The International Significance of the Political Coup in Australia

The sudden ousting of former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in a political coup last month has punctured the myth, promoted around the world and at home, of Australia as a land of social stability and political quiescence. Julia Gillard’s anti-democratic installation is symptomatic of escalating global economic and political turbulence and stands as a warning to the working class about the turn by the ruling elite to new and repressive mechanisms of rule.

The manner of Gillard’s elevation is without precedent in Australian politics. Previously, leadership changes within Labor governments have involved open challenges to the incumbent, protracted lobbying, both publicly and behind the scenes, by the various contenders, discussion and votes within caucus (made up of all the party’s parliamentary representatives) and generally lengthy transition periods from one prime minister to the next. Rudd’s political execution, on the contrary, was conducted without notice, and without any parliamentarian raising a single public criticism of Rudd, on any issue, before it was carried out. Instead, a handful of faceless factional leaders, acting at the direct behest of the major transnational mining corporations and other sections of business and finance capital, simply installed Gillard in a matter of 24 hours.

The Labor caucus, let alone the party’s general membership, played no role in the process. Even Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner—who alongside Rudd, Gillard, and Treasurer Wayne Swan, was one of the government’s supposedly all-powerful “Gang of Four”—watched the leadership challenge unfold on television, without any prior knowledge of what was happening. The next morning, no-one, including Rudd himself, made any protest as Gillard was crowned leader. Not even a caucus vote was held.

One of the key factors in these extraordinary events was hostility, on the part of multi-national mining companies, to Rudd’s proposed Resource Super Profits Tax. The Labor Party apparatus is bound to the resource giants by a thousand threads, including campaign donations, personal connections, and employee exchanges. Within a week of Rudd’s ousting, Gillard had met the mining magnates’ deadline for a back down on the new tax, by awarding them a multi-billion dollar windfall through various concessions.

These sordid manoeuvres shed light on where political power really resides within so-called capitalist democracy. Economic and political policies are determined not by the people, expressing their will through democratically elected and accountable representatives, but by powerful corporate and financial interests which act ruthlessly, behind-the-scenes, to impose their demands. Behind the facade of bourgeois parliamentary democracy stands the dictatorship of capital, backed, as Friedrich Engels once explained, by the state—detachments of “armed men and also material adjuncts, prisons, and institutions of coercion of all kinds”.

In the final analysis, the political coup in Australia was driven by the rapidly deepening crisis of global capitalism.

While the mining tax was intended to benefit other sections of business and finance through a lower corporate tax rate, and the boosting of giant superannuation funds, Rudd proved incapable of rallying them behind his government and against the miners’ campaign. Powerful sections of the ruling elite, including the Murdoch media empire, had concluded that he was no longer able to deliver what they required—a major assault on the social position of the working class. Gillard’s installation signals the refashioning of a new Labor government, one more responsive to the demands of finance capital. Her task is to implement a new wave of pro-market “deregulation”, privatisation and “economic reform” to drive up productivity. This will entail eliminating the massive budget deficit and ramming through a series of austerity measures, slashing public spending in areas including welfare, public sector jobs and wages, health, education, and social infrastructure.

Such an agenda cannot be implemented in a democratic manner. In Australia and throughout the world, the needs of the ruling elite stand in direct opposition to the interests and sentiments of the vast majority of the population. Moreover, social inequality has escalated over the past three decades to unprecedented levels, which are ultimately incompatible with democratic forms of rule. This is what lies behind the global move towards new forms of authoritarian and dictatorial rule. Fundamental contradictions within the world capitalist economy itself, which have been developing for a protracted period, are now erupting to the surface of political life, creating a series of convulsions across Europe, Asia, and North America. At the same time, under conditions of a historic decline in the global position of the US, relations between the major powers are becoming ever more fractious.

In 1929, Leon Trotsky explained that the rise of dictatorial and fascist tendencies within Europe reflected the fact that bourgeois democratic forms of rule could not withstand the pressure of heightened class tensions domestically and clashes between rival nation-states. “By analogy with electrical engineering,” he wrote, “democracy might be defined as a system of safety switches and circuit breakers for protection against currents overloaded by the national or social struggle. No period of human history has been—even remotely—so overcharged with antagonisms such as ours. The overloading of lines occurs more and more frequently at different points in the European power grid. Under the impact of class and international contradictions that are too highly charged, the safety switches of democracy either burn out or explode. That is what the short circuit of dictatorship represents.”

Australian political and economic life has always been acutely sensitive to shifts in the geo-strategic balance of power.

In 1975, during a period of acute international turmoil, the Whitlam Labor government was sacked by the governor-general after the bourgeoisie lost confidence in its ability to suppress the movement of the working class. The Canberra Coup involved the highest levels of the state apparatus, as well as international intelligence agencies including the CIA and MI5. Whether similar forces were involved in the coup against Rudd remains, as yet, unclear. What is beyond doubt, however, is that Gillard would not have been installed without a thorough vetting by Washington, with her carefully cultivated pro-Israel and pro-US alliance stance being approved within the highest circles.

The decision by Whitlam and the Labor Party as a whole to accept their ousting had far-reaching ramifications. It sent a signal to the ruling classes internationally that they could attack the working class with impunity. Within a few short years a series of right-wing governments had come to power, launching, in the name of anti-Keynesian monetarism, a sustained offensive against the working class.

In the 35 years since the Canberra Coup, the Labor Party, like its social democratic counterparts in every country, has undergone a qualitative transformation. No longer enjoying any genuine and active support from the working class, it cannot be regarded as a political party in the popularly understood sense of the term. The Labor Party, together with the trade unions, functions as a corrupt and bureaucratic network of rival cliques, representing different sections of the corporate elite. Rudd’s ousting confirms that there is nothing that this putrefied apparatus is not prepared to do on behalf of its political and economic masters.

