as I said, I only support a broad political movement that includes everything, not just economics.

  28. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 24th, 2010 at 3:19pm #

    Here’s some more ‘quotes for building our mental muscles’ for your – and hopefully everybody’s – enjoyment, Don:

    “Darwin’s theory of the struggle for existence and the selectivity connected with it has by many people been cited as authorization of the encouragement of the spirit of competition. Some people also in such a way have tried to prove pseudo-scientifically the necessity of the destructive economic struggle of competition between individuals. But this is wrong, because man owes his strength in the struggle for existence to the fact that he is a socially living animal. As little as a battle between single ants of an ant hill is essential for survival, just so little is this the case with the individual members of a human community.”
    -Albert Einstein 1879 – 1955

    “The rich have given to the poor a little food, a little drink, a little shelter and few clothes – the poor have given to the rich, palaces and yachts and an almost infinite freedom to indulge their doubtful taste for display; and bonuses and excess profits, under which has been hidden the excess labour and extravagant misery of the poor” – Gilbert Seldes

    “The oppressors do not perceive their monopoly of having more as a privilege which dehumanises others and themselves” – Paolo Freire

    “The modern English oligarchy does not rest on the cruelty of the rich to the poor – it rests on the unfailing kindness of the poor to the rich.”
    – GK Chesterton

    “Evil is wrought by want of thought as well as by want of heart .”
    – Thomas Hood

    “Do you know that the tendrils of graft and corruption have become mighty interlacing roots so that even men who would like to be honest are tripped and trapped by them?” – Agnes Sligh Turnbell 1888-1982 American novelist

    “When we resist concentration of power, we are resisting the powers of death, because concentration of power is what always precedes the destruction of human liberties. The truth is, we are all caught in an economic system which is heartless – American industry is not free, as once it was free; the person with only a little capital is finding it harder to get into the field, more and more impossible to compete with the big fellow. Why? Because the laws of this country do not prevent the strong from crushing the weak.” – Woodrow Wilson

    “In the progress of time, and through our own base carelessness and ignorance, we have permitted the money industry to attain a political and economic influence so powerful that it has undermined the authority of the state and usurped the power of democratic government.”
    – Vincent Vickers

    “The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size, acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by people of relatively small means.”
    – Theodore Roosevelt

    “The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the state – that in its essence is fascism.” – Franklin D Roosevelt

    “Trade is a social act. Whoever undertakes to sell any description of any goods to the public, does what affects the interest of other persons, and of society in general; and thus his conduct, in principal, comes within the jurisdiction of society.” -John Stuart Mill 1806 – 1873

    “To find out the true state of facts, to report them with fidelity, to apply to them strict and fixed principles of justice, humanity and law; to inform as far as possible the very conscience of nations, and to call down the judgment of the world on what is false, or base, or tyrannical, appear to me to be the first duties of those who write.” – Henry Reeve

    “So far as I can see,” said Edith, “the main business of the people’s government was to struggle with the social chaos which resulted from its failure to take hold of the economic system and regulate it on a basis of justice.” – from Edward Bellamy’s book Equality, the sequel to his best-seller Looking Backward

    “The patience of the oppressed has always been the most inexplicable, as well as probably the most important, fact in all history.”
    – Author Amos Elon from The Pity of it All

    Read that one again.

    “Philosophy should always know that indifference is a militant thing. It batters down the walls of cities and murders the women and children amid the flames and the purloining of altar vessels. When it goes away it leaves smoking ruins, where lie citizens bayonetted through the throat. It is not a children’s pastime like mere highway robbery.” -Stephen Crane

    “Man defends himself as much as he can against truth, as a child does against a medicine, as the man of the platonic cave does against the light. He does not willingly follow his path, he has to be dragged along backward. This natural liking for the false has several causes; the inheritance of prejudices, which produces an unconscious habit, a slavery; the predominance of the imagination over the reason, which affects the understanding; the predominance of the passions over the conscience, which depraves the heart; the predominance of the will over the intelligence, which vitiates the character. A lively, disinterested, persistent liking for truth is extraordinarily rare. Action and faith enslave thought, both of them in order not to be troubled or inconvenienced by reflection, criticism and doubt.” “Emancipation from error is the condition of real knowledge.” – Henri Amiel 1821 – 1881

    ‘Even if it could be demonstrated that ordinary people had less native ability than those selected for high position, that would not mean that they deserved to get less. Being a member of the ”lucky sperm club” confers no moral right to advantage. What one is born with, or without, is not of one’s own doing.’ – MichaelYoung

    “The person who stands up and says, “This is stupid”, either is asked to behave, or worse, is greeted with a cheerful “Yes, we know! Isn’t it terrific!”
    – Frank Zappa

  29. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 24th, 2010 at 4:10pm #

    lichen, I hope you will eventually decide it will do you no harm to read more about the idea I have barely begun to illuminate. Just reading and considering it does not mean you’re agreeing. I am puzzled at what is causing you to suspect shallowness or untrustworthiness from me, but I hope you’ll give my idea a fair hearing. You don’t yet know what I’m going to say. You haven’t yet heard the rational proofs I have. And you haven’t yet heard my proposed solution.

    I was taught it is better to have ideas than beliefs. It’s to our own benefit to keep testing and retesting our own ideas for soundness. That way, if they’re sound, we are reassured of their soundness, and if we discover a crack, we can fix up our old ideas by adding/using what we learned.

    By the way, has everyone here seen this? It’s a PHD in economics in three and a half minutes:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woIkIph5xcU

    “If there were but one person in the world, it is manifest that he could have no more wealth than he was able to make and save. THIS is the natural order.” – Henry George.

    And THAT is the sanity, the biggest-picture reality that the richest have driven us all far from.

  30. Melissa said on January 24th, 2010 at 4:13pm #

    Wow. lichen, YourFriendFairpay, bozh, brcoll, Don!

    I smell a peaceful Revolution brewing and your ideas and intellect deserve a place in all of it.

    I have been searching, searching, for the rebels without lock and load plans (er, but if the troops hit our streets we should welcome, and support the lock and loaders, omg, I could really go to prison indefinitely without trial for saying so). I am not satisfied with the Ron Paul authoritarians, though incredibly taken with the idea of liberty they pretend to promote.

    So, I have questions I have lifted from elsewhere to ask of anyone who wants to play my game.

    1) What is your definition of freedom in one sentence?

    2) How do you secure your freedoms?

    3) Which do you prefer: a) to vote for politicians? OR b) to vote on issues?

    4) Would you like the right to consent to any law enacted and enforced upon you and the people?

    5) Are you aware of the inspiration and actual purpose of the American Revolution?

    6) Are you aware that when the Constitution was written -by politicians, lawyers and judges- that the Federalists omitted the Right To Consent and substituted the Right to Petition (gee, that’s sure worked well for impeachment and war crimes, and PATRIOT Act, etc) This effectively hijacked the Revolution from the common folk that actually fomented and executed the overthrow of the Crown, and placed it into the hands of the propertied men of European descent.

    7) Have you ever heard of a small booklet “Time for a New Tea Party”? NOT NOT NOT affiliated with the Fox News/Heritage Foundation “Taxed Enough Already” GOP movement!!

    8) Would you vote for people at all levels of government that were Right to Consenters?

    To YourFriendFairpay: I am enjoying your contributions here. Regarding the Michael Young quote, are you aware that it was mathematically proven that ordinary people, as a group, are better and more wise leaders that the aristocratic/well-born crowd? Sir Francis Galton, an English nobleman, set out to prove that commoners were unfit for self-government, but found the opposite to be true. Democracy of, by and for the People is best left to the People.

    Too many people argue that the shift from Republic to Democracy (direct election of Senators) is the worst development . . . that Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where a majority chooses for all. Indeed the majority is influenced and confused into bad choices, but that isn’t the fault of direct democracy, imo. The influence and confusion are deliberate maneuvers by those with the concentrated power and wealth.

    Anyway, I look forward to the post 2nd Revolutionary America with hope that some of the ideas bounced around here shape that future.

    Peace, Resistance, Hope,
    Melissa

  31. Melissa said on January 24th, 2010 at 4:45pm #

    brcoll: Have you a title for the Michael Albert writing? -Or is it thematic to all of his writing? I am at znet and overwhelmed by the options offered under Albert’s name.

    Peace, Resistance, Hope,
    Melissa

  32. bozh said on January 24th, 2010 at 4:50pm #

    I assume that until a point of time; probably ca 15-12 humans lived in small groups but idyllicly structured: each person was heard and listened to; each person respected each other’s basic rights. All members were equally valued.
    I assume that we had an idyllic societal structure because a gropu cldn’t
    have survived if the group had been structured as now and for possibly 12 k yrs.

    For if there had been a few tyrants among a group of 200 people, the majority wld have more cudgels than the usurpers of the idyllic society and that wld have meant the end to dividing humans into more and less valauble.
    Today, tiny minority has more cudgels than vast majority.So, the cudgels rule!

    Nevertheless, usurpers have suceeded. And from that time to this day this led to warfare, torture, slavery, serfdom; abuse of the less-valued people, lying, deceiving.
    To me, it’s not money nor work that cause all manner of iniquities on interpersonal, intrapersonal, and int’l levels. It is the division of people into nobilty and non-nobility that cause all ills that befall us.

    Money is a tool as is a hammer or spade. Each can be also used as weapon. Wealth to me comes only thru work. Knowledge comes to us from just 000001% of world pop.
    It does not come from pols, clergy, ‘educators'; the knowledge comes to us from geniuses like newton, galileo, copernicus, bohr, einstein, newton, pavlov, edison, tesla, pasteur, archimedes, just to mention few of the geniuses from all arround the world.
    And it took tns of us to make me and them.

    However, a tiny minorities solely divide fruits of labor. So, to me, that is the greatest evil that ever befell us?
    And nowhere is it as evil as in US. In short, what we have in US is a gangster rule but ratiowise larger and richer by far than in any empire or land.
    And resting on US hallowed constitution. And even poor kuchinch must shake in his boots if he had espied this fact.
    Both nader and kucinich, methinks, know this. Maybe many americans know it too. So, in fear or in a daze they turn to patching the pants instead of getting new ones.
    tnx

  33. Don Hawkins said on January 24th, 2010 at 5:20pm #

    Somerset Maugham:
    If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too.

    Aboriginal activists group, Queensland, 1970s:
    If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.

    Anybody have any tips on the stock Market? What do you think gold, oil, the dollar, how about irony how much is it I’ll buy it. Irony do people like it can you buy at Goldman I want some did you buy some?

  34. lichen said on January 24th, 2010 at 5:45pm #

    Melissa, I’m definitely with you on direct democracy instead of “representatives.” Minusing of course protections for minorities, which shouldn’t be something for everyone to vote on, I think that a system of direct democracy, stripped of corporate involvement and based on simple information, would give us a glorious world. Our current system of voting on people, as controlled by the political elite and corporate media, is not an example of direct democracy or some proof that we shouldn’t have it. Of course voting for a person tends to turn into a cynical charade. As to freedom, I think it means free from want, with basic needs met in a cooperative society where one has a direct say on the policies enacted.

    Bozh, I think in small groups it is, actually, very easy to not be a cooperative, but a tyranny run by a top few who control the rest with fear, dependency, violence, and morality–since it is a small group and not a society, the others could easily feel that they have nowhere else to go and stay despite mistreatment. Also, I don’t think it does sound very idyllic–everyone separating into their own little gang, fighting with any person or persons who appears within eyesight for alleged threats on your food, water, place to sleep. What some people call alter-globalization means the end of that–not worlwide economies chained together, but people linked through all borders instead of isolated, clannish.

    Yourfairpay, I’ve advocated economic equality for a long time. I just don’t agree with your proposed methodology; and I was speaking broadly, not necessarily saying this or that about you. If you can handle the fact that I’m not jumping on your ship but support equality, then good.

  35. bozh said on January 24th, 2010 at 5:52pm #

    Mellisa,
    Word freedom is an high order word. It cannot be understood; it can be only interpreted. It wld be better to decend dwn to descriptive level when dealing with what people are allowed to do or not to do.

    Or rather to say; what we, if we were sane/had knowledge, wld permit one another to do and what we wld sanction.
    But before i go on, i aver that we haven’t had a sane human being ever since we were divided into classes.

    I also think that ?all of us became unsane [not insane] and without sanity, we can just wonder around like the proverbial wandering ‘jew’!
    Note the words BECAME UNSANE and not WE ARE INSANE. That wld be an insult to a few insane people because they can’t cope with daily life but we can.
    Nor are insane able to impose their will on others or deceive us as priests and pols. These people are able to deceive us because the rest of us know so much, too much, that just isn’t so.
    So one meaning of freedom, among hundreds or thousands of meanings subsumed in that word, wld be to acquire facts; treating inferential knowledge ok [but still meaningful-meaningless] only once one obtains KNOWLEDGE.

    This is how priests, ‘educators’, pols deceive us: They know that most people wld ascribe only one meaning to words, like liberty, freedom, happines, justice, etc.
    And they think that they know what the folk means by those words.
    Most likely they also know that such words are meaningless or meaningfull to madness.
    And if u press a pol or priest to tell what meaning they have in mind when using a word like freedom, s/he’ll get angry, impatient, or go by u. And both u wld get mad.

    Knowing this is very helpful to me. Eg, i wld never ever ask such questions. Understanding the artifice for what it is leaves one much calmer, too!
    However, most astounding fact is that meanings are not in words but in people.
    Flag or word are symbols. Seeing US flag evokes different meanings to different people. I for instance detest all flags; others wld beat me up if i wld say this.
    really how can anger or love be in a piece of cloth? tnx

  36. Don Hawkins said on January 24th, 2010 at 5:59pm #

    “Irony has always been a primary tool the under-powered use to tear at the over-powered in our culture. But now irony has become the bait that media corporations use to appeal to educated consumers. . . . It’s almost an ultimate irony that those who say they don’t like TV will sit and watch TV as long as the hosts of their favorite shows act like they don’t like TV, either. Somewhere in this swirl of droll poses and pseudo-insights, irony itself becomes a kind of mass therapy for a politically confused culture. It offers a comfortable space where complicity doesn’t feel like complicity. It makes you feel like you are counter-cultural while never requiring you to leave the mainstream culture it has so much fun teasing. We are happy enough with this therapy that we feel no need to enact social change.”
    Dan French

    Dramatic irony is an effect produced by a narrative in which the audience knows more about present or future circumstances than a character in the story.

  37. Melissa said on January 24th, 2010 at 6:04pm #

    lichen and bozh,

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    ” fact is that meanings are not in words but in people” -bozh

    Exactly, that is why I ask for others’ definitions . . . what they wrap into the word(s) that everyone uses and abuses, the assumption that “you” and “I” mean the same thing with these buzz words leads to disharmony and, at times, deception.

    Defining words for oneself, and clarifying that in our conversations and relations, as bozh often points out, is one way we can combat deception and unnecessary disappointments/nonunity.

    Peace to you all,
    Melissa

  38. Melissa said on January 24th, 2010 at 6:15pm #

    Don, I liked your last quote. I was reminded of quite a few “I’m not Mainstream”ers while reading that.

    Peace, Resistance, Hope,
    Melissa

  39. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 24th, 2010 at 7:00pm #

    Hi, Melissa. Thanks for the positives. I know one thing about freedom: maximum freedom requires maximum equality. I’ll get into that soon.
    Your mention of Galton (thanks, I’ll have to look that up!) made me think of something I just read the other day at Renegade Economist:

    Those who study the evolutionary consciousness of humanity all over the world, have developed countless maps and models of the evolutionary journey…When they are superimposed over one another, they show a consistent sequential pattern.
    One of these models, a four stage one devised by Kohlberg and Gilligan, labels Egocentric as the lowest level, followed by Ethnocentric, then Worldcentric and finally Kosmocentric. The other more complex models provide more detail, but I am intentionally keeping it simple here. This model can be described as showing the size of the person’s consciousness or what the person includes in his or her field of care. A recent study suggested that some 77% of the world population is currently Ethnocentric or below.
    This Ethnocentric stage is characterised by tribal orientation, nationalism, rivalries, adolescent behaviours, and the like. Let us consider now the responses made by the bankers and the politicians to media and public criticism. They were very similar.
    •The claim that “Everything I did was within the rules.”
    •An inability to recognise that what they did was ethically or morally wrong.
    •The excuse that “I made a mistake”, but the mistakes were all to their own benefit.
    •An almost pathological inability to take responsibility, and to say “I am sorry”.
    Anyone who has a teenage son will recognize these adolescent traits; however, when one is under 25 such behaviour is to be expected as an acceptable phase in growing up. Above 30 or so, and especially if one is a banker or a politician with power over many, such behaviours are not only unattractive, unacceptable, and inexcusable, they are positively dangerous. Why have the media not picked this up and pointed it out?