The working class internationally must draw definite conclusions. There is no constituency within the bourgeoisie of any country for upholding fundamental democratic rights. These can be defended only on the basis of an independent and unified struggle of the international working class for socialism. Genuine democracy can only exist on the basis of genuine social equality. And this requires the development of a rationally planned global economy, aimed at satisfying the social needs of the majority, not the accumulation of private profit by a tiny minority.

  • First published in World Socialist Web Site.
  • Patrick O'Connor was a Socialist Equality Party (SEP) candidate for Marrickville, NSW (Australia) on March 9, 2007. Read other articles by Patrick.

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    1. diane said on July 8th, 2010 at 1:57pm #

      As an Australian I have to agree with Patrick here, our dumbed down media called her Julia Seizer!
      The people I know across the board have greeted the events with disgust, but also with a shrug “what can anyone do” and Madam Lash quickly diverted their attention to the pitiful few trying to reach Australia in leaky boats.
      The Labor Party lost any credability back in the late 70’s when they traded their blue jeans for gucchi suits and wholeheartedly adopted neo-liberalism, bought off by an incredibly generous Politicians superannuation fund.
      As the working class leadership sold out, people like Rudd were brought in and quickly gained ascendancy. While I don’t agree with KRudd’s politics, I do see him as a particular type, an intellectual with a firm believe in small “l” liberal values and a faith in the democratic process, poor old Kevin he was a sitting duck
      One thing that KRudd was doing which had international implications was his support for Keynesian economic processes, it was the implementation of these policies which allowed Australia to ride out the 2008 crisis relatively unscathed; but KRudd at the same time was directing Australia away from the US /UK alliance and building closer ties with Asia, for god’s sake its a wonder he wasn’t shot.
      Anyway many of us here feel that it is significant that the Coup occured just prior to KRudd going off to the G20 with his successful Keynsian policies well on display, Wayne Swan went in his stead, and we did not here a peep out of him.
      Vale Kevin Rudd, an honourable man
      Diane

    2. Cameron said on July 8th, 2010 at 2:31pm #

      Patrick, while I agree with you on every point in your essay the one question in my mind is for whom is this a wake up call? When you were a candidate did you have the illusion that there is real democracy in a capitalist state? I’m not judging just asking. Has this coup changed your thinking in any ways towards becoming a candidate again?
      The other question I have is regarding the Keynsian policies. Are you pro or against Keynsian policies? Obviously you are a socialist, an anti-capitalist socialist. Also, as I read your essay I didn’t see any criticism of Rudd. What’s your take on his administration?

    3. poconnor said on July 8th, 2010 at 9:30pm #

      Hi Cameron,

      To answer your queries:

      1. “When you were a candidate did you have the illusion that there is real democracy in a capitalist state?”

      No. Please see our election statement: “The machinery of parliamentary democracy obscures the fact that the levers of economic power are controlled by a corporate elite whose decisions are made behind the backs of the majority. Genuine democracy can be achieved only through the political mobilisation of an informed and articulate working population in the struggle for socialism. The SEP advocates the establishment of a workers’ government, representing the social and economic interests of the vast majority of the population, and creating the conditions for ordinary working people to gain full democratic control over all the decisions that affect their lives. […] The Socialist Equality Party speaks the truth: there are no easy or short-term solutions to difficult political and historical problems. There is no substitute for a patient and principled struggle, aimed at the construction of an independent mass socialist party.
      The central task of the Socialist Equality Party’s campaign is to lay the political basis for the development of the SEP as that party. ”

      (Full: http://www.sep.org.au/statement.html)

      2. “Are you pro or against Keynsian policies?”

      The Keynesian policies enacted by various national governments, including Rudd’s, in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash were centrally aimed at benefiting big business and finance capital by preventing the capitalist system from immediately plunging into a depression-style economic contraction. These measures were endorsed and coordinated by the IMF and other such institutions–in other words, there is nothing “progressive” from the working class’s perspective in Keynesian policies. These policies now must be paid for-having generated significant debt and deficits, governments are seeking to make working people pay through austerity programs aimed at slashing public spending in areas including public sector jobs and wages, health, education, and welfare.

      3. “I didn’t see any criticism of Rudd. What’s your take on his administration?”

      The World Socialist Web Site (wsws.org) has written innumerable exposures of Rudd’s right-wing agenda, ever since he became Labor leader prior to the 2007 election.

      Regards,

      Patrick O’Connor

    4. John Andrews said on July 8th, 2010 at 11:25pm #

      I’m sorry to admit that I didn’t know anything about the ousting of Mr Rudd, so thanks Patrick for writing about it and posting it on DV. Perhaps the fact that Mr Murdoch owns Britain’s media had something to with my ignorance?

      Whilst I agree with most of the points made here I think it’s time to move on from the old right v left argument. What the world needs more than capitalism or socialism is justice. Although the capitalist extremists of today are generously providing plenty of evidence for the fact that they can’t be trusted to provide justice, there is plenty of historical evidence to show that socialist extremists don’t provide it either.

      Polarising politics into a debate on left or right wing economic theory (important though it obviously is) only serves the cause of instability and the continuation of world injustice made manifest through Permanent War.

    5. Mulga Mumblebrain said on July 9th, 2010 at 9:50am #

      A good analysis, as far as it goes. But the central truth that dare not speak its name,in Rudd’s execution, is that it was precipitated not by the mining tax alone, but, crucially, by Rudd’s falling out with local Zionists.
      In Australia,as in much of the West, the US, Canada and UK in particular, Zionist Jews are the most ‘generous’ political contributors, and they expect, and get, complete loyalty in return.Moreover the local media, including the Government ABC, are dominated by Zionists, both Jews, who are massively over-represented in the media despite being a mere 1% of the local population, and gentile ‘Sabbat Goyim’ who are devoted,often hysterical, propagandists for the Holy State and its Chosen People. Rupert Moloch, who control two thirds or so of the local media,is a pro-Israel absolutist, and Fairfax, the other big media conglomerate still operates a total pro-Israel policy that has its roots in the days of Warwick Fairfax, its former boss and adulator of all things Judaic.
      The terminal phase of Rudd’s decline dates exactly from his government’s expulsion of a Mossad agent,in retaliation for Israel’s theft of Australian passports for use in the ritual killing and extra-judicial murder in Dubai. When Rudd committed this act,in defence of Australian passport integrity, he immediately came under ferocious attack from the zealots at Moloch’s FoxNewsLtd. In one of the lower depths of the Moloch sewer, a local extreme Rightwing ‘trade unionist’ Paul Howes wrote defending Israel’s extra-judicial killing, exulting in it, and demanding that Rudd stand with Israel,our so-called ‘friend’ as it fought the evil forces of Islamic terrorism etc-the usual hatemongering filth, but delivered with fanatical vehemence. Unsurprisingly Howes, whose Rightwing union, the AWU, has long been a scab operation beloved of the bosses, is a Zionist ‘asset’ as they unerringly recruit the most scabrous types,in my opinion at least.Howes was one of the prime movers of the Rudd execution, as was Michael Danby, a Jewish and belligerently Zionist member of parliament, and various cappi from the NSW Labor Right, a cess-pool of reaction and happy accommodation with business. Once the local Zionist grandees let it be known that political campaign ‘donations’ would dry up and go to the Liberals instead, Rudd was a dead man walking. But he is well-trained.He durst not complain because that would bring his ostracism from all ruling circles, where Zionist money power is paramount. His successor, Gillard,is a 100% pro-Israel stooge,infamous for her fervent support for the child-murdering orgy in Gaza in 2008. To make things really nice, and to show just how generous the Zionists can be when they get total loyalty, her partner has been placed on the pay-roll of a local Zionist business cappo, one who is, with happy synchronicity, a close friend and companion-in-arms of the aforementioned Michael Danby, but it is a pretty tiny,if dominating, tribe, after all.

    6. Max Shields said on July 9th, 2010 at 11:38am #

      John Andrews I’m in agreement with you point regarding the polarity that has demonstrably failed. Holding on to it (a doctrinaire socialist alternative) because the dominating ideological system is failing brutily does not move us off the dime. There is a maturation process that one would hope will begin to take hold. The old right/left paradigm is not only past, it is causing much in terms of our human narrative in its corruptive way of explaining the world.

      Until we see that the simplified antidotes only exaserbate and undermine the changes the human species must make for its own survival as a specie among others, then we are certainly doomed. The larger questions of our we organize is so critical to the anything resembly a quality of life that it dwarfs the relatively petty politics of the Australian Labor Party. It would seem the struggle for democracy must be scaled to be effective…that is the take away regarding the faux democracies of the world.

    7. Cameron said on July 9th, 2010 at 12:22pm #

      Thanks Patrick for answering my questions. I still wonder if becoming a candidate would serve to legitimize the system and its elections in the eye of the public. I have seen other left organizations allocating a lot of resources in elections where they try to promote their own candidates. In my opinion it has not been effective at all. I can’t condemn piracy and then jump on a pirate ship and try to become its captain. This analogy is not a reflection on you and your organization but just to make a point how it might be construed by the public.
      Mulga, I do believe that there is more than one reason for any action. Concrete is full of determinants. But of the entire reasons one is always the primary. I do see the point you’re making about Zionists instigating the coup and I agree with you. I didn’t see it until you brought it up. Patrick’s analysis is correct that the mining tax was the main reason. But his analysis is incomplete. It’s lacking your point. There may have been other issues which we don’t know yet.

    8. Cameron said on July 9th, 2010 at 1:11pm #

      There are those who innocently try to bring peace between capital and labor and then there are those who are not so innocent. I don’t want to waste my time on those who deliberately try to persuade that the status quo is the way to go.
      Capitalism has been around for over 400 years. Its history speaks for itself that capital doesn’t make peace with labor and that it’s a brutal force. It only has one goal and that is to maximize profit at all costs. It kills, tortures, rapes, impoverishes, destroys………., and whatever it needs to attain its goal. Peaceful coexistence with labor is not possible. There is a contradiction that can only be resolved with abolition of private ownership of means of production. There is no third way. As Marx says capitalist is personified capital. In other words, the problem is the capital. You can’t reason with it. It only understands and wants one thing and only one thing. That of course is to maximize profit. Nothing else matters.
      Those who think that a peaceful coexistence can exists should look at the history of capitalism and the attempts by those who thought the same way. What did they accomplish?

    9. Max Shields said on July 9th, 2010 at 3:33pm #

      Cameron You, like so many who argue the Marxist blueprint, seem to toss out words like labor as if we, the reader must guess what this “labor” looks like. And at what point did capital become personified? When did capital and profit become so confused, Cameron? They are not the same.

      If you are going to argue Marxism than you have a lot of explaining to do. And your post assumes that your version of socialism is crystal clear. That’s a false premise. And capitalism is as confounded as is the socialism of Marx. They take us nowhere.

      If we are after justice and human welfare than how does that happen? Perhaps the Amish way of life has more to say regarding such goals rather than Karl Marx and his personification of capital or some such non-sense. The world is screwed up enough Cameron. We need clear thinking. An understanding of the complexity and diversity essential for human welfare which is interconnected to the larger planetary balances.