    Introducing tighter regulations for bankers or politicians does not raise their level of maturity, morality or their ethics, it just limits what they can get away with. No, it is the type of people, the Ethnocentrics themselves, that have to go. Worldcentric people by definition and by their nature would not have abused the old regulations, let alone need new ones. Anyone below Worldcentric on the “chart” should not be selected or elected into positions of leadership in politics or big corporations, not just banks.

    That’s by a Sir John Whitmore, and it’s from here, but that’s the upshot, above:
    http://renegadeeconomist.com/blog/big-questions-hot-handle.html

    I’ve always figured what a super-fortune does is allow people to succumb to their own worst notions. And that’s not the only reason why overfortunes are as bad for the overpaid as they are for the underpaid. (We’ll want to get into that thinking in more detail, too.) (Someday, if we humans make it, people will react to the idea of having an overfortune the same way they react today to a coiled rattlesnake.)

    I’ve also recently read a study that demonstrates both that, and how, it’s actually some of the very lowest-paying jobs that provide manymany times the value of the salary paid those workers to a society and economy– and some of the highest paid jobs actually suck enormous value from a society and their economy. That’s a thing I already knew, but it’s nice to have a current scientific study to show people who can’t believe it. I can get you that link if you want it, but it’s not the most important read, IMO – relative to others I will recommend.

    That “Economics PHD” youtube I posted before isn’t entertainment, by the way, Friends. I won’t be posting any music videos or wastes of time. Please take a look at it…and maybe even let me know if you find it as useful as I do for an education campaign for fairpay justice? Not nearly enough people have seen that eye-popper.

    Because the future is approaching at the rate of one second per second…and I think we have neither the time nor the right to A) distract ourselves any longer or B) go on seeking agreement on answers to all the wrong questions.

    “Oh, Hell. Here comes our funeral. Let us pry, for our missed understandings.” – JJ FW

  40. bozh said on January 24th, 2010 at 7:11pm #

    lichen,
    i see now that i shld have said that an idyllic society can be as large as that of US or even entire world.
    I am, of course, not sure that as world or region’s pop grew from just; let’s say 100 k to a mn or to; let’s say, 10 mn people that the increase in numbers may have not been a factor of an ideal society becoming less and less so or totally revamped and thus ALL peole were at fault.
    If i am going to err, i’d err on the side of us and not “them”. I still aver it is “them” which cause much evil and not us! tnx

  41. Don Hawkins said on January 24th, 2010 at 7:14pm #

    go on seeking agreement on answers to all the wrong questions. Bingo

  42. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 24th, 2010 at 7:20pm #

    I stole this comment recently from I can’t remember where, and I think it has merit here as it speaks to where I think lichen may be getting it wrong (and i remind again that i have not presented my case you are already rejecting yet, dear lichen):

    “Add ANY progressive issue to the wealth redistribution issue, and you just gave capital TWICE as many targets to shoot at. Add an entire progressive PLATFORM, and all hope is lost. The forces of capital will find dozens of ways of striking fear into the reptile brain in all of us: you will have divided and conquered yourselves. Progressive taxation should be the single issue of both liberals and conservatives right now.”

  43. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 24th, 2010 at 7:27pm #

    bozh has hit upon a point that is part of my thinking, too. I think we don’t realize the very great degree of unecessary loss of happiness we have suffered. I’ll come back to that point, too.

    thanks, don, for the bingo. i have to take a little break now. gotta go burn some vittles over the campfire and feed some hungry bears.

  44. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 24th, 2010 at 8:42pm #

    Have we walked far enough away from the Dino Democrats yet? (heh heh)

    One more tonight. A big part of what I’m more than willing to lay out, if people are interested, is that people who have been talking about economic inequality have not been talking about Fairpay Justice, Limited Personal Fortunes Capitalism – and that’s the very problem.

    We must define Fairpay…Fairpay Justice. How can we know how much people should have and should pay and be paid unless we have sound, fundamental ideas of pay justice? James Madison said “The purpose of government is justice”. The state built on injustice cannot stand – so to be democratic, for the people to do their job of ruling, to save the state, to be patriotic, to love your country, to love yourself, to pursue happiness (of which pay justice is a very important part), you need to be able to locate pay justice.

    At the moment, many are saying: these people should have less, these others have more. But how much should they have? What are the principles of pay justice? Happiness [everyone's everything], survival of the state, peace, order, satisfaction – all depend on justice. Those are ‘pretty important’ things, yet we look in vain for thoughtful study of where pay justice is.

    It should have been the focus of all education, from young age right through. People should have been very sophisticated about pay justice, able to pinpoint it by good principles. Instead, all the debate we hear boils down to: they should have less, no, they shouldn’t have less, they should have more, no, they shouldn’t have more.
    Pay justice is the great wallflower, waiting to give us the world average pay per hour, which is approximately US $40 per hour including paying housewives and students. Pay justice waits to give us peace and plenty – and give us our future back.

    Pay ranges widely while no one asks how widely it should range. How are people going to be able to say: “This far and no further. This is the line between right and wrong, between fairpay and robbery, between fairpay and overpay-underpay”? Children should all grow up knowing that overpay-underpay is the cause of the shaking of societies to pieces. People should worry about their society being shaken to pieces. People should know that every empire so far has been shaken to pieces by pay injustice. There is no subject closer to civic responsibility and pursuit of happiness – no subject more worth our care and mental labour – and it is utterly neglected. Vigilance is the price of liberty – but vigilance about what? Very few can answer that question.

    Proper pay is what a person’s work would win them in a state of nature, plus an equal share of the benefits of division of labour. An equal share, since division of labour is a community effort, with equal contribution, so everyone should reap the benefits equally. Pay justice is no-pay for no-work, pay only for work [work = sacrifice of time and energies], equal pay for equal work. Pay justice is taking out of the social pool of work as much as you put in, as your work puts in.

    We pool the workproducts because of division of labour, and trade is ideally the exchange of items of equal workvalue, in order to remix goods separated by division of labour, or job specialisation, to get the mix of goods everyone wants and needs. The variety of goods we take out is ideally – naturally – of equal workvalue to the workproducts we produced in our job. Anything more or less than this is overpay or underpay, and overpay-underpay is unjust, causing tensions which escalate endlessly as people try to get justice and people tug to and fro, causing violence, war, crime, weaponry growth – which has grown for 3000 years – and brought us to superextreme pay injustice and danger, and corruption, tyranny, slavery, wageslavery, disorder, undemocracy, falling states – all our gigantic problems.

    To be continued?

  45. lichen said on January 24th, 2010 at 8:49pm #

    I see YFF, from the quote he just shared, is interested in working within the present framework, in which everything will fail no matter what. That is why we need a large movement to bring about widespread democratic reforms so that everyone has their own space.

    As for the quote you share, it is typical of the liberal (and communist as well–indeed, that idea is responsible for the right wing communist regimes in China and The Soviet Union–they abandoned the entire left except the economic) “sellouts” who want to send everything else up the river when, indeed, united progressive campaigns have achieved quite a lot through solidarity. And yes, YFF, I do reject what you have already written in this thread; don’t imagine you are so mysterious, especially when I see you posting insulting things about teenage boys (when, indeed, it is the authoritarian losers–their parents, teachers, who insist they are always right, always better than those younger than themselves.)

  46. brcoll said on January 24th, 2010 at 8:56pm #

    Melissa, regarding your question about Michael Albert, he has written several books and as Fairpay correctly said, his economic practice is called Parecon or Participatory Economics. Michael Albert is a well-known figure on the left who has been building progressive models of economic liberation since the 1960’s when he is a leading radical. What makes him different than most 60’s radical is that he has really thought through what it would take to build a truly egalitarian economic system. Here’s a good article on the basics: http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/3978

    But to summarize his main ideas:

    * productive property that is overseen and directed by those it affects, as indicated below, but that is owned by no one – called participatory property.
    * workers and consumers councils in which members, individually and collectively, have a say in decisions proportionate to the effect of the decisions on them, whether as individuals or in groups – called self management.
    * remuneration for socially valued labor in proportion to duration, intensity, and onerousness of one’s effort – called equitable remuneration
    * a division of labor in which each worker does a mix of tasks conceived so that on average every worker’s overall work situation is comparably empowering as every other’s – called balanced job complexes
    * allocation by cooperative negotiation among affected workers and consumers, acting through their councils – called participatory planning.

    It’s a form of practical and well-analyzed socialism that has actually worked in real organizations for decades. Take a look!

  47. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 24th, 2010 at 9:01pm #

    lichen, I certainly didn’t insult teenage boys, and if you’ll read again you’ll see that author didn’t either. an observation of a normal stage of human development is not an insult. look, we’ve been doing just what you say you won’t consider abandoning – and look where we are. I believe it’s obvious that we must correct our priorities and focus on the root problem. Also, i think there is a huge downside to your approach that my suggestions avoid. That’s still to come.

    hava good night, lichen. i go rest now.

  48. lichen said on January 24th, 2010 at 9:39pm #

    Yes, I found what you and the author said about teenage boys to be insulting; I don’t need to read it again to recognize more clearly an anti-youth sentiment that specifically targets the male sex, who are the victims of a great amount of oppression, condescension, and hatred at that age. And no, “we” have not been doing what I supposedly won’t consider abandoning. Indeed, the marxists have refused to ever do it, others have simply chosen to throw away issues (and thus throw away the activists and those affected daily) they hold personally unimportant.

    Ultimately it has nothing to with this or that organizational or campaign tactic; as the discussion was at the top of the thread before you started to proselytize, the political elite/corporate media/corporatist supreme court has strangled our political vista so tightly that there is little-nothing left for us the people in the system as it is.

    I’m not into alternative economic systems that are reactionary against society–wanting to apparently end retirement, bring back child labor, destroy pregnancy leave, disability, unemployment compensation, sick days, paid vacation, and basic human rights in favor of a system where people starve to death homeless because they couldn’t work. Sounds exactly like what the elites and teabag people are fighting for, really.

  49. Deadbeat said on January 25th, 2010 at 12:16am #

    lichen writes …

    I see YFF, from the quote he just shared, is interested in working within the present framework, in which everything will fail no matter what.

    Thank you lichen!!! That is exactly my observation reading YFF’s commentary. He sounds like a Liberal especially regarding pay equity. Remember the phrase “equal opportunity”? This was the Liberal bromide sold especially to people of color. Yet Capitalism by definition is unfair, unjust and unequal. As I have stated the fallacy of Liberals is their belief that they can mitigate the flaws inherent to Capitalism. What the past, especially 40 years (two generations) has demonstrated is that Capitalism cannot be managed. In order to manage Capitalism, Liberals had to create INEQUALITY of an elite managing class in order circumvent “mob” rule. In order words Liberals HATE democracy and embrace ELITISM. This natural characteristic of Liberals “experts” has helped to make the citizenry apathetic to politics.

    Also what YFF fails to observer is that pay equity (FairPay) means that he still accepts the maintenance of EXPLOITATION. Meaning that you still have to submit yourself to be a WAGE SLAVE in the labor MARKET in order to survive.

    At this late stage what is needed are ideas that can RADICALLY TRANSFORM the POLITICAL ECONOMY to Socialism. Notice the correct term is political economy not “economics”. “Economics” is a made up term cultivated by Liberals in order to get the people to think that economics is a “science” devoid of it underlying political character.

  50. Deadbeat said on January 25th, 2010 at 1:15am #

    Here’s a critical review of Parecon from The World Socialism site

    Post-capitalist capitalism

    Michael Albert: Parecon: Life After Capitalism. Verso, £9.

    PareconParticipatory economics, or parecon for short, is a vision of life after capitalism favoured by many in the anti-capitalist movement. The author of this particular vision helped to establish Z Magazine and its web site Zmag (zmag.org), including its subsidiary page devoted to parecon (zmag.org/parecon), which debates the issues raised by this book.

    Parecon opposes “corporate globalisation” and argues for its replacement by “equity, solidarity, diversity and self-management.” For Albert, capitalism means “private ownership of the means of production, market allocation, and corporate divisions of labour.” Life after capitalism is said to combine “social ownership, participatory planning allocation, council structure, balanced job complexes, remuneration for effort and sacrifice, and participatory self-management with no class differentiation.” The council structure involves workplaces, neighbourhoods, and “facilitation boards” which co-ordinate planning.

    So-called “market socialism” is rejected because the market and class differentials would remain, as would buyers and sellers of labour power (capacity to work). In Albert’s account, because class differentiation disappears in parecon, “you cannot choose to hire wage slaves nor to sell yourself as a wage slave.” Parecon permits workers to assess their own pay and conditions in their decision-making by inputting their preferences via councils. It apportions income in accord with effort and “does not force or even permit people to try to maximise profits, surplus, or even revenues.”

    Notice however that Albert is specifically talking about prohibiting profit maximisation, not profits as such. Profits are acceptable; “excessive” profits are not. In the procedure envisaged, individuals and councils submit proposals for their own activities, receive new information including new indicative prices, and submit revised proposals until they reach a point of agreement. This process is open-ended and in Albert’s book a hypothetical example is discussed which reaches a seventh planning cycle, or as Albert calls it “planning iteration.” In reviews of this book much has been made of the potential for bureaucracy in this procedure, but a more telling criticism would be its unquestioning acceptance of the profit system. Wages cannot rise to the point which prevent profits being made; and a fall in profits will put a downward pressure on wages. This is called the class struggle.

    “Parecon is basically an anarchistic economic vision”, admits Albert, and it shows. Like many on the left, the difference between capitalism and post-capitalism presented here is essentially political, not economic. As indicated by the title, the crucial factor is participatory planning. The capitalist economy would remain substantially the same in parecon: the accumulation of capital out of profits produced by the unpaid labour of the working class.

  51. Deadbeat said on January 25th, 2010 at 1:21am #

    Here’s a link to a debate between Michael Albert and the ISO Alan Maass from 2002 in a debate over Marxism vs Parecon. But before I post the link I have my angst regarding Albert and the Z-Mag crew. They adopted the anti-Nader, Anybody but Bush stance in 2004 which essentially weaken the anti-war movement. They also helped to promote the “War for Oil” rhetoric which was designed to obscure the influence that Zionism had on the War on Iraq. To say the least I do not trust the motives of the Albert. But that is my opinion. I leave it to you to come to your own conclusion about Parecon.

    Marxism vs Parecon.

  52. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 25th, 2010 at 5:48am #

    lichen and deadbeat are completely wrong – wildly offbase – in their assumptions and obvious confusions about me, about what i was trying to present here, about my goals, ideas, purpose, affiliations and my plan. As a matter of fact, they could not be getting it more wrong. I am saddened by their reactionary attack. They are suffering from steep misconceptions and have rejected – and egregiously misrepresented – something they know nothing about.

  53. bozh said on January 25th, 2010 at 8:29am #

    Don’t we gain knowledge only from experience? And teach others by showing them the same experience or by using descriptive language?
    Which wld describe what s’mthing does; how s’mthing beahaves? E.g., let’s take a cancer cell. Scientists see its strucure with naked eye; the only way to know it at a point of time.
    Structure [to some people the only content of knowledge] of US society and governance can be seen with naked eye; only thus understood; i.e., get to know it.
    Obviously fairpay, fairness, justice, peace, freedom, cannot ever be seen. So no knowledge comes from those words.
    One can see a judge slam the gavel and pronounce an innocent person guitly because s/he only heard what the person had done. So, justice had been done.
    Minimum wage is obviously fair pay. Even maximum wage is fair.

    Fortunately for us we can see how a ceo or mcdonald worker works.
    But we also know or can find out how they live. On level of working i see no special case for either of these two people.
    Work always brought joy;sense of belonging. That is to say, before rise of nobility;i.e., masters of wars and of the serfs.

    This brings us to volition! Or gladly and voluntarily agreeing to wages and conditions of work! Where is now our love for work gone? Some people still have it. What happened to love for work that all healthy and able cld do?
    Well, the work is gone. For without one’s willing consent to work conditions and earnings, one became an dependecy; serf wld be OK also.
    Happines, love for work, fair pay is no longer possible. This can be brought back only in an interdepndent relationship.
    It can be brought back by all dependencies uniting in one labor union or politcal party.tnx

  54. Deadbeat said on January 25th, 2010 at 11:38am #

    YFF writes …

    lichen and deadbeat are completely wrong and some more stuff about being “reactionary”.

    YFF please clearly articulate and enumerate where I was “wrong” in my critique. You stated above that you can offer a solution that can manage Capitalism. Please show us how you will derive justice, fairness and equality from a profit based system that maintains antagonism between labor needs and profit goals. In the end you’ll have a CLASS of folks who will co-opt the surplus and thereby get rich by suppressing the standards of living of workers — EXPLOITATION. This is what existed in the former Soviet Union and exist immensely in the U.S and all other Capitalist political economies.

    Thus I’m all ears to understand how you’ve discovered a solution that can manage Capitalism and control Capitalist that Liberals elites over the past 80 years have managed to miss.

  55. Deadbeat said on January 25th, 2010 at 12:05pm #

    Yet another Parecon vs Socialism debate from the World Socialism web site. This one is an adjunct to the prior book review whereby Albert is debating the magazine editors. This debate is more thorough than the book review and clearly drills down into the fallacies and contradiction inherent to Parecon.

    Parecon debate

  56. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 25th, 2010 at 12:35pm #

    Maybe someday some nice “Hard Socialist” will explain to me just what makes them think the working peoples’ earnings belong in the hands of The State. Because personally, I don’t think the earnings of the working people belong in the hands of The State any more than those earnings belong in the hands of private wealthpower giants who did not self-earn the wealth but do possess enormous heaps of other-earned wealth. Personally, and yes I have a belief in this case – I believe that earnings belong in the hands of the person who self-earned the wealth by sacrifice of his own time and effort.

    Don’t anybody jump to the simplistic mis-conclusion that the above is an anti-tax or anti-government screed. Please don’t think in black and white, or you’re sure to mistake what I’m actually saying for what you mis-think I’m saying.

    It should by now be beyond obvious to those actually reading my posts that I am making a heretofore-unmade crucial distinction not only between self-earned and other-earned wealth but also between what we have, which is unlimited personal fortunes capitalism, and a possibility that exists: Fairpay Justice capitalism, capitalism married to Justice. Capitalism is a good workhorse for humanity, only being worked very badly. I find it ridiculous to assert that the flaw in capitalism cannot be effectively, easily, and perpetually countered for – since I already know of a no-downside way to do just that.

    Look, Friends, what I’m talking about and what I’m all about – you have to read my words and not go by the confusionbound misrepresentation and mislabeling of my ideas – is the only thing that is NOT subversive of all these things: American families’ best interests, non-American families’ best interests, democracy, freedom, liberty, order, good government, rule of law, security, fraternity, prosperity, safety, peace, happiness, justice, equality and sustainability.

    In brief, the plan of which I speak: is capitalist (is justice capitalism as opposed to unlimited personal fortunes capitalism), is free-er market (freer and realer than the actually subsidised businesses that CALL themselves free-market), is private property, small bureaucracy, economically gentle, pays every working person including housewives and students approximately one or two thousand US dollars a month, lifting 99% of people gently but firmly up towards the world average of $40 an hour, $100,000 a year, $200,000 per two-working-person unit (in 2007 USDollars, doubling every 18 years at 4% global inflation), is no-force, consensus (because I prove that it is very beneficial to everyone, from richest to poorest, starting with the benefit of non-extinction – I prove that extinction IS inevitable if we don’t drastically reduce pay injustice), greatly increases productivity, entrepreneurship, business, vigour and stability of the market, dramatically reduces taxes, government, bureaucracy, warmongering and cannon-foddering, tyranny, undemocracy, crime, unfreedom, disorder, corruption. It goes to the root of almost all problems, so it makes most problems disappear. It doesn’t even interfere with the macho game of besting the next guy, and getting overfortune in the person’s lifetime. It just stops pay injustice and its reliably-generated violence (war, crime and weaponry) growing limitlessly, to infinity. It changes social structure, social habits, very little, it is very non-invasive. The only visible effects are every working person getting one or two $1000 a month in an account, and the wealth in real terms of the overpaid slowly diminishing (which reduces their danger and social isolation, actually increases their happiness – explanations given). It is easy to set up, very easy to administer. It requires no group or organisation, just creating a consensus by individuals learning the points, and, if they decide they agree with it (we show that everyone does already agree without recognizing they do), passing it on to two friends. More work than that is not necessary, but of course people can teach more than two others if they want to. If the solution is true, if people can come to see it in about a month, national consensus will arise quickly (within about two years) and, after that, what needs to be done can be done very easily. It is a little change that has very large effects. Strong proof is given that we can be literally, conservatively, incredibly, 100 times happier. (Pay justice causes happiness, we have super-extreme pay injustice, so we can be super-extremely happier. All this is explained.) Technological progress will be 100 times faster. All history and logic, and much wisdom, support this idea. Because 99% are underpaid, there is (after learning) a 99% majority…plus, not all of the currently overpaid are incapable of objective assessment of an idea. A 99+% majority who prefer non-extinction and 100-fold happiness leaves the remaining closed-minded overpaid no ‘muscle’ to impose their will. What is required is heroic mental re-viewing of accepted but incorrect ideas, heroic re-cognition of reality. Culture springs out of ideas: there is no change of culture without change of ideas, there is almost instant change of culture with change of ideas.

    Our purpose is to stop people getting killed…is to maximize human happiness – and that means to maximize human freedom – and that requires as little as possible overpay and underpay – ie, as little as possible theft of earnings, which confers overpower on the thief [power to control and manipulate others] whoever he is, and confers underpower on the robbed. There is theft, there is legal theft, there is hyper-extreme overpay and underpay. Market forces do not distribute money and power in proportion to work – market forces do the opposite: work drifts one way and money drifts the other. We can retain all the advantages of market forces, of private property, of free market AND correct for the ceaseless automatic unjust thieving drift of money and power. We leave all the capitalist mechanisms alone and we merely establish a figure for the most one person can deserve to be paid by warrant of their contribution to society by their own work – and spread the overfortune among the underpaid…like taking water that has pooled and re-spraying it over the crop…and thus provide a counterbalance to the ceaseless automatic drift of wealth and power away from the people to a tiny few. If we DON’T do this, there will always be a very few somebody’s who are going to continue to make happen what they want to happen, which involves the sacrifice of any and all who stand in the way of their monomania for money and power.

    To make a difference, you have to go back to the root: the extreme range of wealthpower. You need justice for happiness peace safety. You need freedom from individuals having superpower compared to others. Were the founding fathers wrong when they thought that wealth concentration would mean the end of democracy and freedom? “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer” means that the rich are literally getting more and more per unit of work and the poor are getting less and less per unit of work. Do the rich get richer and the poor get poorer? – ie, does money [power] ceaselessly, automatically drift from earners to nonearners or not? Are there very rich and very poor? Is the amount of work people do proportional to their wealth or poverty? Obviously not – so we know there is injustice, inequality in money and power. As long as a few have most money they are going to have most power, and history is going to be what they decide will happen, and the people will be pawns and cannonfodder in that game.

    No one does more than about twice as much work per hour as the least-hard working person [assuming real slackers get noticed and fired] – and yet pay per hour ranges from 1 to 1,000,000,000 – someone gets paid a billion times as much per hour as the least paid.

    Why is it that people have never said: “Hey, I work as hard as you, in fact I work harder than you – you can’t have any more than me.” Why has overwealth never been universally condemned by all? Why has no one ever worked it out that transaction shifts money from earners to non-earners? Why is no one even *interested* in the fact that transaction automatically steals earnings from earners and gives them to non-earners?

    The weakness of unlimited-fortunes capitalism has always been the concentration of wealth, the strangling of consumers-producers. When the legs and arms don’t get blood, the head falls too. We can leave all the elements of capitalism, for their benefits, like the ‘invisible hand’, competition and ambition, and just introduce a counter to the endless concentration of wealth by making everyone in the world equal heirs of large deceased estates, and by giving everyone equal shares of a 1%-a-month increase in the money supply. The private heir has done nothing to earn that money and everyone has done everything to earn that money. That method requires only settling up the estate, and electronic distribution. The inflation effect of the second method lowers over-fortunes, and the equal share lifts under-fortunes. These methods require only small bureaucracy, which means high productivity. The cost to poor countries of giving everyone bank accounts is covered by the inflow of money, and by the reduced costs of violence. When the wind piles the sand against the sea-wall, you spread it over the beach again. None enjoy unless all enjoy. We have had none-enjoy for so very long. We deserve a break. If you think the change is too much work, compare it with the much greater work of not changing. And the work of change is divided among 3 billion adults. And the change is just the administration of two new laws.

    To be rich is not glorious. To aim for unlimited fortunes out of limited work is shameful, ridiculous, wicked, foolish, self-harming. Justice is glorious.

    And now I’d like feedback from anyone genuine and authentically interested in learning more about principles of Fairpay capitalism. This unpaid work I do is of crucial importance and it is exhausting. I do not have time and energies to waste. If there is no point in my presenting the fuller case here, then I’ll save my words for where there are people fearless enough to put some of their most cherished but erroneous beliefs in front of a tribunal of their own wits.

  57. bozh said on January 25th, 2010 at 1:24pm #

    yff,
    U say:Maybe someday some nice “Hard Socialist” will explain to me just what makes them think the working peoples’ earnings belong in the hands of The State. Because personally, I don’t think the earnings of the working people belong in the hands of The State any more than those earnings belong in the hands of private wealthpower giants who did not self-earn the wealth but do possess enormous heaps of other-earned wealth. Personally, and yes I have a belief in this case – I believe that earnings belong in the hands of the person who self-earned the wealth by sacrifice of his own time and effort.

    However, the state, in whatever sense u use the word, is not people. people earn money; people spend it.
    We do need to precisely fix the meaning of the word state. One caveat: the state has different meanings to different people.
    Broadly speaking, state has two entirely diffferent meaning:one more or less euphemistic and the other dysphemistic or even heralding catastrophies; for obvious reasons.

    Of course, people spend money on armies, police. Many, [un]willingly. Inprinciple ?all shld pay those costs; proportionate to their earnings.
    Is this the case in US? Wasn’t that the case in USSR? And each having a governance; i.e., system of rule and collection of money from earners being integral part of the system of governance.

    So what are the differences bwtn an asocialist country and an asocialist one? I do not see any!
    only when one studies the basic rights we do see enormous differences. Devil forbid some of these most basic rights ever see the light in US.
    How ab the right of US soldiers to live? Or the right to live of the people who they kill?
    How ab the ROR? For indignees or pal’ns? Receiving mediacl treatment is closely tied to the right to life.
    So, it seems to me that u are trying to say a socialist state is a bad omen and asocialist one is benevolent and the only one that shld be permitted to exist?
    tnx

  58. Deadbeat said on January 25th, 2010 at 2:07pm #

    YFF writes …

    Maybe someday some nice “Hard Socialist” will explain to me just what makes them think the working peoples’ earnings belong in the hands of The State.

    Clearly YFF is ignorant of Socialism and the fact that he describes “earnings” reveals his indoctrination. In socialism there are NO “earnings”. Earnings as applied by YFF is based on the idea that someone has to submit to being a wage slave to “earn” a living. The very idea that someone has to “earn” a living is immoral and inhuman.

    This is the indoctrination caused by a redefinition of terms and ideas by the ruling class to control our perceptions. It manufactures a consenting consensus that allows those who seizes surplus value (rent, interest, profits) to be labeled as “earning their keep”.

    If YFF was consciience of Socialism he would then understand that the goal of Socialism is the DEMISE of the state not state control.

    Since YFF starts off with a FALLACY I won’t spend the time right now (maybe later) rebutting the rest of his arguments.

  59. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 25th, 2010 at 2:10pm #

    “So, it seems to me that u are trying to say a socialist state is a bad omen and asocialist one is benevolent and the only one that shld be permitted to exist?”

    No. Not what I’m saying. Can’t see what I’ve written that causes you to say that.

    The question in any case is not what is The State, what formal name is given a type of government. The question is always WHO is The State: it is PEOPLE who administer a government. The only way to guarantee not having the least scrupulous people wind up usurping the people’s government – no matter what form it takes – and their fairpay, is to cease allowing overpayunderpay to escalate to extremes of wealthpower.

    Limitless fortunes capitalism and communism both have meant that 2% have all the wealth and 98% have little but the work.

    Has no ne yet looked at the L curve youtube I urge you all to see?

  60. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 25th, 2010 at 2:13pm #

    “The very idea that someone has to “earn” a living is immoral and inhuman.”

    Are you joking?

  61. Deadbeat said on January 25th, 2010 at 2:14pm #

    bozh writes …

    However, the state, in whatever sense u use the word, is not people. people earn money; people spend it.

    That is the truth. Notice how Obama and the ruling class bailed out THEIR institution and provide ZERO for the people. They have NO desire to provide “guarantees” to the public so that they can erase their debts. In fact they altered the bankrupcy laws in order to make it more difficult. There is no universal health care that will protect the public health care needs; a withering of social safety nets that would at least mitgate the harsh aspects of capitalism. This is framework YFF wants to maintain.

    Welfare Capitalism failed its time to scrap the whole system. It cannot be managed despite YFF dream world.

  62. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 25th, 2010 at 2:15pm #

    No, seriously – ARE YOU JOKING?!

  63. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 25th, 2010 at 2:20pm #

    Are you even reading my words? I have just explained how to mitigate ALL the bad aspects that unlimited personal fortunes capitalism contains in 2 easy steps, and without shocks to society, and showed how we can move toward the greatest possible equity without having to convince everyone to learn new isms and ologies – so just what is it you are on about, eh?

  64. Deadbeat said on January 25th, 2010 at 2:37pm #

    No, seriously – ARE YOU JOKING?!

    Perhaps you need to educate yourself about socialism. In fact WHY do you even need money (which means a paycheck)? The easiest way to redistribute wealth is getting rid of money/capital and ending surplus value. They problem with your vision is that Capitalism is a competative system whereby money is accumulated via the exchange of commodities. What you are advocating is a utopian vision of what is referred to in graduate level economics as PERFECT COMPETITION.

    Perfect competition forms the basis of many of the economic formulas such as the supply/demand curve and the profit maximazation curve which is defined as marginal profit = marginal revenue – marginal cost.

    The problem is that since you retain the profit motive you maintain the fundemental antagonism between labor needs and profit goals.

    Also politically capitalists have no desire to turn back the clock when the top tax rates was 92% and top capital gain rates was 70%. They have no desire to redistribute the wealth that they spend the last 40 years cultvating. However the main political problem is that your system cannot avoid INEQUALITY since by definition capitalism is unequal, unjust, unfair, undemocratic.

    The post WWII capaitalism of Ozzie and Harriet is OVER — kuput! It ended in 1970 when the western economies that were decimated during the war was rebuilt. You fail to understand how the falling rate of profit growth and competitive pressures gave way to policies the attack workers. What you want to do is a temporary “reset” that will maintain crisis after crisis after crisis. For the past 40 years the increased level of exploitation on workers permitted wealth to be transferred to the capitalist class. Your ideas do NOTHING to alter that exploitative relationship.

    There is nothing in your ideas that Liberals over the past 80 years has not tried to maintain the system. In fact they system was destined to end this like this because Liberals red-baited their left flank starting in the late 1940’s and the government decimated the resurgent left in the 1960’s – 1970’s (COINTELPRO).

    So now understanding the historic failure of capitalism as an unjust, unfair, unequal and unbalanced system why do you want to maintain it?

  65. Don Hawkins said on January 25th, 2010 at 2:38pm #

    John Galt is the mysterious protagonist, or more accurately anti-villain, in Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged. For much of the novel he is merely a name without a face, about whom people ask, “Who is John Galt?” without knowing what or whom they’re talking about. Eventually John Galt answers them directly, in a manifesto for individualism and capitalism. More to the point, he is an inventor, a philosopher, and a political movement leader, though not a politician in the usual sense, because he functions neither as legislator nor as administrator.