      Re-read (or read) Marlowe’s Faustus or Miltan’s Satan if you want some insight into how far adrift we’ve gone. And then read Alexander Pope’s Epistle to Burlington or some Edmund Spencer to see how we can recover the essence of the land and living.

    10. Deadbeat said on July 9th, 2010 at 3:36pm #

      Good old “back to the land” Max who wants to maintain “capital” because he had no intention of giving up “his” land.

    11. Cameron said on July 9th, 2010 at 4:07pm #

      Max, in my view Marxism is not a discourse. It’s science. It took me a long time to understand why it is science. I see the point you’re making about tossing out words like labor and personified capital. Let’s assume you take my word for it and think of it as science then you’d agree that some education is needed. You suggest many reading and I ask you: what have you read to educate yourself on Marxism? In order for me to understand physics (science) for example, I need to study it or else I would not understand Newton’s laws. To that end, I have to speak in a scientific way when we discuss/argue over sociological phenomena. What choice do I have? Sociology, in my opinion, is a science not a discourse.
      I do like to speak in a simpler language but it’s not that simple.
      So what the heck is personified capital? When we refer to BP for instance, we say BP did this or that. Now you tell me is BP a person? Does it have two legs anatomically speaking? Why do we refer to BP as if were a person? It is behaving like a person except that it is not a person. BP spilled oil in the Gulf. Ok then who is this BP guy? Or is it a guy? Obviously it’s not a person but acts like a person. If I round up all capitalists and put them in a prison then would that stop capitalism? No. Since the system is capitalism then it’ll create more capitalists. If we ban private ownership of means of production would there be capitalists? No.
      So if BP is nothing but capital then what’s the purpose of BP? To make profit. This profit comes from exploitation of workers who have nothing to sell but their labor. So this profit comes from labor hence the antagonism.

      You probably asked a rhetorical question. Be that as it may. Even if so, there may be another reader who’d be asking the same question.

    12. Max Shields said on July 9th, 2010 at 4:14pm #

      Never said anything about maintaining capital. But first you need to understand what you’re against, and there are folks who toss around language…a little Marx here…a little Labor there…and then there’s the Personification of Capital…

      What we don’t understand, it seems to be the mantra of the industrial revolution: WE DESTROY. We see it in the Gulf – 50,000 wells, we poked the hell out of one of the most pristine sanctuaries on the planet. What fuck dumb ass thought that was such a smart thing to do? Capital? Why do we need OIL? For capital? Bull Shit. We need it to build this mess of a “civilization”. Capital is a TOOL. Get it straight otherwise you’re talking dumb shit. And in this narrow minded post away idiot world, one doesn’t need to think, or to use understand anything. Just toss out a little Marx…and a little Capital…and a little Socialism…and a little Labor. That’s called LAZY.

      What we’ve DONE Deadbeat your laborers you Marxist/socialists would not correct. Shit that movement was all about who owns the pie, not whether the pie was worthy of ownership!!

    13. Bob said on July 9th, 2010 at 5:17pm #

      There’s only one thing I can say reading the article. HUH? Patrick, are you delusional?

    14. lichen said on July 9th, 2010 at 7:15pm #

      Max is right. Organizing people to get better wages while they work in factories that virtually create trash and pollution, so they can use the money to buy more junk created in other factories in their free time is rather bankrupt by this point. As is the pathetic trotskyist quote that places like wsws trot out as religion that “you can’t have socialism in one country.” Than I guess it is pretty worthless…we have so many model small communities, cooperatives, organic eco villages in India, for instance, that operate quite well without the rest of the world, if only the crimes of industrialization would stop. People can organize on a small scale, build on a small scale, using what we have (as opposed to the pipe dream of heading towards extinction by poisoning ourselves.)

    15. Deadbeat said on July 9th, 2010 at 10:22pm #

      lichen writes …

      Max is right.

      His first error!

      Organizing people to get better wages while they work in factories that virtually create trash and pollution, so they can use the money to buy more junk created in other factories in their free time is rather bankrupt by this point.

      Actually the fight for higher wages to maintain the current mode of Capitalist production is the LIBERAL solution to economic crisis. Higher wages as we have seen has led and prolonged acceptance of the Capitalist mode of production.

      However not supporting people’s demands for higher wages only puts Socialists at odd with people’s day-to-day’s needs and Socialists tend to support a people’s pragmatic desire for survival in the Capitalist labor market unlike “environmentalists” or more accurately misanthropes who would rather see people starve or live on the street if it collapses consumption in order to persevere the so-called “environment”.

    16. Deadbeat said on July 9th, 2010 at 10:23pm #

      Max Shields writes …

      What we’ve DONE Deadbeat your laborers you Marxist/socialists would not correct. Shit that movement was all about who owns the pie, not whether the pie was worthy of ownership!!

      The only thing you’ve done Max is provide readers here with false solutions that will only maintain the power of the Capitalists. You and lichen wants people to believe that “small is beautiful”. Marxist don’t think in black and white terms. Marxist think in terms of analysis and why participation (real democracy) is necessary for people to derive real solutions. You offer axioms that are full of contradictions. Marxist sees answers that minimize such contradictions.

      You’ve been on DV for the past few years offering well sounding non-solutions. You are in denial and still refuse to see the problem that will occur with “smallness”. Scale in itself is not inherently bad and small scale operation are not always best. There needs to be analysis to show where both large scale and small scale are EFFECTIVE.