    John Galt took his degree and signed on as a junior engineer with the Twentieth Century Motor Company, Starnesville, Wisconsin. There he conceived the idea that he could extract static electricity from the atmosphere and use it as an almost limitless source of energy. He actually completed a prototypical electrostatic motor and prepared to demonstrate it to his employer, Gerald “Jed” Starnes.
    Then disaster struck. Gerald Starnes died, and his three children—two brothers, Gerald Jr. and Eric, and their sister Ivy—proposed a radical change in management for the factory. Under this system, people would work according to their ability, but be paid according to their needs.
    The employees actually voted in favor of this plan, with no conception of what it would mean. This vote took place in the main assembly bay of the factory. After this vote, Gerald Starnes, Jr. stood up to announce the results. According to the skilled lathe-operator and shop foreman who witnessed it, Mr. Starnes said the following: “This is a great moment in the history of our country! Remember that none of you may leave this place, for you are all bound here by the moral code which we all accept!”
    “I don’t,” said John Galt, who quietly stood up in his place. Every eye sank when it beheld him, because “he stood like a man who knows that he is right.”
    Galt went on, “I will put an end to this once and for all.” Then he turned to walk out of the bay.
    Gerald Starnes called after him, “How?”
    Galt turned and said, “I will stop the motor of the world.”
    To understand what John Galt meant by that provocative statement, one needs to understand what is the motor of the world. Ayn Rand’s point was that man’s mind is the motor of the world—and if you punish a man for using his mind, then sooner or later the mind will refuse to move the world. Thus John Galt proposed not only to quit the factory (which he did, after deliberately wrecking his prototype and removing most of his notes, leaving only enough notes to remind people of what might have been) but also to quit a system that, even beyond one factory with three misguided heirs running it, rewarded failure and punished success.

    The President of the United States proposed to make a “report on the world crisis” on every radio and television channel, on November 22. On that day, John Galt simply jammed the airwaves with his own signal that overrode all the others. Then, promptly at 8:00 p.m., John Galt delivered his message: on voice only, but clear, distinct, and, depending on the listener, either inspiring, infuriating, or terrifying. In three hours, John Galt expounded on the strike of the men of the mind and his reasons for calling it. He made no demands. Instead he made a simple suggestion to any man of the mind still left in the world to go on strike himself, each in his own way.

    But some observers suggest that Barack Obama and some other officials have been conducting themselves in just such an incompetent fashion as Atlas Shrugged depicts on the part of its villains. Perhaps, then, a modern-day John Galt, perhaps having a command of cold fusion technology instead of something as problematic as an electrostatic motor, could indeed lead a movement of the magnitude of the strike of the men of the mind, and even lead such a movement to political victory by default. Conservapedia

    after deliberately wrecking his prototype the motor of the World.

    John John John the motor was not enough a cup of coffee and a nice game of checkers with friends and good conversation to think freely My My My.

  66. Deadbeat said on January 25th, 2010 at 2:39pm #

    YFF I’ve read your words and apparently you haven’t read mine.

  67. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 25th, 2010 at 2:39pm #

    If people here do not understand that work – the sacrifice of time and energies – is unquestionably the first essential condition of LIFE – as decreed by no less a force than Mother Nature herself – then this whole discussion is pointless indeed and it is beyond obvious you are far far lost from reality and from all economic, and natural, sense.

    How easy is it to see that if bear no pickee berry bear no eatee berry and if bear no sacrifice time and energy to catchee fish then bear no eatee fish and if bird no catchee worm then bird no eatee worm?

    It is no different for humans – duh! WORK is the first essential condition of LIFE – because humans were cursed with having stomachs to feed! This is economics 101! The insertion of money between work and eat does nothing to change the fundamental situation we are in!

    Can some of you actually be so confused you can’t see this?! Really?

    No wonder we are where we are today.

  68. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 25th, 2010 at 2:45pm #

    Again my idea is being misrepresented. Plainly so. My plan steadily drives us ever-closer to wealthpower equality over 3 generations, and does not permit extremes of wealth to regrow.

  69. Deadbeat said on January 25th, 2010 at 2:53pm #

    YFF writes ..
    The only way to guarantee not having the least scrupulous people wind up usurping the people’s government – no matter what form it takes – and their fairpay, is to cease allowing overpayunderpay to escalate to extremes of wealthpower

    That is not true. The only way to guarantee that is by ending CLASSES and having a well educates and politically active populous. What you now have is a politcally INDOCTRINATED populous and your ideas will only harden that indoctrination.

    So I’ll ask you why do you need money if your goal is equality?

    If everyone has the same amount of money then why do you need money?

    Who will administer that everyone get “fairpay”? Won’t that create a class of administrators ala the Liberal elite?

    Fairpay is not a systemic change it is called REFORMISM and we’ve already spent 80 years doing reformism and examine the current crisis and ask yourself why you want to maintain this system.

    Please go back and do some research of the history of the 1930’s and perhaps you’ll obtain some enlightenment.

  70. Melissa said on January 25th, 2010 at 2:53pm #

    YourFriendFairpay:

    I am reading your words. I too think that there are ways to retain the aspect of self-determination, and voluntary exchange while preventing gross differential of wealth and power. Your work is not wasted, and I will not forget the terms you use (fairpay justice, fairpay capitalism, overpayunderpay) as I hope it will help me recognize you and yours in other “places” to lend support. I store them in my head because I realize that you may have to leave DV when it becomes clear that this is a forum that seeks agreement only on Marxism and or Socialism.

    I did watch the YT video, and yes it is good, simple port to help people grasp the dangerous political/social/economic reality within which we struggle and only sometimes survive.

    Interestingly, or not, when I ask people the questions I posted above . . . financial/monetary/economic answers more often than not dominate. Many people realize that there is something incredibly powerful that ties freedom to the ability to support oneself.

    Lastly, I have to echo your words regarding another’s assertion that the necessity of earning a living is immoral and inhuman . . . WTF? Are you kidding? Good god, isn’t that what the problems are right now?! Some are doing nothing productive and are earning huge sums, and others earn nothing but poverty because there isn’t any meaningful, real work that offers a living wage? Oh, crap, crap, crap. Expletive, expletive, expletive. Bah!

    -Melissa-

  71. Deadbeat said on January 25th, 2010 at 2:55pm #

    Again my idea is being misrepresented. Plainly so. My plan steadily drives us ever-closer to wealthpower equality over 3 generations, and does not permit extremes of wealth to regrow.

    The capitalist class will not stay on their knees for 60 years. You are in dream land. They will fight back and HARD and use all of their wealth to RESIST and DISRUPT this. Especially since you choose to maintain the capitalist class. History has shown this to be the case it was called LIBERALISM and it FAILED.

  72. bozh said on January 25th, 2010 at 3:03pm #

    yff,
    I haven’t lived in USSR; thus cannot say that 2% of its citizens owned 98% of USSR.
    Socialism or communism is an ideology; thus can be compared to any asocialistic ideology. An applied ideology ought to correspond as much as it is humanely possible to an oral or written one; or even to set of laws, known also as a constitution. To do that people wld have to apply sanity to it?
    And one cannot have sanity unless one is honest and truthful.
    In an land like US which had been as asocialistic as sumer, egypt, persia, greece, rome, UK , russia creating an asocialistic society and structure of governance was easy work. It probably got support of 99.99% of the pop.

    I forgot to say there can only be two structures of governance and society: socialist and asocialist. In most asocialistic lands low class has near-zero politico-military power.
    As far as i can see US is in this regard near-perfect. The grip on power by 0001 to 2% of the pop is indeed awesome. And with any prez being a godhead in dealing with alien pop.
    Miloshevich or saddam were persecuted for much lesser crimes than Truman, just to mention one prez.

    Russia with its stans was the worst place to start building socialism Most of these people were strongly asocialistic. That exacerbated the situation. WW2 was also a big blow for USSR.
    In short, one cannot build socialism without socialists. Had people of USSR been 100% socialist, i aver, that even US missilies pointing at USSR wld have not have any impact on them.

    Asocialist structure exsited for ca 10 k yrs. Russian was in an incipient stage. And surounded by oceans of fascism intent to thwart it or even to destroy it.

    In socialist lands some people get paid more than others. In final stages of socialism where hopefully all people wld rule equally, who knows what might emerge. Maybe a huge melting pot of all different thinkings.
    Isn’t that what is happening in US for ab 98% of its pop?

  73. dan e said on January 25th, 2010 at 3:13pm #

    jezuz Ron Jacobs pens a thoughtful rap why we need to ostracize the Dumbockrats, and here come all these apologists for Capitalism dumping reams and reams of confusion. Wasting everybody’s time.

    I guess that’s what comes with an Open Posting policy. Similar to versions of “Democratic Socialism” or democratic organization of revolutionary movements which open the door to the 2nd International crowd of ruling class stooges & their crypt0-Zionism.
    If I came across a version of Anarchism that was anti-Zionist from the jump and had a workable idea of how to keep the capitalists from worming themselves back into control, I wouldn’t mind reading their ideas. But why does DV have to be cluttered up with undisguised sales pitches for Capitalism?

  74. Don Hawkins said on January 25th, 2010 at 3:15pm #

    A secret we don’t have three generations to make some hard choices if we wish to try and survive and fairpay Henry Ford didn’t do the work but was a thinker, he was a leader of men and if you disagreed with him I’ll bet his eye’s got all funny and you were told to go just go we don’t need your kind around here. Thank’s for the automobile Henry it’s worked out so well.

  75. bozh said on January 25th, 2010 at 3:19pm #

    yff,
    in socialist lands some people are paid more that other people. Also, having lived in a socialist land i saw that doctors, lawyers, teachers, professors, athletes, et al were as much respected as they are in other societies.

    It is another thing to say they shldn’t have. And being more respected adds a lot to life. So professionals were after all still richer when one looks from widest possible vista.
    And if everybody was poor by US standards that was very good for the planet and everybody’s health.
    As i often say: cast the widest look possible and you’ll be wiser for it!
    Most people select one fact or even a fallacy and then procede to prove that they are right. I censor them! tnx

  76. Don Hawkins said on January 25th, 2010 at 3:26pm #

    Bozh your second to last comment interesting thoughts indeed.

  77. Don Hawkins said on January 25th, 2010 at 3:35pm #

    Fairpay like many of us who realized how serious climate change is and a few other minor problems all related and what it means we thought ok we just tell the truth use knowledge and bingo problem solved. We forgot about the darkside a very powerful force granted there not to bright and sold there soul to the system and very sure if you disagree with them there eye’s get funny and then you get the look you know the look. Stay with us fairpay.

  78. lichen said on January 25th, 2010 at 3:40pm #

    YFF, I hesitate to respond because your response to everything is to apparently accuse us of a) being illiterate and b) having terrible memories, when obviously it is probably your fault if you really didn’t mean virtually everything you’ve written here. Your immature last post confirms my belief that yes, you want to bring about a radical free market world where people will starve to death, homeless on the street if they couldn’t work. And it is ridiculous to try to say this is a “state of nature,” when it is obviously just a reflection of YOUR nature.

    And actually, no, living like our primate relatives, who climb trees and eat figs, then go pick some leaves, go swimming, is not comparable to being forced to spend nine hours a day “working” behind a supermarket cash register. And I see, further, you’ve mentioned nothing about land reform in your treatise, which is what could free a lot of people from work, because they could grow their own food, and wouldn’t have to pay rent, mortgages.

    I thought the links Deadbeat posted about parecon vs. marxism are interesting. I’ve always been turned off by the overt anarchism of parecon, and I don’t really like the idea of wage inequality. Also, I don’t like the idea of a “smaller government” mainly because I’d like to see direct democracy, where the government is 100% of the people, of the community, and yes, the community needs some money (if money exists) for public universities, free health care, guaranteed housing, public roads, libraries, community theater productions…

  79. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 25th, 2010 at 4:28pm #

    Life is a dancehall
    that’s why we’ve got all those
    little angels dancin’ ’round with pinheads – Michelle Schocked

    Melissa…Thank You Sister.

    Melissa, I’m a woman, contrary to yet another thing these pinheads think they know. I even had one of those teenage sons they falsely and stupidly accused me of hating, not so very long ago. In his twenties, now. His rockband came in second place in a contest to open for bon jovi a few years back. He’s been on the radio in our state. The band voted me best band mom – ’cause they practiced in my basement and I fed them and encouraged them and so loved their music (all original, written by my son, the vocalist and base guitar).

    Listen, I’m not gonna hang around and be insulted by people lacking reading comprehension skills and suffering from myopic, shrunken perspectives, and just making shit up as they go. I’m really a liberal youth-hating sneaky apologist for capitalism in bed with the elites, right. And the moon really is made of green cheese, right. This is just too stupid for words, in light of everything I’ve posted. To have the very things i have contra-indicated said to be my goal is too ludicrous. These guys are exhausting ingenuity turning day into night and black into white.

    Listen, Sister, I never got a chance to present the rational proofs of what i’m taking about, or the list of many legal thefts, or the debunking of all the rationalizations that are offered in attempts to defend overpay, or the 2 steps in more detail – etc. If you want to contact me, Melissa, you can send me email at payjustice at fastmail dot com. It may take me awhile to get back to you, but I have some very enlightening reads to recommend if you’re interested. A brilliant piece by Michael Hudson (VERY savvy historian and economist)…Alfie Kohn on competition and MEGA (mutually exclusive goal attainment)…some Malthus debunked proofs…Sam Pizzigati’s Too Much online ( a tremendous labor journalist)…couple good reads from post-autistic economics review…Arthur Silber’s archives…great essays at Conceptual Guerilla…web of debt monetary reform…BEarthright spiritual economics with Mark Twain’s “Archimedes” – great stuff like that. Right now I’m reading Bucky Fuller’s Grunch of Giants online, and, like, Wow.

    Just lemme know if you want to get the better – the whole – picture about Fairpay Justice. Maybe you’d like to read a chapter of the book I’m working on?

    Thanks again, Melissa
    Namaste, grrlfrend
    Your Friend Fairpay

  80. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 25th, 2010 at 4:38pm #

    Don, the worse everyone thinks the elites are, the more reason not to allow people to be that big, eh? The thing is, we are many, they are few. Moneypower is only the second greatest power. If the majority general human consciousness is agreed against allowing overpayunderpay extremes, there will be no place to hide an overfortune. And Don, I learned what I am teaching. I am the walking talking living breathing proof that people can learn the principles of pay justice. Don, you also are welcome to send me mail, like I said to Melissa.

  81. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 25th, 2010 at 5:00pm #

    With Fairpay capitalism, hours of work – for everyone – will naturally decrease because the gains made through technological advancement and increased productivity will not be captured by wealthpower giants but shared equally. Leisure time will naturally increase for all. Fairpay capitalism does not require work from persons unable, and it does not consider sharing fairshares with the disabled to be CHARITY. People are born with differing gifts, but equal needs – this is wherefrom our rights derive. As things are set up now, society has mindlessly stripped everyone’s first birthright off them – the birthright of all humans including those yet to be born – sans a dime’s compensation for this legal theft. Every lion cub to this day receives his birthright to a place to put his feet and live his life, but that is not true for humans ever since all land became owned. Each human is entitled to the value of one nth of the work mother nature did for us – for each of us equally and for free – like putting the minerals in the ground and giving us bees – where n = the total population.

    I am THOROUGHLY acquainted with the great economist Henry George, who was a journalist.

    Wanna lecture me some more on land reform, lichen, my leetle rutabaga?
    Care to falsely assert one more time that I advocate letting the poor starve in the streets?

    You, Sir, could not be more disingenuous.

  82. Garrett said on January 25th, 2010 at 5:23pm #

    lichen (and others),

    You wrote, “…I’d like to see direct democracy, where the government is 100% of the people, of the community, and yes, the community needs some money (if money exists) for public universities, free health care, guaranteed housing, public roads, libraries, community theater productions…”

    Direct democracy and a society without money fascinates me. But that’s so far removed from our current system that it’s hard to wrap my head around what it would take to achieve such a world. I can imagine a rather small community in which there are educators, farmers, medical experts, infrastructure specialists, artists et. al. I can imagine the doctor treating the farmer in exchange for food. Can this work on a large scale? How do we ensure that each community has at least 1 member with at least 1 of the skills necessary to make such a community sustainable? Will members of the community inevitably demand greater compensation for their service, which they perceive to be of more value than the return?

    For a while, I visited Dissident Voice regularly and posted occasionally, but I get overwhelmed and feel like it isn’t productive. Of course, I continue to read books, such as http://www.amazon.com/Case-Against-Global-Economy-Toward/dp/0871568659/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264463230&sr=8-1, even though I end up feeling the same way as when I read articles on DV and similar sites.

    On the other hand, what actions would be productive? What actions would bring about substantive change? Can we know the answer to that question without discussions like this one? I don’t know the exact numbers, but I’m confident that DV has a miniscule audience relative to the population as a whole. If those participating in discussions on this site can’t even agree about what approach to take with regards to the ever-increasing disparity between rich and poor, I find it difficult to have hope. Especially since I live in a country, the U.S., in which Dennis Kucinich is considered to be just as much of an extremist as Michele Bachmann. A country in which Rush Limbaugh is a household name and Naomi Klein is not.

    I don’t wish to presume that you all are readers only and aren’t out doing? What actions are you all taking? My wife and I do some volunteer work with low-income and homeless populations, my wife and I are trying to buy local when possible, use less energy, etc. But I’m not sure that either of us couldn’t be taking more productive steps. So, I’m hoping you all have some suggestions based on your own personal experiences.

  83. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 25th, 2010 at 5:35pm #

    You know? It occurs to me that Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez and Raffeal Correa and Fidel Castro all disagree with what you who are claiming to be socialists here are saying about capitalism being pure evil and having no good to perform for humanity. It also occurs to me how strongly alligned those elected leaders are with MY ideas about Fairpay Equitable Justice. I keep up as best I can with the global south, I was riveted to the illegal coup in Honduras and to the peoples’ heroic response – and I well know the history of my government’s inexcusable militarisitic exploitations – and I suspect some of you have no clue as to what’s happening in, say, Cuba as the transition of power rolls – bumpily sometimes – along.

    Fairpay means the people’s voice, and power to actually exercise their rights is escalated exponentially. IMO, no one who denies the dignity of the workingman’s labor is a true friend to the people.

    Society has no right to withhold a job from anyone. To do so is to deprive a man of the chance to stay alive – period.

    In order to judge whether living in a society is a net gain or net loss to a person, man living in society must be compared to man living in a state of nature. In nature, Man gets all the rewards, all the fruits, of his own sacrifice of time and energies. Mother Nature pays him for his sacrifice.

    But the hilarious human species pays for things that are not sacrifice, and indeed gives some people stratospheric amounts for no sacrifice – which means others get to work for no pay.

    This is Global Insanity writ large, and this is the injustice that is killing us all and this planet.

    Only work, only sacrifice creates wealth.

    The better gifted sacrificed nothing to be born better-gifted. Paying the gifted mind for having received a gift is no different than paying someone for having received a christmas present. Which is stupid – and everyone agrees. The gifted mind tries to claim he should be paid more because he won a gift.

    Wake up world, and see it: much of what people are calling human intelligence is as useful to this species as stupidity is.

    A Friend is one who warns you.

  84. lichen said on January 25th, 2010 at 5:49pm #

    Garret, it has long been my belief that a campaign for deep, radical reforms to our democracy can have a very wide appeal across political lines, and will give the left, afterward, it’s rightful, much larger space and give the people a real, direct voice on what happens to them–I really think this would be a good solution. And I’d really like to be able to have discussions about what sort of systems we want to move forward with but have them actually be sovereign, have them matter–we see the diversity and sort of ideas here and elsewhere that are completely ignored by the media and political elite.

    And let us not kid ourselves–a democratic assembly of the people is likely to be creative and individual about what the precise aspects of the system it comes up with will be–and standing in the corner screaming about how people didn’t understand your “fairpay” treatise that everyone else was supposed to sign onto the minute you brought it up would not be appropriate. It matters what you choose to include and disclude, and it matters when you are basically spam.

  85. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 25th, 2010 at 5:51pm #

    Melissa – quick note. If/when you contact me, remind me to send you a paper titled the virtues and advantages of DIS-organized resistance.

    Education is the horse. All else is the cart. Education – giving people the reality-based explanations and rational proofs that blow away all the fog – this alone can do what has to be done. I’m not saying people will be driven back to their good sense in time – I only know it CAN happen.

    Humanity, I hope you win this race you’re in between education and catastrophe. Think fearlessly.

  86. bozh said on January 25th, 2010 at 6:41pm #

    yff,
    u say u r a woman. So the first thing i’d like to know is, r u for sale or on sale?
    Second question is, Why haven’t u declared in which sense u have used the word state? I think u said that u don’t want the state to spend our money.
    Oh, i remember now. U did say state is people!
    in US people complain ab big gov’ts. The smaller the gov’t the better and the more it is privatized the better. But omit the fact that entire gov’t is already privatized;i.e., in hands of a few people.
    Are u the kind that complains ab big gov’ts? U have also neglected to notice that in proposing less disparity in wages that that’s what happens in socialist countries.
    And where wages btwn people vary only ab 10%; nearly all getting almost equal wages.
    Also, i don’t hate capitalism; if by that u mean all that we produce. I am glad that u almost said that every person has the right to work; since there always had been enough work for anyone and there is enough work for everyone now.
    There actually is too much work left undone.
    reforesting, cleaning rivers, planting flowers, campaigning for basic human rights, visiting sick, ‘burning’ dwn stores which sell poison food, seeing that animals are treated, befriending a family in trouble, throwing muck on actresses that wear $10 k dresses on TV; while their sisters can only spend $10, protest pageant shows and showing only the fittest women on tv; in movies, etc.

    But this wld significantly diminish Greatness of America. People wld no longer say, God Bless America, which means blessing all those beautiful actresses, prez’s, plutos; in short, the ‘starry stars’ only, but wld say god bless all of us!
    I dunno. U may be espousing some of our ideas!
    Don’t worry ab me. I am no danger to women; i am no longer of kissing age; i look and feel like an 98 yr old. At times u do write like a schoolgirl! tnx

  87. Deadbeat said on January 25th, 2010 at 7:33pm #

    Melissa writes…
    Lastly, I have to echo your words regarding another’s assertion that the necessity of earning a living is immoral and inhuman . . . WTF? Are you kidding? Good god, isn’t that what the problems are right now?! Some are doing nothing productive and are earning huge sums, and others earn nothing but poverty because there isn’t any meaningful, real work that offers a living wage? Oh, crap, crap, crap. Expletive, expletive, expletive. Bah!

    The idea that someone must submit to wage slavery otherwise they end up destitute is immoral and inhuman. What you are condition to believe is that everyone has a “right” to be a wage slave rather than a right to be free. The problem right now is that the “unemployed” are prohibited by the laws and the rules of Capitalism to access to the means of production and the necessity of life because they possess no ownership claim to the resource controlled by the capitalist class.

    The word “earn” means the following to gain or get in return for one’s labor or service: to earn one’s living. . Why should someone have to gain anything in a world that can meet everyone’s material need. Gaining is why there is poverty. Perhaps Melissa the problem is that you are so badly indoctrinated that you have forgotten the meaning of word “earn”.

    In a civilized society no one should have to “earn” the means of their own survival. That is inhumane.

    isn’t that what the problems are right now?! Some are doing nothing productive and are earning huge sums, and others earn nothing but poverty because there isn’t any meaningful, real work that offers a living wage?

    Even if everyone got equitable pay if you don’t participate in the labor market you starve. That is not freedom but wage slavery which you & YFF continues to advocate. The problem with EMPLOYMENT is that the capitalist class needs fewer employees due to technological efficiencies and cheaper foreign labor.

    We need to reclaim those efficiencies that labor produced and encourage greater leisure and other uses for our time. Time that the capitalist class do not value. The problem is that people are “unproductive” because they have NO access to the means of production and no control of their time. Time that we can use to better ourselves and the environment around us.

    Unfortuantely Melissa you are not advocating freedom but slavery.

  88. Deadbeat said on January 25th, 2010 at 7:39pm #

    YFF writes …

    Only work, only sacrifice creates wealth.

    This is the Ayn Rand fallacy.

  89. Melissa said on January 25th, 2010 at 8:03pm #

    “We need to reclaim those efficiencies that labor produced and encourage greater leisure and other uses for our time.” -DB

    “The word “earn” means the following to gain or get in return for one’s labor or service” -DB

    I have no objection to what you say there. I agree that society at large, all-inclusive, has full right to the increased efficiencies born of technology. I support a guaranteed income derived from the “credit” of GDP. We can trip over our vocabulary all we want . . .

    Deadbeat, I am concerned that you are purposely being a sabateur. If you continue to present your position in a phrase like the one I reacted to, you will most assuredly dash all possibility of reconstructing society based on common sense, compassion and a guarantee that all persons will have access to resources to meet basic needs + deserved leisure.

    It torques me because your ideas are appealing and fair; land base and common ownership of resources etc . . . but you chose to express it in a way that no toiling and under-compensated laborer accepts. You are too good with words for that to be a mistake. Was it a mistake?

    -Melissa-

  90. Deadbeat said on January 25th, 2010 at 8:28pm #

    Melissa you need to analyse your own commentary.

    How many people got sucked into “merit pay”? Which is another meaning of the word “earn”. That created inequality and thus benefitted capitalist.

    Also you state the following …

    I support a guaranteed income derived from the “credit” of GDP

    GDP growth over the past 10 years was fueled via debt bubbles and speculation. GDP doesn’t measure constructive endeavors. Once again you are too monetary oriented in your thinking. We don’t need money. We need access to resources and the means of production.

    It torques me because your ideas are appealing and fair; land base and common ownership of resources etc . . . but you chose to express it in a way that no toiling and under-compensated laborer accepts. You are too good with words for that to be a mistake. Was it a mistake

    Who desires toiling and laboring? That’s indoctrinated thinking and come from a slave mentality. Isn’t it time we advocate freedom?

    We need LESS “work” not more “work”.

  91. Melissa said on January 25th, 2010 at 8:58pm #

    “We don’t need money. We need access to resources and the means of production.” -DB

    Again, agreed. Shiny rocks, glass beads, green paper, dense metals . . . blah blah. It’s nonsense, invented to benefit whom? My thinking IS indoctrinated, gee, imagine that. I live. I am trying very much to expose myself, to challenge beliefs that I only recently realized were handed to me, not formulated by me.

    No one desires toiling, though that is what many people do. Produce comes our way via that, and yet society tends to believe that tomatoes are less valuable than pushing paperwork around in a high-rise, and “compensates” it accordingly. I don’t feel that way, you don’t feel that way . . . I am not saying anything new here.

    In fact, I feel as though I can’t say anything, I can’t choose a word, I can’t contribute at all in this arena anymore -quite less than I ought to feel, because you hear something I haven’t meant, nor felt. Because you need to practice your logic and argument skills at the expense of relating, understanding, formulating, and sharing. You can either offer what you believe is useful with an open and compassionate heart, or you use your gift to berate and ridicule. Your intellect and good cause is being wasted if you can’t recruit and educate with what you’ve obviously got because you need to make sure others “know their place”.

    Bowing out, like the lowly, less-than-you pea brain that you have successfully shown me to be.

    As always,
    Peace, Resistance, Hope,
    Melissa

  92. Garrett said on January 25th, 2010 at 9:36pm #

    I’m not suggesting that everyone here should agree just for the sake of agreeing. I’m just saying that it’s a little discouraging to see – amongst a niche audience – so much time and energy put into arguing about ‘isms. I know it’s cliche, but we desperately need to find common ground and then get out and work for it. People who are suffering can’t afford to wait for us to decide which ‘ism is best.

    What actions are you all taking?

  93. Deadbeat said on January 26th, 2010 at 12:55am #

    @ Melissa

    I didn’t invent the English language. Here is the definition of toil…

    –noun
    1. hard and continuous work; exhausting labor or effort.
    2. a laborious task.
    3. Archaic. battle; strife; struggle.

    I used to grow tomatoes and I never found it to be “toil”. I’m sorry you feel that “toiling” is virtuous. Work should be enjoyable. Working as a wage slave is toil.

  94. Deadbeat said on January 26th, 2010 at 1:06am #

    @Garrett

    “ism” is a short hand for IDEAS. Debating ideas is necessary because as a group we need to struggle for well developed ideas that will bring about the kind of JUST society otherwise struggle for reforms will only bring us right back to this same point. Therefore I have no qualms over debating ideas and I have no qualms with anyone analyzing ideas and making arguments. If there are fallacies in those argument them pointing them out is how one learns.

    I’m not perfect. I erred recently in the debate regarding Social Security. I had to double check the claim that the bond being used to securitize the trust fund were not Treasury. I thought they were. I was wrong and clearly learned from that error. So what. I’m I going to run away like Melissa or do I stay and learn from it. The current situation that now exist need people who are willing to challenge their assumptions and realize those “assumptions” is grounded in indoctrination.
    And that a SHIFT in perspectives is vital in order to alter how we perceive things.

    Actually one of the best definitions of ideology came from Alan Greenspan when he admitted finally admitted to Congress that he had FLAWS in his perception of the world. The embrace of Capitalism is a major flaw in our perceptions and as Don Hawkins constantly remind us we may not have a lot of time to realize and understand those flaws. We better come to grips with that and SOON.

  95. Don Hawkins said on January 26th, 2010 at 3:13am #

    DB do I do that and Bozh’s last comment he did make some very good points and it appears we have about 10 years to cut greenhouse gas emissions if we wish to survive life forms and so far it’s go shopping the big plan. I see the President is going to cut some spending freeze it. More like melt not freeze and this morning China is starting to wise up the best they can as in the next few months here in the States just more stupidly on a grand scale. Boring this will not be for those of us who still have half a brain left. Going to have a tuna sandwich now on second thought heavy metal not good for life forms in a number of way’s. Yes give your kid’s tuna three times a week I hear it’s good for the memory and watch good morning America on TV maybe they will have a cooking part for the best way’s to prepare tuna or maybe a part on the latest in fashion what’s cool and what’s not. You know it looks like the roads ends up ahead oh keep going that’s just your mind playing tricks on you step on it I have a tee time at 9:00. Looney tunes. The truth the knowledge calm at peace.

  96. Don Hawkins said on January 26th, 2010 at 4:03am #

    Here’s something we all need to focus on. Will Brad Pitt and Angelina stay together, what. Yesterday on TV a women I guess a new’s person said I hope they do for the sake of the children. When is enough enough in clowntown USA. Of course we the little people the masses are the ones who need to focus on questions like that the other group of human’s are far far away and here’s a good one if the election was held today Huckabee would win over Obama oh my God but the stock market would like it. Yes boring this will not be and get some boots those noise generators are on the way. There seems to be many noise generators in twenty ten the age of Universal deceit where telling the truth is a revolutionary act. Calm at peace the truth the knowledge it’s still here sort of.

  97. Maryb said on January 26th, 2010 at 5:16am #

    Are Pitt and Jolie the couple who have been collecting children from around the world in the manner of Madonna? I lose track of these self- obsessed ghouls.

  98. Max Shields said on January 26th, 2010 at 5:59am #

    Garrett said “I know it’s cliche, but we desperately need to find common ground and then get out and work for it.”

    Deadbeat, you can certainly find something there to embrace.

    This “isms” implied are the ones that are old and haggard and indirectly or directly got us to where we are. Re-framing Marx is like WalMart calling themselves Green and local. This is not to besmerch Marx’s thinking. If there is a place for his method (I prefer deductive observation and synthesis to his dialectical materialism, but so what), or some components of what he said, fine and dandy.

    There’s much to agree on. In fact not only the niche here can agree on it but I would wager much of humanity would. What divides us are the isms rather than the connections, the solidarity around deep universal principles that we can build on. Social, environmental, and economic justice seems to be one such premise. We don’t need to reach for Das Kapital to see what it prescribes. The principles of sharing and caring are abundant. How we get there can be debated, but our shared vision and mission should get us passed some of the bickering.

    I think that’s what Garrett is saying when he talks about “isms”. It’s not that it is a short-hand for discussing ideas, but a means of squaring off.

  99. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 26th, 2010 at 6:03am #

    Sorry, Melissa and Don – I gave you the wrong addy yesterday (I don’t use that one very much, and so forgot) it’s payjustice at fastmail dot fm (not dot com).

  100. dan e said on January 26th, 2010 at 6:34pm #

    in US people complain ab big gov’ts. The smaller the gov’t the better and the more it is privatized the better. But omit the fact that entire gov’t is already privatized;i.e., in hands of a few people.

    “small gov’t”: a euphemism for “states rights”. Which is a euphemism for Jim Crow.
    I notice that those who complain about “big gov’t” seldom complain about Big Defense Budget. My read is that complainers about “big gov’t” are really unhappy because people lower than them on the Class ladder might get some protection or relief out of the Feds[from the depradations perpetrated/participated in by these Capitalist/proCapitalist complainers.
    Max Shields: boring boring boring. Still shilling for capitalism, still trying to con you into ignoring Marx & Engels. You don’t have to agree with every point but if you are serious about “social change” you need that chunk of background.

  101. Deadbeat said on January 27th, 2010 at 3:20am #

    Dan E writes …

    Max Shields: boring boring boring. Still shilling for capitalism, still trying to con you into ignoring Marx & Engels. You don’t have to agree with every point but if you are serious about “social change” you need that chunk of background.

    This is absolutely true and Alan Maass address this very point in his debate with Michael Albert. It is the anti-Marxist that are the one doing the re-framing not the other way around.

    Also going back to YFF argument regarding “Fair pay” and the fallacies that lie in this false idea. Even if you take a softer tone for example and set aside that YFF still essentially supports the idea of wage slavery. Let’s assume that everyone is paid the same. If the struggle restricts itself to “fairpay” in order to build a tenuous coalition what then?