      “Industrialization” is not going to go away in any post-Capitalist system. You are not going to give up your computers and you are not going to go back to paper and pencil. The jinn of technology is out of the bottle and it is not going back. What is needed is to EXPROPRIATE technology and industrialization and use it for the benefit of all humanity. This is not a “small” scale issue. This is a LARGE scale issue and is the challenge for all of humanity.

    17. Deadbeat said on July 9th, 2010 at 10:58pm #

      Mulga writes …

      A good analysis, as far as it goes. But the central truth that dare not speak its name,in Rudd’s execution, is that it was precipitated not by the mining tax alone, but, crucially, by Rudd’s falling out with local Zionists.

      Once again Zionism is a big blind spot for the Left in its analysis of power. Marxism can explain Capitalism but it can’t explain Zionism. The goals of Zionism differs from the goals of Capitalism. Both are evil but the Left seems especially leery to provide analysis needed to confront Zionism.

    18. Mulga Mumblebrain said on July 10th, 2010 at 1:36am #

      Cameron, I agree that Marxism is a science, but it is a sociological science, and a natural philosophy, like ecology,where all the factors are constantly in flux and are never the same from one moment to the next.As such I think its greatest enemy is dogmatism, and the history of Marxist thought is bedevilled by episodes of internecine conflict over minutiae. These conflicts have often been manipulated by the parasite class,whose ideology,which reflects their psychopathology,is simplicity itself. The capitalist parasite hates other people, which makes oppressing, exploiting and even killing them easy. Marxism also suffers from Marx being dead,because he was such a great, insightful and radical thinker that we surely could do with his iconoclasm today,if only to seek some path out of the ecological crisis. Marx, with brilliant insight, foresaw capitalism’s potential to overthrow not just all previously existing social arrangements,but to also shake the very bedrock of our earthly existence, the stability of nature, which enables and encompasses our existence. He was a man a century before the times,and his fears concerning a ‘metabolic rift’ in humanity’s dealings with nature have proved dreadfully prescient.

    19. Max Shields said on July 10th, 2010 at 5:09am #

      Deadbeat only on a blog could your nonsense continue. You can write whatever you wish. Blather on.

      Industrialization, as we know it, and the trajectory of “limitless” growth are the problem. Understanding limits is the SOLUTION.

      If Marx provides real answers they are not conveyed by those here who refer to his name or to socialism. All of these so-called “Marxists” positions are void of flesh and blood. They are contrived notions of “science” and ideological religious banter. Empty words that say just how little you know about Marx let alone any real solutions.

      If you cannot concede nature its due, understand that what we face is an unraveling of a system and a narrative of dominance and the current religion of technology to solve all human problems of adaptation, than you are simply fixated on a handful of words. Never once have you present a cogent argument for anything. Phases like “Left’s blind spot” are simply distractions from thinking through anything. Shallow, banal banters are just that, and get you where you probably are Deadbeat.

    20. Don Hawkins said on July 10th, 2010 at 6:46am #

      Current religion of technology to solve all human problems heck max we still seem to be having a problem that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    21. lichen said on July 10th, 2010 at 6:46pm #

      You can’t destroy the planet “for the benefit of all humanity.” Global warming caused by industrialization is threatening us all with extinction; delusions that we can go on burning coal, oil, gas; producing billions of tons of plastics, petrochemicals, and other toxins but redistribute the “wealth” of limited, finite resources is really pathetic. People should not live on “streets” but in green ecovillages where a real egalitarianism can develop, because it will be acknowledged that you can only take so much from the earth; not everything.

    22. Deadbeat said on July 10th, 2010 at 7:01pm #

      Max Sheilds writes …

      Shallow, banal banters are just that, and get you where you probably are Deadbeat.

      The reason I am a “deadbeat” is due to Capitalism which altered my humanity into a commodity.

      Unlike you Max, I like to get to the root of problems in order to derive solutions. Banal banter and surface analysis are what you partake rather than deep analysis and thought. Examining and testing ideas takes patience and consideration. That is what defines intellectualism. Most Americans are not taught that kind of discipline which is why Liberals like you and lichen and Noam Chomsky can sell bromides and axioms rather than radical analysis. It may all sound good but you are doing a disservice with reactionary consequences.

      My introduction to Marxism ironically was from my graduate Capitalist MBA studies whereby it was vital for aspiring corporate managers to understand how to circumvent the most critical ideology they’ll ever face. The irony Max is that you seem to be oblivious of how how your arguments DEFENDS and will maintain the Capitalist system but some of the most educated and top corporate managers and CEO’s are trained to understand and comprehend Marxism in order to circumvent it. This indicated how much Capitalists fear Marxism and why I embrace it.

    23. Deadbeat said on July 10th, 2010 at 7:36pm #

      teafoe2 writes …

      Well, if you’re reading this, do me a favor? whether you agree or not, can you take time to sign in and post just a word or two, so I’ll know I’m not just talking to myself and Max? Thanks:)

      tf2 thanks for your commentary. What the Internet has provided and the importance of DV is that now ordinary people can now provide images, commentary, and information outside of the previous filters of the mass (and so-called “alternative-left”) media.

      Ironically both Noam Chomsky and Joseph Lieberman dislike the Internet.

    24. Deadbeat said on July 10th, 2010 at 7:52pm #

      lichen writes …

      You can’t destroy the planet “for the benefit of all humanity.” Global warming caused by industrialization is threatening us all with extinction; delusions that we can go on burning coal, oil, gas; producing billions of tons of plastics, petrochemicals, and other toxins but redistribute the “wealth” of limited, finite resources is really pathetic.

      Whether or not “global warming” is caused by “industrialization” is still a matter open for debate. This issue confuses ordinary folks rather than enlightens them which only waste more time which Don Hawkins warns us that we do have.