    Here is a list of the problems that will arise:

    [1] Conflicting ideologies that will break apart the coalition. Racism was used to break down the coalition during the Progressive and Post WWII eras.

    [2] The Capitalist class is still in place and intact and will eventually use their wealth and influence to unravel the fair pay scheme. Historic precedent is the unraveling of Liberalism (Keynesianism) during the past 40 years.

    [3] Since we are talking about money, money can be swindled away from workers in a variety of ways — Regressive taxation, inflation, fines, fees, frivolous lawsuits, interest, rent, debt, etc. Since YFF doesn’t address these structures there are a variety of ways for Capitalist to transform “fair-pay” into inequality.

    And to address Max Shields, “ism” critique, “ism” is a short hand for ideology which everyone possess. This notion of setting aside ideology is sheer lunacy. What is needed is CLARITY of kind of ideas worthy to struggle FOR that well enable a JUST society. Everything else though worth defending is essentially reactionary.

    I find the tendency and tradition of Marxism to uphold ideas of justice, equality, fairness, freedom, and balance to be self-evident. The anti-Marxists like Mr. Shields, Michael Albert, Liberals and Libertarians possess enough fallacies that they cannot stand up to argumentation and cannot defend their base desire to maintain inequalty no matter how they cloud their fallacies. The debates that I posted on Parecon vs Marxism/Socialism clearly demonstrates that and the fact that Marxism, heading into its 16th decade, is more relevant TODAY than ever before.

  102. Max Shields said on January 27th, 2010 at 7:16am #

    Again, Dan e and Deadbeat, if what I’m saying is so “boring” than why are you all so anxious to respond to such “boring comments”?

    Obviously they are not. Ideologues are ready for a fight and call up things like “capitalism” as they enemy and so anyone who questions the wisdom of posing problems through the prism of “isms” is labeled. No where did I use or imply capitalism; nor am I an anti-Marxist. What a waste of time that would be.

    You can find all kinds of sound moral principles in the philosophical writings of pure philosophy and those who included economics – the classical economics. I don’t think any of them would refute the importance of justice as paramount to a workable (for all) social arrangement.

    So, it’s a bogus argument to credit only Marx with this and that. But that’s not a statement of “anti-Marxism”, it’s simply a historical fact.

  103. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 27th, 2010 at 8:00am #

    Quote deadbeat: “…set aside that YFF still essentially supports the idea of wage slavery.”

    That is an outright baldfaced malicious LIE – and i think dedbeat KNOWS it is. Does this board condone such magnificently undemocratic and puerile behavior?

    And his list of problems show clearly he does not have the first clue as to what I am saying and what Fairpay Justice WILL DO and WILL PREVENT.

    You could all be out there solving almost every problem you whine about if you were actively conducting a word-of-mouth campaign, helping your families and friends understand these things clearly so they, too, can pass them along:

    We constitute governments as a necessary evil for the benefits we wouldn’t have without them. Read that sentence again. ALL governments are pirates – if you let them be pirates. The history of ALL forms of government prove that true. Democracy is the worst form of government…except for all the rest. You can’t just erect a government and go back to sleep just casting a vote time to time – you’ve got to watch your government like a hawk. That’s how it is. It’s never going to be any other way. If you and me Bub and our neighbors no one excluded don’t become willing to take this plane off automatic pilot right now and start flying the damn thing ourselves, well, who’s fault is it that your government has been devoured by superwealth, eh?

    Listen, trying to shrink government down to a size that you can drown it in a bathtub isn’t evil, it’s SILLY. It’s FANTASY. It’s fantasy-thinking, fantastical-thinking – it is not reality-based thinking. Why? Because as soon as you have group you have government! Government will only die when the second to the last person dies – because people are always going to organize themselves and their affairs so as to increase their security, comfort, happiness, prosperity, etc.

    And taxes? Of COURSE taxes are a removal of earnings from your pocket. But taxes are not bad per se – taxes are necessary user-fees. They are bad or good depending on what they are spent on, depending on what you’re getting back for your hard-earned dollar. (In USAmerica you’re mindlessly spending over half your total taxmonies on the psychopathology of militarism that is buying you nothing but enemies and heartache and doing nothing but enriching wealthpower giants! What is evil is trading your sons’ and daughters’ bright futures for profits for weapons manufacturers! Support our troops? Oh HELL yes; the mercenaries’ CEOs deserve higher profits! We don’t need no stinking healthcare and education and public transportation – give us austerity measures so we can maintain our psychopathologic foreign policy of making the world safe for unlimited personal fortunes capitalism! Yay!)

    Look, EVERYONE wants taxes to be as low as possible – as they should – but everyone also wants a fire department and streets, and things like streets and streetlights and fire departments are impossible for each person to create for themselves individually. It’s a waste of words and time and energy to promote tax and government hatred. It’s imbecilic. It’s hogwash promoted by cheap-labor predators and social darwinists. Stop letting the wealthpower giants have outposts in your head! You’re GOING to have government, and you NEED government – and you have no choice but to watch your government like a hawk – so just get jiggy with those facts first. Are we going to be response-able adults or are we going to be adult infants?

    One problem is we are stupidly taxing work, not wealth, and we are failing to tax land value – plus we have the 100% absurd situation where a whole nation of people are forcing themselves to borrow the credit of the nation from a succession of a private group of wealthpowerful giants – the banksters – when that credit only exists in the first place because of the work the working people do! This nation of sillypeople has actually acquiesced to borrowing back from private parties – who have nothing to do with creating the nation’s credit – what has always belonged to the working people to begin with. It just doesn’t get any more bizzarely irrational than this. Happiness is in reality – and we are in unreality – that’s why we’re so unhappy! We handed over the right to issue the nation’s credit to LEGAL THIEVES – and we STILL haven’t awakened to this enormous “logic whoopsie”! The nation’s credit belongs to the nation’s people because it’s born of nothing but OUR WORK, OUR SACRIFICE. It’s insane to be making ourselves borrow back – at interest – what is ours.

    FEAR is in control about money: people make no move to rid themselves of unlimited personal fortunes capitalism, in spite of their steep anger, because they are afraid of the unknown. It’s their confusion about what money is and how it works that has caused them to think an alternative might likely be even worse than the status quo. People have swallowed manufactured lies, because they don’t think things through. For instance, people are convinced they have to give away their money to make it work for commerce. 99% of the planet’s people volunteer to give up their rightful earnings to the 1% rich because they’ve been indoctrinated to believe the rich create jobs. They speak of a President’s “need to create jobs”. But the rich don’t create jobs – they can’t create jobs. And neither can a President create jobs. Why? Because there is only one thing that creates jobs, and that thing is DEMAND. Only DEMAND creates jobs – and demand comes from the people – which means – write this down – it is the people themselves who create their jobs, not some richy rich, not some president. No demand = no production = no consumption. Let a rich man build a factory to produce purple stick-on eyebrows for zebras and guess what? How many people are going to have a job designing, producing, and distributing those purple zebra eyebrows? Burn it into everyone’s brain: only demand creates jobs! THEN people will start to see right through all this bullshit about us needing to have rich people or we’ll all be out of jobs. Rich people don’t create jobs – they create job scarcity – and get overpay for doing so – to keep hardworking people competing for low-wage jobs.

    The “money is unimportant” argument: Money is unimportant? Oh, yeah? Then if money is unimportant, I guess you won’t mind if I come over tonight under cover of dark and take all your money? You say money is unimportant, so you’ll be just fine with that, right? You won’t mind if I come and take all yours? You see how that argument falls down flat? Thinking money is unimportant is the PROBLEM. And guess what: it’s EXACTLY what the wealthpower giants want you to believe and to preach to others. You’re doing the work of the wealthpower giants FOR them when you say money is unimportant. Money is your food and your shelter and your healthcare and your education and every need and most wants. Money is the joker-good, good for exchanging for all your needs and most wants. It’s the distinction (I keep trying to get you people to make) between self-earned money and other-earned money that matters. Self-earned money is all good – having self-earned money is all good – it’s as good as eating the vegetables you grew yourself. Having more self-earned money is getting more for contributing more by your own sacrifice of time and energies to working. It harms no one, robs no one. It’s having possession of OTHER-EARNED money that means you have robbed someone else. Getting more money without contributing more is theft – and every theft comes with an angry person attached! And guess what – other people are so much like you that you can COUNT on them trying to get their money back. The bear who hoards all the honey in the forest gets visits from angry robbed bears, and he’s so busy fighting them off that he has no time to eat the honey he’s hoarding. It’s the very definition of stupid! Going after Overpay, whether in honey for the bear or in money for the wealthpower giant – is a perfect failure as a happiness plan. Just ask Marie Antoinette!

    THIS is the kind of economic thinking people are not hearing. No one is explaining economics to people so they can get clarity of ideas about money/wealth/economics – and government. ‘Cept me, of course. And yet just look how some people here reacted to these clear and rational and thoughtful explanations. Virtually ignored the wisdom, choosing instead to attack the messenger who is trying to blow away the fog of confusion economists and well-tamed professors have shrouded money and government in. Some of you are still deceitfully mis-representing what has been said here. It’s an omni-misrepresentation of all I’ve said and all I think, to go on attempting to paint me as an apologist or shill for capitalism.

    Question: Did the People fall, or were they pushed?
    Answer: They fell. Right after they were pushed.

    The truth about me should have been quite obvious to any rational mind. I am workingclass all the way – and I think it’s some of YOU folks who are out of touch with us working people down here on the street. The people I know are busy WORKING – they don’t indulge themselves engaging in back and forths of mad pedantry: they KNOW what is meant by ‘The State’, they KNOW what is meant by ‘freedom’, they KNOW what ‘insane’ means. Leftists should know by heart that you can either beat people up, or lift them up. (And here’s another clue some of you won’t pick up on: bashing the right works against you getting a majority – so do yourself a favor and read Deer Hunting With Jesus by Joe Bageant. You’ll get a much better understanding of those “batshit-crazy flying-monkey rightwingers”. They. Are. Hard-Working People. – who fell, right after they were pushed.)

    People only keep going after overfortunes because they don’t see the huge downside to having an overfortune – they only see the upside – but the upside is largely illusion. People need to be shown the side of things they’re not looking at. Governments cannot save us as they are now – they have been devoured by superwealth. Only a grassroots growth in awareness, realism, sobriety, simple good sense, maturity, practicality in the people can drive events to safety and peace. Politicians will certainly act when the numbers tell them they must, but not before. Leadership will change when, and only when, the people change their ideas. The global economy is 100% totally rigged, but what is driving everything that is going on is not politicians and is not the rich: it’s what’s in people’s heads – that diabolically stupid, geno-sadistic, ultimately fatal, patently unjust idea to allow the withdrawal of unlimited personal fortunes from the finite pool of wealth – when overpay has nowhere to come from but from underpay – that is driving all we see. The realists, those who do not attempt to avoid the bits of reality they do not like, see a world of strangled possibilities and murdered opportunities, writhing in the violent hell of overpay-underpay entirely unnecessarily.

    Politicians will act when a majority have gained enough economic clarity to demand economic fairpay justice for all, for the sake of their own happiness and safety…just like the British in India acted only when and because Gandhi demonstrated clearly that he could muster millions of visible feet to the streets with his words. It’s the number of us united in our demand for fairpay justice that wins the day. I don’t propose to approach congress until more people finally realize the survival connection we have to fairpay justice, because until we have the numbers we are not coming from a position of any power and therefore can only make requests, not demands.

  104. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 27th, 2010 at 8:08am #

    What things are there, that justify unequal pay per unit of work, unequal pay/hr, unequal pay/yr? Are there any? Provided society pays students for studying, there are NO reasons for unequal pay per hour. Close scrutiny of the reasons given for unequal pay do not, as far as I can see, stand up to rational examination. (I’m open to RATIONAL discussion.) One common, universally accepted reason given for payment is personal gifts – he’s really smart, she’s especially talented, but reason says that these gifts are work done by mother nature. It doesn’t take any work, any sacrifice, by anyone, to have these gifts, and using them doesn’t mean the gifted person is sacrificing any more than a lesser gifted person does who uses the gifts he got. No one got to choose greater or lesser gifts. No one who has lower intellect or more fragile health or lesser innate abilities chose that for themselves, so it is no part of justice to force the lesser-gifted to give up equal pay in order to give overpay to those who won greater gifts. Rationally, [as distinct from the irrational invalid fallacious argument to the authority of irrational but accepted ideas, in which people put such great reliance] pay for natural gifts is as irrational as payment for receiving Christmas gifts, which has not received the fallacious support of custom.

    Personal sacrifice of time and effort spent developing one’s gifts is different. Pay for developing gifts [of commercial value] is just, because developing gifts is work. There is no *reason* anyone can give for payment for natural gifts, and no reason anyone can give for others having to fund this payment, and, because the pool of wealth is finite, it is the underpaid who must take less for their sacrifice in order for there to be more to give the better-gifted. Everyone loves being paid for gifts, because they hope to benefit by them, but it hasn’t worked out like that and it never will work out like that. 99% are paid less than the world average pay per hour. The downside of funding this payment is, for 99% of people, much greater than the benefit, but few are aware of this – of how they rob themselves by supporting this payment, of how they con themselves out of money by this, of how they open the floodgates of limitless overpay-underpay [and consequent violence and misery] by this support.

    Again, and similarly, people support pay for experience – but cold, hard sense says that experience is gained at no extra sacrifice of time and effort beyond that made in doing the paid work that provided the experience. Again, people support it, defend it, although for 99%, the costs of funding this exceed the financial benefit to them. They con themselves out of their full rightful pay by mis-thinking that pay for experience gives them more money, and they thus open the floodgates to unlimited uncontrollable growth of overpay-underpay [and consequent unlimited uncontrollable violence, war, crime, weaponry ever-growing]. People don’t want to look at justice because they fear it will mean less money – they never suspect that justice will mean more money and the destruction of violence.

    How could stopping myself from getting pay for things like gifts and experience give me *more* money? It doesn’t make sense to people – it doesn’t make sense to people because they are looking at a tiny part of the picture – themselves only. Not being paid yourself for non-work things gives you more money because it stops others being paid for these things at your expense. Overpay, pay for nonwork, is funded by work for no pay, underpay, by others. The overpay buys things other people have worked to make. Your participation in this injustice prevents you stopping others benefiting from this leak – the line is crossed, erased, and there are no principles of justice left to limit pay, to prevent unlimited pay/hr, hence we have pay per hour, after 3000 years’ growth of inequality, from $10,000,000 to 1cent – an inequality violence misery war crime weaponry tyranny slavery undemocracy unliberty unfraternity corruption brutality torture state-terrorism private-terrorism warmongering cannonfoddering disinformation rights-trampling factor of one billion, and rising – to extinction soon, thanks to e=mc2. Happy people have no history. We have heaps of history – and history is now accelerating exponentially.

    Get the idea of pay justice, and we get a history-free golden age. Keep faith with pay injustice, and we get oblivion. The bombs are global. Global means every house. Culture is based on ideas. Our idea for 3000 years has been wrong – it has produced underpay misery for 99%, overpay misery for 1%, and violence for everyone.

    Overpay is necessarily always happiness-negative, because 1. satisfaction waits on desire, overpay is just 3000 pairs of shoes for two feet, 1000 rooms for one body, etc., and 2. erosion of overpay [individual, national and imperial] [by both underpaid and overpaid] is myriad and relentless, so the labour of keeping it is constant and danger-fraught: the sense of justice is indestructible.

    The same “logic whoopsie” governs the universal support for private inheritance. The heir has done nothing to deserve that money, done nothing to earn/create that wealth. People see themselves getting money from private inheritance, they don’t see themselves funding this gift, impoverishing themselves, and they don’t see they are thereby starting the evergrowth of inequality violence misery.

    The same logical error governs the universal support of profits above fairpay for work. By definition, the owners have done nothing to earn profits above fairpay for work – others fund that gift. For various reasons, it is not good to interfere directly with this injustice. It can be controlled at the macro-macro level by making everyone equal heirs of large deceased estates. Everyone has done the work that the overfortunes represent and buy, so overfortunes belong to everyone.

    And the same logical error [seeing only part of the picture, imagining themselves gaining, not seeing themselves losing by funding the bigger gains for others, not seeing themselves opening the gates to ever-growing inequality violence misery, which gets to everyone, overpaid and underpaid] governs the support of capital gains. People do the work that builds cities or other infrastructure, but only landowners get the added value – and get it in proportion to their fortunes – for no work, for no sacrifice of personal time and effort to working.

    We only have to see the reality, we only have to see the real enormous badness of pay injustice, and the real enormous goodness of pay justice, and human culture is changed forever, violence dies forever – [war is not human nature - human nature is unchanging and violence has grown for 3000 years - no correlation, therefore no causality. And so-called religious and racial wars are pay-injustice wars along religious or racial lines; where there are religious or racial differences without pay injustice, there are no wars - again, no correlation, so no causality.] Culture is ideas. A change of ideas is change of culture. And the ideas are not hard to see.

    No force is needed, just education, just epiphany – no evergrowing bureaucracy, but a massive reduction of bureaucracy [lower taxes, more money and freedom for productivity] – no group, just individual realization and tell your friends – no economic upheaval, just a little law with gigantic benefit – no restriction of ambition, just efficient prevention of evergrowth of pay injustice. Pay injustice is the vital justice, because money is the joker good, good for most things, including social power.
    Justice causes happiness. We can secure far, far greater happiness for this whole planet, but not by pretending to believe in justice but by knowing the reality: pay injustice is theft, theft is injury, injury ricochets untiringly as atoms. As doormats, people are totally unreliable – every plutocracy has fallen. Where is Spanish Inca gold today? Honey attracts bears. The Golden Rule is ironclad: hurt people and they hurt back. Other-injury is self-injury – ask Hitler, Marie Antoinette, Ceausescu, Nero, Richard III.
    Justice is not a cost, it is happiness out of the vast quagmire, at the cost of objective, patient examination of a new expression of an ancient idea, at the cost of ditching idols that have hurt us enormously, that are set to kill us – is the price too high?

    One of the bigger secrets is this: It takes no intellectual rigor at all to come up with reasonable-sounding “reasons” to overpay some people, but those “reasons” are nothing but rationalizations. Economics is practically just a list of attempted excuses for overpayunderpay. No justification can be given, because none exists, for underpaying anyone in order to give away overpay to another person.

    Right now, we are still full of self-contradictions. We daily despise and deride the fraction few wealthpower giants for their lack of a single scruple, while at the same time we keep dangling the carrot of unlimited personal fortunes in front of them, expecting these whom we judge to lack all scruples to somehow have the scruples to resist this most overwhelming of all temptations!

    Seriously, how crazy do we want to act before we sober up?

    It’s time for a really big “D’oh!” moment, people. (I swear Homer Simpson is smarter than most people. Homer is at least capable of having “D’oh!” moments – when he suddenly realizes how wrong he has been getting it.) Who is always going to be going the hardest after unlimited personal fortunes for as long as we allow unlimited personal fortunes? The least scrupulous amongst us, that’s who, of course. D’oh!

    Meritocracy is death. Equality of man despite inequality of gifts won in the birth lottery is heaven on earth, is life. Material inequality is sure poison we serve up to ourselves via our support for rampant pay injustice and the violence pollution it reliably engenders. We have to bring to the forefront of our consciousness that this is the issue that cuts across ALL other issues. Until we do, nothing of meaningful consequence can change. Don’t fix overpay-underpay, and you fix nothing. Don’t chop out the root, and the tree of troubles grows more leaves faster than you can pull them, and that leads only to hope-fatigue.

    Yet the minute the majority general consciousness embraces fairpay justice, our politicians will have no choice but to follow our lead or be discarded to the dustbin of history. Yes, we are the ones we have been waiting for, and what we have been waiting for us to do is to replace unlimited personal fortunes capitalism with justice capitalism.

    So, how do we do that? Do we cut everybody who is contributing to the pool of wealth an equal paycheck, starting tomorrow? Do we attempt to dismantle all the myriad legal thefts piecemeal? Do we abandon the system of private property and profit? Do we need everyone and their dog to learn new -isms and -ologies and go socialist or communist? No. We just learn and teach the principles and utter sanity of pay justice, then take the 2 simple steps I’ve proposed.

    1. A 1% increase per month in the global money supply, going equally, directly, freely, electronically to every living human being, children included, one account per person. The inflation effect will reduce overpays, the money effect will reduce underpays, and it does so without the cost of assessing fortunes. This method is not perfectly efficient in reducing overpay, but it is very easy and quick to reduce underpay. A 1% per month inflation will make a 1% imbalance, which will adjust, as the underpaid spend more, generating more supply. It is gentle enough to avoid any economic social shocks, and works because the inflation effect reduces overfortunes MORE than the equal share increases them, while it reduces underfortunes LESS than the equal share increases them. The weakness in this is that the overpaid can inflation-proof their fortunes to some extent, especially if the idea is implemented nationally not globally. This approach is easy and quick to set up, it immediately relieves underpay stress and pressures and violence at the bottom. It is the lowest possible, most indirect interference with the overpaid. A regular inflation is very much less inconvenient than an irregular one. The fact is, governments and banks are ALREADY increasing the money supply – only at present they are giving the money increase to the banks to suck more money off people through loans. Inflation devalues everyone’s money. It is a sneaky tax, forcing people to borrow, and in effect making them pay interest to buy back their own money.

    2. Making inheritance public instead of private. This will make the overpay shower gently down on humanity over three generations. It takes no self-earnings from living persons, and it reverses the perpetual concentration of wealth and political power in fewer and fewer hands. It counters effectively the natural tendency of money to concentrate unjustly, violently. Yes, making inheritance public instead of private means (almost) a 100% inheritance tax. We are preventing inequality of fortunes from growing to infinity by shovelling overfortunes into underfortunes. We know money automatically, unjustly concentrates endlessly, so any sensible species will introduce a counter to that. The simplest way is having every human being have one account (which governments will be happy to open since it means money coming into the country) into which the estates of deceased persons over US$1 million are distributed equally, electronically, directly, immediately, automatically. Private heirs can share the first US$1 million, (if we choose not to completely eradicate free gratis money). Parents would have trusteeship of children’s accounts till some suitable age, say 10 or 12. (This will give parents good reason to teach economic sense before the date children take over responsibility for their own funds!) This method is low-impact, yet totally effective. It doesn’t take away overfortunes from living persons, yet it will move humanity from extreme injustice and violence to near perfect pay justice and non-violence in just three generations – the time it takes for all the overfortunes to die.

  105. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 27th, 2010 at 8:15am #

    And now I’m off to have a root canal done – which will be far, FAR more enjoyable than reading baldfaced LIES about what I’m saying. If anyone wants to take issue with something i’ve said, then QUOTE MY WORDS and point to the place where my reasoning falls down.

    Because if you can’t use MY WORDS to point to the place where my logic and stellar reasoning fall down, then that place DOESN’T EXIST.

  106. Melissa said on January 27th, 2010 at 10:09am #

    Hello all,

    “u say u r a woman. So the first thing i’d like to know is, r u for sale or on sale?” – bozh

    Is this the face of socialism or asocialism, bozh? Or is your vesion of socialism negated of egalitarian attitude?

    I think the version of “socialism” presented by many comments on this site, replete with broad generalizations, hateful and divisive discriminations, nit-picking and twisting words, and most importantly, COMPETITION rather than co-operation is something that needs to be addressed.

    These tactics reveal true selfishness masquerading as equality and justice. To say that we all are equal, that we are all valuable and deserving, then to turn around and not honor each other as such is revealing.

    This medium should be the easiest place to temper our words, to reach out and exchange, to allow thoughtfulness and compassion before aggression. Some of you are painting quite an ugly picture of the nature and disposition of people advocationg social and systemic change.

    Still divided and conquered. When will we learn the basics? Talk the talk, don’t walk the walk. That’s why social change is relegated to the cybersphere, we aren’t even walking our own walk.

    Good luck all,
    Melissa

  107. bozh said on January 27th, 2010 at 10:32am #

    Melissa, honeybits,
    It’s ajoke. Most women laugh at it. Only one got insulted; she took it the wrong way. To make a joke work, one has to lie a lot. My apology to you sweatheart.
    As a socialist i have always asked that women earn in most or ?all jobs as much as men.
    i also respect and value women as much as men.
    I use the joke on me by saying to girls and men, Hey, i am not for sale or on sale today.
    Nor is socalled prostitution a profession or oldest. The oldest profession is shamanism along with deceiving. ‘Prostitution’ may have been necessary for woman’s and her children’s survival. tnx

  108. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 27th, 2010 at 11:06am #

    and he comes right back with more insolence and condescension, unable to grasp what he’s saying.

    priceless.

  109. Deadbeat said on January 27th, 2010 at 11:47am #

    Max Shields writes …

    So, it’s a bogus argument to credit only Marx with this and that. But that’s not a statement of “anti-Marxism”, it’s simply a historical fact.

    Deadbeat wrote …

    I find the tendency and tradition of Marxism to uphold ideas of justice, equality, fairness, freedom, and balance to be self-evident.

    Thus Max constructs a FALLACY as I didn’t attribute anything to just one person. This is same BORING pattern of Max’s strawman. As I stated Marxism is in its 16th DECADE. Clearly Marxism is relevant — moreso today than ever before.

  110. Deadbeat said on January 27th, 2010 at 2:12pm #

    I guess lichen was right. I should have listen to him. It’s really a waste of time engaging with spammers. What’s impressive is their ability to spew dialogue and words after words and say essentially repeat their desires to maintain a system of monetary-based payments. There is an old adage — money is the root of all evil and apparently YFF doesn’t understand how money corrupts social relationships and economies.

    I understand that this concept is too daunting. I really do not expect the vast majority of the working class to comprehend how a money-less society can be constructed. Years ago I too was too “Liberal” in my thinking and seeing this crisis unfold once again I had to challenge my assumption about money itself.

    What the anti-ism folks never ever say is that money itself is an IDEOLOGY. Money only has value when you BELIEVE it has value or societies are FORCED into having to accept money as the basis of human exchange.

    To boil down YFF “fairpay” agenda all we have to do is take a look at the 1950’s when the US came closest to “fairly” allocate its resource. At that time the top income tax rate was 92%. Capital gains hovered at 70%. Essentially that acted as a cap on wages. Union membership was at its apex. Even then in the idyllic 50’s the country suffered a recession. Even then the Liberals red-baited its left flank under the guise of “anti-communism”(which basically weaken the political basis for Liberalism). Even then the Capitalist class didn’t stay dormant and passed the Taft-Hartley act.

    In 60 years we’ve come from a top income rate of 92% to a top rate of 36%. Corporation paid 35% of the taxed that is now down to 8%. Productivity has been co-opted while wages have stagnated during the past 30 years as asset bubble after asset bubble and debt has transferred wealth the rich.

    The usefulness of YFF “fairpay” MAY get people in motion but once in place the question is then what? All it will do is DELAY capitalism’s inevitable collaspe. “Fairpay” won’t transform the system.

    The problem with money is that it decouples the work we do from the value it provides. It permits a small class of people to accumulate vast sums of money and power that flow to those who has the most money. Money interferes and distorts all social relationships.

    YFF offer nothing in her rhetorical vision of a system that will maintian balance and end accumulation. Only when money is displaced and people can obtain their needs directly from each other will you have balance. It will greatly SIMPLIFY our lives. Phases like Personal sacrifice of time and effort spent developing one’s gifts is different will be eliminated from the lexicon because there is no need for “sacrifice” since there won’t be any wage slavery in order for one to have to make a sacrifice.

  111. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 27th, 2010 at 3:27pm #

    So now the big gift to humanity from socialism is – returning to barter?
    ROFLMAO

    You guys are makin’ Karl Marx spin in his grave. Sheesh.

    Don’t worry, Melissa – I aint gonna hold all this nonsense against all socialists.

    Eugene Debs and Edward Bellamy are still some of humanity’s greatest heroes to me.

  112. Max Shields said on January 27th, 2010 at 5:34pm #

    Ok so Marxism, Marxists and Marx are not related. Perhaps you have the Marx Bros. in mind, Deadbeat.

  113. Deadbeat said on January 27th, 2010 at 6:14pm #

    So now the big gift to humanity from socialism is – returning to barter?
    ROFLMAO

    Ok so Marxism, Marxists and Marx are not related. Perhaps you have the Marx Bros. in mind, Deadbeat.

    And thus the breadth of the dialogue here. Bartering is inconceivable in a Capitalist system. However bartering typically is an individualist endeavor rather than collective and democratic planning, sharing the surplus and meeting soceity’s collective needs. Thus the extent of your ridicule is grounded in your LACK of understanding and misrepresentation of Socialism in order to preserve an authoritarian system.

    As for Max, we’ve been here before. Good luck diverting people with your revival of Henry George’s land tax perscription.

  114. Max Shields said on January 27th, 2010 at 6:21pm #

    Ideology is not simply having ideas. Ideology is a belief system that cannot budge from it’s narrow worldview, not because there aren’t truths in the ideology but because it forms all of one’s thoughts. One must pass a litmus test. Ideas are actually frozen, because ideology has constrained free flowing thoughts. Resistance and push back whenever one venture outside the cubicle of a professed ideology.

    An idea which might have merit is stopped cold, scrutinized to see if its an idea that passes the test or is it tainted by something less than the ideologues notion of what fits in the box? It makes for a truly boring discussion. So, if anyone knows boring, it’s Deadbeat. His posts exemplify it.

  115. Deadbeat said on January 27th, 2010 at 6:33pm #

    Here’s a paragraph from the latest article by Paul Craig Roberts – a conservative — who understand Marxism better than Max Shields.

    Americans are being squeezed out of health care not only by the loss of job benefits, but also by corporate takeover of medical practice from physicians. Today medical doctors are wage slaves of corporate health providers that leverage doctors by turning them into supervisors of physician assistants, lower paid people without medical degrees who perform the services that doctors once provided. As neither doctor nor physician assistant has any independence, there is no one to represent the patient’s care against the profits of the corporation.

  116. Deadbeat said on January 27th, 2010 at 6:40pm #

    Max Shields writes …
    Ideology is not simply having ideas. Ideology is a belief system that cannot budge from it’s narrow worldview, not because there aren’t truths in the ideology but because it forms all of one’s thoughts. One must pass a litmus test. Ideas are actually frozen, because ideology has constrained free flowing thoughts. Resistance and push back whenever one venture outside the cubicle of a professed ideology.

    Alan Greenspan presented a excellent definition of ideology during his “confession” before Congress. An ideology is a set of beliefs used to guide one’s perception of the world. Greenspan finally admitted that his Ayn Rand belief were flawed. What Max decribes is EXTREMISM and that is the typical tactic of anti-Marxist like Max. Not rational arguments.

  117. bobo said on January 27th, 2010 at 7:02pm #

    Ms. Your Friend Fairpay clearly has no understanding how actual capitalistic society works. While I appreciated her patience for elaborating her points, it is necessary to address her very flawed arguments.

    Ms. Your friend Fairpay worte:
    ———————————–
    “We constitute governments as a necessary evil for the benefits we wouldn’t have without them. …………………..?

    …………… Government will only die when the second to the last person dies – because people are always going to organize themselves and their affairs so as to increase their security, comfort, happiness, prosperity, etc.”
    ——————————–

    The primary role of government in capitalistic society is to protect private properties. Without government enforces the social contracts, the capitalist can not thrive. That’s why it’s called ” necessary evil” for capitalist. If government is too big (has many regulations) or vulnerable to popular demands (too democratic), it may ruin the capitalist’s opportunities to despoil others. However it’s a mysterious to me when Ms. YFF erected the straw man of “no government fantasy” which usually associates with classical liberalism (libertarian) to beat it to dead in front of socialists.

    Then Ms. YFF cited the racist, imperialist and murderous Winston Churchill “Democracy is the worst form of government…except for all the rest” as authority. But Socialists are all for democracy but not type of fake democracy that repugnant Churchill had in mind. Lenin nailed that hypocritical democracy “To decide once every few years which member of the ruling class is to repress and oppress the people through parliament–this is the real essence of bourgeois parliamentarism”. We want direct democracy (participatory democracy), democracy should be in anywhere in socialist society. How about the workers can elect the manager by voting? Is that too radical for yor? Ms YFF.

  118. bobo said on January 27th, 2010 at 7:05pm #

    I shall tackle other arguments of Ms. YFF later. Please stay in tune.

  119. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 28th, 2010 at 8:34am #

    If Satan himself said “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the rest”, the statement would still be true.

    Quiztime: who said this? “Land Monopoly is not the only monopoly, but it is by far the greatest of monopolies – it is perpetual monopoly, and it is the mother of all other forms of monopoly.” bobo, do you know who said that?

    I don’t wish to have the power to decide for the people whether or not they want to elect their manager by voting. I only seek to make it possible for them to do so, if that is their wish. Fairpay Justice equalizes power, therefore removes the barriers now making attainment of the people’s goals impossible.