      However there is no debate needed when the focus is on CAPITALIST production that pollutes and wastes human potential and damages the environment.

      People should not live on “streets” but in green ecovillages where a real egalitarianism can develop, because it will be acknowledged that you can only take so much from the earth; not everything.

      The green eco-village IS planet EARTH and that ain’t small potatoes. Therefore in order to make the Earth an eco-village TODAY you have to confront Capitalism. Those who talk about a future society without mentioning the real function and structures of Capitalism are either naive, delusional or dishonest.

    25. teafoe2 said on July 10th, 2010 at 8:06pm #

      Lichen offers a vision of “ecovillages” to replace the streets most of us now live on. It’s an appealing vision, if a bit of a cliche at this pt in time. But I like visions so here’s another from a slightly earlier time:

      “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace”
      by Richard Brautigan

      I’d like to think (and
      the sooner the better!)
      of a cybernetic meadow
      where mammals and computers
      live together in mutually
      programming harmony
      like pure water
      touching clear sky.

      I like to think
      (right now, please!)

      of a cybernetic forest
      filled with pines and electronics
      where deer stroll peacefully
      past computers
      as if they were flowers
      with spinning blossoms.

      I like to think
      (it has to be!)

      of a cybernetic ecology
      where we are free of our labors
      and joined back to nature,
      returned to our mammal brothers and sisters,
      and all watched over
      by machines of loving grace.
      ——————————————————————————–
      Retrieved from “https://kumu.brocku.ca/robowiki/Brautigan%27s_%22cybernetic_ecology%22″Views

    26. Don Hawkins said on July 11th, 2010 at 2:30am #

      At a cultural level, egalitarian theories have developed in sophistication and acceptance during the past two hundred years. Among the notable broadly egalitarian philosophies are socialism, communism, anarchism, left-libertarianism, and progressivism, all of which propound economic, political, and legal egalitarianism, respectively. Several egalitarian ideas enjoy wide support among intellectuals and in the general populations of many countries. Whether any of these ideas have been significantly implemented in practice, however, remains a controversial question.
      One argument is that liberalism provides democracy with the experience of civic reformism. Without it, democracy loses any tie─argumentative or practical─to a coherent design of public policy endeavoring to provide the resources for the realization of democratic citizenship. For instance, some argue that modern representative democracy is a realization of political egalitarianism, while others believe that, in reality, most political power still resides in the hands of a ruling class, rather than in the hands of the people.

      A society that meets the meritocratic goal of equal opportunity might still be a harsh environment for those who lack the physical, mental or social capabilities to compete. The extent to which a genuine meritocratic society is possible in the real world is debatable. Wiki

      Hummm and in reality, most political power still resides in the hands of a ruling class, rather than in the hands of the people. So the ruling class has the physical, mental and social capabilities to compete, rule. Well so far and the last two hundred years should cover it are doing one lousy job. There is a flaw I wonder what it could be. Oh and in the real world is debatable. The real World and just what might that be.

    27. Don Hawkins said on July 11th, 2010 at 3:05am #

      The real World ok just saw Pensacola and the Blue Angles fly over the beach goers one upside down
      another right side up a sign that read cold beer some texting others listening to the old Ipod not much swimming and camped out a little way’s from the water while in Africa the search for water has already started for the day and the same in Haiti record ice melt so far in the Arctic………………………………and tomorrow tomorrow is only a day away. One lousy job indeed. The so called ruling class wait I know in Pensacola they could have get say the Governor of Mississippi the head of BP maybe the leader of the free World heck Gene from Kiss the governor of Florida Nancy Pelosi Harry Reid why stop now heck make it a party and wave at the crowd with a truck in the back and some speakers broadcasting a simple message we love you we love you very very much. It’s early

    28. Don Hawkins said on July 11th, 2010 at 3:42am #

      Did I go to far with my last comment? Well how about as the 1 or 2% the ruling class walk down the beach the people on the beach in one clear loud voice say kiss my ass. Wait this could never happen as it would set a very bad example for the kid’s. Mom, Dad why can’t I go swimming does it seem hot today who are those people waving at us.

    29. Don Hawkins said on July 11th, 2010 at 4:14am #

      Everything is going to be ok Jimmy Buffett will be in the Gulf for a live performance. The “Tyco Roman Orgy” was held on an Italian island and included a $250,000 performance by Jimmy Buffett remember those day’s and of course Buffett was only there to do research maybe for a new song again in a mad world only the mad are sane.

    30. Don Hawkins said on July 11th, 2010 at 4:25am #

      Wait doesn’t Buffett have a new place on the Gulf here is some ideas for names of food and drink in the new place Corexit 9500 and 9527 or toxic soup maybe top hat II how about beyond people it will be all the rage. Maybe a double rum drink called the 30k.

    31. Don Hawkins said on July 11th, 2010 at 4:48am #

      PARIS — Europe baked Saturday in scorching summer temperatures, as authorities warned of the danger to the very young and old and linked a number of deaths to the heatwave.

      In Spain, officials said three people had died as a result of the weather including a 24-year-old man.

      Warm weather alerts were in place in seven regions of central and southern Spain with temperatures of up to 39 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit), said the national meteorological agency Aemet. Temperatures were expected to start to drop on Sunday and Monday.

      The heat eased slightly in Paris on Saturday where the temperature was recorded at 26 degrees Celsius (78.8 degrees Fahrenheit) at 1500 GMT, down from 33 degrees Celsius (91.4 degrees Fahrenheit) 24 hours earlier on Friday.

      But although an orange alert was lifted for the capital and three other departments nationwide, they would stay in place overnight for four others in central and eastern France, said the French national meteorological service, Meteo France.