  120. Your Friend Fairpay said on January 28th, 2010 at 9:35am #

    If you are still reading, Melissa (and Don), I want to give you this to keep, too. It came from my friend Conceptual Guerilla, and i think it’s another tidbit very very helpful for shifting Joe Lunchbox’s perspective:

    “Adam Smith said that once a small elite had monopolized ownership of land and materials, they would drive wages down to the level of subsistence. It is the “appropriation of land and stock” — Smith’s terminology — that creates the “market force” that reduces the market value of labor.
    Now, that doesn’t mean that certain derivative functions — management, distribution, and even investment — don’t exist, and that labor cannot contract for the delivery of those derivative functions. If you are the labor producing automobiles, or any other good or service, a sales force selling those goods and services is probably necessary. Likewise, certain organizational functions — we call it “management” — might be useful. Even “investment” has a place, since the goods and services needed to build and equip a shop must be paid for.

    But notice that those derivative functions serve the labor that produces the value. It is distribution, management and investment that are “costs of doing business.” Productive labor is the business that has these costs. Our contemporary business model has stood this on its head. The “cost” is productive labor in an arrangement where “ownership” trumps “production,” and where the owner of materials and facilities is seen as the central player. Owners have a “natural right” to reduce their “costs” and maximize their profits. Productive labor is not perceived as having any such right.

    I say that productive labor has the same, and indeed a superior right to maximize its profit, and that the laws and government have an entirely legitimate function in protecting these fundamental rights of labor — fundamental rights that have not hitherto been recognized.

    As a final observation, notice that recognition and protection of the fundamental rights of labor is entirely consistent with a “market economy,” where “market forces” are understood to be shaped by certain legal and governmental constructs. The government has an absolute right, if not an obligation, to shape the fundamental rules of the market in such as way as to guarantee labor its fundamental rights.”

  121. bobo said on January 28th, 2010 at 10:27am #

    Sorry for belated comment. I am a bit busy so let’s me be concise, the underlying assumption of Ms. YFF “stellar reasoning” is:

    – Capitalism works well, it just needs some minor tweaks (taxing, pay just…)

    Basically Ms. YFF called for sort of demand management Keynesian capitalism with minor patches aka “justice capitalism” in her own word. In her master plan, the government plays a active role on income distribution through taxing capital gain and socialize inheritance properties for public utilizations. But the free market and the capitalists in commanding the height of economy are remained intact. This premise reflects the Keynesian theory of crisis is the lack of effective demand.

    In Marxist perspective, it is correct but not enough. The deeper cause of crisis is the unreconcilable contradiction within the capitalist system. It is insatiable appetite for capital accumulation in on hand and the necessary to maintain the effective demand on other hand. If there is the over accumulation of capital, it will dry out the effective demand and lead to crisis. If the effective demand is maintained in a considerable period of time, it will compromise the rate of accumulation, on other words the rate of profit shall fall thus lead capitalists cease new investments and may halt productions, layoff worker then the economy stagnates. Ms. YFF’s suggestion on the increment of money supply only make the situation worser (cause inflation). The capitalist has no choice but to reduce wages and deregulation of financial market…. to restore the rate of profit. Ms. YFF has to understand this matter of “must” not “choice”. In highly competitive environment, if capitalists don’t follow the iron law of capital, they will be terminated. That’s exactly what had gone so wrong with Keynesian demand management then eventually the rise of neoliberalism (now shove us to verge of global economic collapse).

    I don’t see how Ms. YFF scheme can work at all.

    beside, Ms. YFF relentlessly make argument on “justice pay”…. rely on much oratory rather than substance. Over using value judgement (justice…) instead of concrete analysis. Moral, emotional appraisals tend to be very relative which your justice may be different my justice or for instance Obama’s justice. Obama just proclaimed on Nobel prize recipient speech that his criminal wars are just war cause he kill millions to protect the freedom and democracy of the world???? then who decide it is just or not just ???? For most of american liberal, it is a just war, for me it is not!!!

    That’s different between Marxist critique of capitalism and other rival schools is Marxists don’t judge the capitalist system is just or unjust. What we are criticizing capitalism is unable to deliver optimum result for a great part of people. And the capitalism already fulfilled the historical mission to eradicate feudalism. Now the task of socialists are push forward the democratic agenda to transcend the capitalism to socialism and eventually communism (very long time) or we let capitalism to roll back to neo-feudalism (aka barbarianism) cause capitalism already reach the tipping point.

  122. bobo said on January 28th, 2010 at 10:48am #

    In Ms. YFF latest post, she once again recycle Henry George’s land tax as panacea. Herry George analysis on Land monopoly is useful but not adequate and he did not distinguish between financial capital and physical capital which make his theory is flawed. If you can eliminate the land monopoly, what can you do with financial or raw material monopoly ? is that exist or not exist at all? Can that forces deform the market?

    By the way Ms. YFF worte:

    [war is not human nature – human nature is unchanging and violence has grown for 3000 years – no correlation, therefore no causality. And so-called religious and racial wars are pay-injustice wars along religious or racial lines; where there are religious or racial differences without pay injustice, there are no wars – again, no correlation, so no causality
    ————————

    Sorry but I highly doubt that you’ve heard the evolutionary theory when you claim “human nature is unchanging”. In fact, Human nature is very flexible. The malleability of human nature is beyond the question. If your can prove “human nature is unchanging”,the you already invalidate the Darwin theory of evolution.!!! A great feat indeed!!!!!!!!!!!!

  123. bozh said on January 28th, 2010 at 12:47pm #

    Bobo, yes,
    In making us evaluate as true that we are not ok; that we need Them [nobility-clergy] to guide us; without which we wld revert to murder, canibalism, disorder, all kinds of iniquitous behaviors, etc., we see the greatest ever snake oil sale.
    Tell us the biggest lie one can come up with and say it over 10-15 k yrs and it indeed became the truth.
    Most americans think that they are not capable nor have a right to mind own business; that of running the country. Media is the worst culprit in making americans think that.
    Just watch ‘experts’ talk on larry king ‘show’ such as gergen, arianna, mccain, rahm, et al.
    Since one can not understand them, one thinks: oh well, they are experts;they are capable; they know things; the fact that i don’t know what they mean proves i am dumb, etc.
    people don’t know that their conclusions, wishes, etc., are overgeneralized and thus even eisntein cldn’t understand them.
    People don’t know a simple truth: true or false and right and wrong do not apply to conclusions, opinions, wishes, promises, etc.
    True or false or right wrong apply only to facts such as : It rains! U look out and it either rains or it doesn’t.
    It is awful easy to deceive people if they don’t know this fact. Yet probably all wisdom is contained in this one fact! tnx

  124. Don Hawkins said on January 28th, 2010 at 1:22pm #

    Last night was a very good example of that. To me not Obama’s speech there was light in that speech but after when the Republicans gave there response a very old way of thinking and all you just said Bozh and after that Governor finished in the room I think Virginia the people in that room much clapping and we are right yes we are. Nothing to do with knowledge but who wins and who loses. Not bright.

  125. Melissa said on January 28th, 2010 at 1:32pm #

    Deadbeat:

    I have been thinking quite a lot about what you’ve said, and demonstrated, regarding positing and interpreting arguments, etc. I haven’t had the benefit of an education, and no exposure to the Trivium -indeed I didn’t even know the term until a few months ago.

    What would you recommend to autodidacts who want to “re-wire” their thinking/critical analysis before taking on studying anything further, whether economics, ideology, or literature? I am reluctant to embark upon studies of these subjects because it is painfully apparent that I (and many of my peers) are in a vulnerable, dependent position without those skills. It’s crippling.

    So . . . books, web resources, anything?

    As always,
    Peace, Resistance, Hope,
    Melissa

    P.S. Apologies to Ron Jacobs for dragging the thread beyond the scope of your article. Apologies as well to others in the midst of conversations to which this post has nothing to add.

  126. Deadbeat said on January 28th, 2010 at 2:54pm #

    Melissa,

    Thank you for your request. I don’t have much time right now to fully respond however since you are on the Internet there is much information available to you. I think you have an excellent understanding of how Capitalism works you have to take the next step and go beyond Liberalism. Unlike what Max Sheilds say, understanding the various ideologies is important so that you can make comparasion and understand the condictions that arises in them.

    Here’s a link to Marxism.org.

    I have also found this site useful as well World Socialism Movement . This site helped me comprehend how a moneyless society could be constructed.

    There are plenty more and I’ll refer other links in a future post.

    Let me say that I’ve found comprehending Marxism to be extremely challenging. It’s not easy especially as it challenged my “liberal” assumptions. But had it not been for the Internet I would have never been able to understand any of it. I don’t have time to share with you my journey. I’ll save that for another post.

  127. bozh said on January 28th, 2010 at 3:29pm #

    Don, i have an easy solution for americans. Well this statement sucks because it sure sounds like a promise to me and i have already said a dozen times tha all promises are lies. I made only one promise: i said to my future wife that if she marries me she wld have lotsof trouble- and she did!

    BO’s speech teems with tacit and explicit promises and thus lies! Can one get wiser than knowing anything else but just this one fact? Ok, we’ll find out in a moment.
    A priestly or political [btw, media also] talk teems with generalizations to which true or false answers do not pertain; now we have two legs of wisdom to stand on.
    And it feels a lot better to walk on both legs. Maybe walking on all fours wld be even better.
    Now instead of promising explicitly or in a sneaky way, i’ve decided to make a suggestion: Pay ‘hard working and dilligently serving’ pols at least $10 mn a yr.
    This way americans wld do away with those [in]famous cheques and balances that always balance just right.

    U wld see then the changes u desire: right to be informed-educated wld finally be legalized. After that the door leading to other riches such as healthcare, no more wars wld surely fly off its hinges.
    And finally, former terrorists wld now live in terror instead of us.And at our hands! As we know, wars might cost $2 tns. Paying pols decent wages of anywhere from $10mn-100 mn wld be very cheap in comparison to what wars, army, cia, etc., cost.
    So why don’t americans start a collection for pols which wld buy them owns agents instead of Them buying the same poor hard working public servanst! tnx

  128. Garrett said on January 28th, 2010 at 5:14pm #

    Again, I ask, what are you all doing to make this a more equitable world? Or, at least, tell me what you would like to do.

  129. bobo said on January 28th, 2010 at 7:05pm #

    @Garrett

    Please read this very worth but lengthy article by extremely distinguished Marxist theorist David Harvey wrote recently.

    http://davidharvey.org/2009/12/organizing-for-the-anti-capitalist-transition/

    Some excerpt:

    “The difference between socialism and communism is worth noting. Socialism aims to democratically manage and regulate capitalism in ways that calm its excesses and redistribute its benefits for the common good. It is about spreading the wealth around through progressive taxation arrangements while basic needs – such as education, health care and even housing – are provided by the state out of reach of market forces”

    “Communism, on the other hand, seeks to displace capitalism by creating an entirely different mode of both production and distribution of goods and services…… Contemporary technologies of communication make such a system seem feasible. All manner of small-scale experiments around the world can be found in which such economic and political forms are being constructed.”

    “Compound growth for ever is not possible and the troubles that have beset the world these last thirty years signal that a limit is looming to continuous capital accumulation that cannot be transcended except by creating fictions that cannot last. Add to this the facts that so many people in the world live in conditions of abject poverty, that environmental degradations are spiraling out of control, that human dignities are everywhere being offended even as the rich are piling up more and more wealth”

    Social change arises through the dialectical unfolding of relations between seven moments within the body politic of capitalism viewed as an ensemble or assemblage of activities and practices:

    a) technological and organizational forms of production, exchange and consumption

    b) relations to nature

    c) social relations between people

    d) mental conceptions of the world, embracing knowledges and cultural understandings and beliefs

    e) labor processes and production of specific goods, geographies, services or affects

    f ) institutional, legal and governmental arrangements

    g) the conduct of daily life that underpins social reproduction.

    ———————-
    Please read the whole article. I hope you find it useful.

  130. Melissa said on January 29th, 2010 at 9:24am #

    Garrett:

    You ask what actions are being taken? Specifically regarding promoting social change, I have not moved beyond my own sphere. That is, I concentrate on raising my children as an at-home parent, homeschooling, and emphasizing compassion and active communication. It is my hope that I will raise children that know how to contribute to society, rather than be a problem for society (i.e. violence, selfishness, materialism).

    As a family, we are very choosy about where a limited dollars are spent, and we support local and organic food producers. We do not shop for clothing as a past time, we get the things we need at thrift stores and clothing swaps. We make as much of our own as we can of other things. This is not a perfect system, there is plenty that we haven’t the means, skills or cleverness to produce ourselves, but our intention is to not support that which is unsustainable. (as I type on my keyboard, at the computer, on the internet -supporting giant corporate Internet Provider)

    Beyond my smallest sphere of family, I am connected to my neighbors and their children. I believe in local support networks, especially where so many of my neighbors are working multiple jobs and do not have the resources for safe childcare, or leftover energy to read to them, help with homework, give attention, or cook real food.

    I HAD been managing a community garden and distributing the harvests among my neighbors, and teaching kids how to grow, harvest, prepare and store foods, but that has ended since the D.O.T. took away our garden. I am looking for another site, but finding roadblocks every way I turn.

    At this point in time, I am looking to gather people who can agree on the fundamentals of We The People. It is time for mass disobedience I think. Dispelling fear, empowering individuals and finding safety in numbers are essential, and clear ideas about what result we wish. I think it is important for U.S. dwellers to get clear about needing to flex our power in numbers, realize that co-operating with every edict handed down from on high is how we continue to live under the status quo. Keeping our heads down and going along to get along is not working.

    It’s time for us to gather in physical spaces, and find single and specific issues to withdraw our consent by just not co-operating. Our role models that are now vaunted and taught about in schools of all levels, Ghandi, MLK jr, Harriet Tubman etc, shouldn’t be just chapters and feel-good lesson plans. The gist is disobedience, an assertion that We do not consent to the edicts from on high. We need to TEACH and ENCOURAGE disobedience. “The wildest colts make the best horses” after all.

    You are right, and wise, Garrett. It is time for actions, and less philosophizing.

    I’m in Minnesota.

    As always,
    Peace, Resistance, Hope,
    Melissa

  131. dan e said on January 30th, 2010 at 12:24pm #

    Bobo, I was very impressed with your comments until I got to the last one where you cite this “Harvey” as a “Marxist Theorist” but the excerpt you provide demonstrates beyond a doubt that he is anything but.

    Confusion on the difference between “Socialism” and “Communism” stems partly from Lenin’s adoption of “Communist Party” to designate the former Bolsheviki (“majority”) of the Russian Social Democratic Party from the Mensheviks who had deserted Marxism by backing the Tsarist state in it’s war vs Germany, Austria-Hungary et al., at a time when there was no prospect that creation of a society worthy of what Marx had meant by Communism was on the horizon. Most “Western World” discourse understands by “Communism” the social order created by the Bolsheviks and later extended by Mao’s CCP and by others elsewhere. “Socialism” in this discourse refers to the various types of “reformed” or Welfare Capitalist states and schemes to create such, thereby departing entirely from the way Marx used the term.
    Originally, Marx and Engels used the two terms to denote two distinct stages in the classless society the workingclass would create once it siezed state power and politically suppressed the the Dictatorship of the Capitalists. Socialism would be stage one, functioning on the basis of “From each according to his ability, To each according to his work”. This stage would eventually be superseded by Communism, based on the principle of “From each according to ability, To each according to his need”.

    Marx and Engels, followed by Karl Kautsky, Rosa Luxembourg, G Plekhanov and Jas Connolly, spent much energy and time fiercely combatting the appealing but illusory notion that Capitalism could be “reformed”, “humanized”, showing over and over that the basic logic of the circuit of capital made any such mythological creature impossible.

  132. bozh said on January 30th, 2010 at 1:54pm #

    There is no doubt in my mind that in a country like cuba, which represent an islet in the ocean of asocialism [or fascism if u like?], fascists inside cuba must be restrained or even jailed if they’d try to usurp building an idyllic society.

    if US system of rule wld be opposed by even 30% of its pop, US system wld , i aver, resort to some kind of oppression of these people.
    USSR, Cuban system of rule was opposed by well over 50% of its people.
    Possibly even by as much as 90% of the people.
    In US, in last election, the US structure of society and governance had been approved by ab 98% of voters.
    With such support, it mattered little or not at all to BHO-mccain what the 98% said thereafter.
    In fact, the more we bitch, complain, plead, wish, condemn, the happier they are. The system loves it; a beutiful woman wld say, Just don’t touch! Look all u want; just don’t touch me!