      The heatwave in those areas was also expected to be over by early Sunday.

      “The spell of high temperatures that started on Thursday is coming to its end,” Meteo France said in a bulletin.

      Britain’s highest temperature of the year — 31.7 degrees Celsius (89.1 degrees Fahrenheit) — was recorded at Gravesend in southeastern England on Friday.

      The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said the daytime heat and the fact that temperatures remained high at night — around 20 degrees Celsius — posed health risks to the elderly and very young children.

      The agency also said there had been “several hundred” more deaths than normal over the past two weeks and some appeared to be linked to the heat.

      “Although these are very preliminary data, their experts suggest that the hot weather may have been the cause for some of the increase,” an HPA spokesman said.

      The Met Office’s heat warning stood at level two on its four level warning scale. Britain has experienced the driest first six months of the year since 1953.

      However, the dryness did not extend across Britain. Heavy rain fell on northern England and Scotland on Friday and Saturday.

      In Belgium several towns faced water shortages caused by the hot weather.

      Bullange in eastern Belgium has seen several sources dry up and risks a critical situation if there is no rain by the end of next week, the Belga agency quoted mayor Friedhelm Wirtz as saying.

      Water was being tankered in an attempt to compensate for the shortages.

      On Friday, three other southeastern communes — Chiny, Bellevaux and Hastiere — each appealed to the disaster and emergency services for water supplies, the interior ministry added. AFP

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

      Yes a tad bit warm and here in the States from what I understand in a few weeks the climate bill is about to warm up and will be a spirited debate.

    32. Don Hawkins said on July 11th, 2010 at 4:54am #

      http://www.margaritaville.com/

      All you ever wanted to know about the new place. Isn’t Capitalism wonderful. Off to the Stars

    33. Don Hawkins said on July 11th, 2010 at 5:21am #

      Oh the climate bill here in the States is a joke on the human race and the so called leaders who will debate the bill are a joke on the human race go shopping.

    34. Max Shields said on July 11th, 2010 at 9:09am #

      Deadbeat and, now, teafoe2, are touching on the real differences here; and it is not Socialism or Marxism or Capitalism. It is the fundamental difference between those who believe that human endeavors are limitless, that we need only apply technology to get us beyond what is all around us collapsing; and those who see an order to the universe that implies limits and sees this desire to transcend these limits as, what the Greeks called hubris and wrote about as great tragedies.

      Deadbeat poisons the well with his “Whether or not “global warming” is caused by “industrialization” is still a matter open for debate.” This is the argument the status quo who have held power for centuries use. It is the language of limitless growth because we can never be certain. Our uncertainty is the power yielded by those who dominate the planet. And those who buy into it are complicit with this power regardless of ideological pretexts.

      Marx and all that springs from those who declare themselves followers, is really a pretext for another way of achieving what their “nemesis” diseased Capitalism has with all its resources forced forward – An Icarus belief in flying, we can, we do, and let us play at being God? It is this belief in transcending universal order, a god-like belief in the hubris of human existence that makes Deadbeat and his ilk a kind of status quo that has been ruling for many centuries now. It is the ultimate Faustian bargain that the Deadbeats proclaim with each post; repeatedly cloaking it in distortions round “Chomskites” and the like. These are all distractions to what is in the marrow of what they say. It may or may not have been so much thought through as sipped through the dominant American pop culture.

      It is this core difference between those who see limits and see great complexity and diversity within these limits; and those who whether with the ideology of Capitalism or that of Marxism who unquestioningly push for a plundering in the name of the great human experiment of limitless growth that leads to a profound difference of how we should live on this planet we find ourselves on.

    35. Don Hawkins said on July 11th, 2010 at 11:22am #

      Ok so the answer is all of us who make it will live on rice and beans maybe and a few of the lucky ones will work for the greatest minds in history and have vegetables the big one being our minds. Until blubber mouth Joe with a little help from his friends hit’s the kill switch on the book of knowledge I will tell them as so far what we see is comedy granted dark comedy but have a feeling many are about to stop laughing. Max the big one is coming up the climate bill have you noticed the low profile of our so called leaders such wimps.

    36. Don Hawkins said on July 11th, 2010 at 11:34am #

      Just now on CNN they said can’t understand why the barefoot bandit has been made into a hero for eluding the police for so long. Oh yes so hard to understand here are a few names Goldman Sachs, BP, Massey, The US Senate, Wall Street in general, heck could keep witting for an hour yes so hard to understand.

    37. Cameron said on July 11th, 2010 at 12:40pm #

      Mulga and Max:
      Mulga, yes dogmatism has been, is, and will be there. Are you referring to specific dogmatism in this discussion? If so, what?
      Also, I don’t think that the parasite class hates people outside its class. I think they view them like a peasant views its caws. From a peasant’s point of view caws produce milk, can be used for tiling, food. A peasant doesn’t kill the caw because he/she hates them.
      Yes sometimes “owners” groom their animals for fun. There are dog shows, horse races, camel races, etc. Well the parasite class has its sports stars.
      Marx tackled the most complicated and difficult form of science. The left movement can always use a genius like him but do we really “need” one like him now? I don’t think so.

      Max, do you have a manifesto? If so, is it somewhere on DV? There are fragments here and there but nothing coherent. Enlighten me as to what you think is the problem and what you see as the solution. And I’d like to ask you to explain it in your own words please rather than listing a series of books.
      For Marxists like me we have been clear in our own words here what we think is the root of the problem and how to solve it. Satisfying needs is the prime and one of the needs is to live in harmony with nature.
      Limitless growth is inherent in capitalism. Grow or die. No such thing is inherent in socialism. Needs are not the same as those you see now in which consumerism is encouraged in order to sell things. We can’t define and decide what all the needs will be. I don’t blame technology for what’s it’s currently doing to the environment. It’s how it’s used.

    38. Don Hawkins said on July 11th, 2010 at 3:25pm #

      Update now on CNN the barefoot bandit lived in a trailer park and became a juvenile delinquent at an early age didn’t we all. Of course a few didn’t live in a trailer park and went to Harvard and became adult delinquents and then with the help of other delinquents helped bring down the economies of countries and let’s not forget war and there next crime spree will be to continue to destroy the home planet better known as Earth. Let’s talk………

    39. Don Hawkins said on July 11th, 2010 at 4:04pm #

      It is said that the Barefoot Bandit’s IQ is a few points below that of Einstein’s and this explains why he could fly a Cessna without any formal training.

      Humm I wonder did he at an early age see that in a mad world only the mad are sane. Again with formal training who’s IQ was a little less than Einstein at institutions of higher learning then on the job training on say Wall Street or maybe politics was the choice along with required reading how to win friends and influence people the skull and cross bones comes to mind and of course Atlas Shrugged or at least say you read it bingo your off to the races. I’ll bet if I turn on my TV say tomorrow I just might see a few of these adult delinquents well dressed delinquents.

    40. lichen said on July 11th, 2010 at 4:48pm #

      What a great vision in that ignorant song, teafoe–what it would be in reality is a massive toxic waste dump of disposed consumer products; ecosystems were destroyed in the mining of the base materials, which were then formed into even more toxic carcinogens that are known to cause cancer, hormonal disruption, and disease; wasting huge amounts of water and burning fossils in the process. So indeed, the forest full of trash, with cascades of smog coming in overhead, would be just great.

      It is infantile to make this an argument about “technology.” The fact is, either we can try to downscale and power everything with only solar, wind, tidal, and geothermal power now, using as little as possible and restructuring ourselves into egalitarian societies that aren’t based on consumption, waste, and destruction or we can continue on the path we are now, and we will “have our computers” until the reality of the environmental disasters caused by this destroys the institutions that keep electrical grids and oil wells running. “Marxism” is a vacuous hole that doesn’t guarantee holistic environmental practice or really anything other than a vague vision of economics. That’s all I have to say here.

    41. Deadbeat said on July 11th, 2010 at 4:49pm #

      Max Sheids writes …

      Deadbeat and, now, teafoe2, are touching on the real differences here; and it is not Socialism or Marxism or Capitalism. It is the fundamental difference between those who believe that human endeavors are limitless, that we need only apply technology to get us beyond what is all around us collapsing; and those who see an order to the universe that implies limits and sees this desire to transcend these limits as, what the Greeks called hubris and wrote about as great tragedies.

      Max has now gone philosophical unfortunately his philosophy is grounded in irrational analysis and distortions. However Max’s arguments reflects the kinds of logic that will be spewed by Liberals-Progressives against Marxism. Liberalism has been discredited — not by the Right — but by the current crisis. The primary goal of Liberalism is to manage the contradictions of capital accumulation via a class of elite managers and to put a “pretty-face” on the Capitalist system.

      Max offers only the contradictory ABC’s (axioms, bromides, and cliches) of Liberal appeals masked as “solutions”. His best advocacy was the Henry George “land-tax” but Max is on record being against the redistribution of wealth and fails to fully explain how the taxing only land-use will bring about justice. Perhaps that those appeals had cache in the late 19th Century (BTW, Marx, Engels, and De Leon all identified the flaws in George’s advocacy) but is totally outdated for 2010. Today you have investment bankers raking in $1,000,000,000.00 annually in compensation and bonus operating out of 1000 sq ft high rise offices. Taxing land will not redistribute wealth from this kind of fictitious activity.

      Once again Max is oblivious to his contradictions. This is the denial inherent of the failure of Liberalism. He blames “humans” (“human endeavors”) for the way the Capitalist system was imposed on humanity. This kind of callous rhetoric from the “Left” is no different to the Right-wing blaming the poor — the victims of Capitalism. It ignores the reality of power and conquest, slavery and exploitation of humanity.

      Deadbeat poisons the well with his “Whether or not “global warming” is caused by “industrialization” is still a matter open for debate.” This is the argument the status quo who have held power for centuries use. It is the language of limitless growth because we can never be certain. Our uncertainty is the power yielded by those who dominate the planet. And those who buy into it are complicit with this power regardless of ideological pretexts.

      Actually Max, in times of crisis Capitalists look for scapegoats and have a tendency to become “environmentalists”. They blame the crisis on the “limits of nature” in order to deflect attention away from the inherent structures of the Capitalist system. This way they can come up with schemes like “carbon taxes” and “carbon trading” in order to shift the tax burden onto the working class and inflate their fictitious activities.

      What you advocate Max is NOT a non-growth economy where wealth and resources are equally distributed and accessible. Your advocacy Max is DEFLATION. Deflating the economy is REACTIONARY. In the best mode of J.P. Morgan, you will impoverish more people and transfer more wealth to the Capitalist class. Once again Max technology is not the problem. CAPITALIST control of the means of production and private property is the problem.

      Marx and all that springs from those who declare themselves followers, is really a pretext for another way of achieving what their “nemesis” diseased Capitalism has with all its resources forced forward – An Icarus belief in flying, we can, we do, and let us play at being God? It is this belief in transcending universal order, a god-like belief in the hubris of human existence that makes Deadbeat and his ilk a kind of status quo that has been ruling for many centuries now. It is the ultimate Faustian bargain that the Deadbeats proclaim with each post; repeatedly cloaking it in distortions round “Chomskyites” and the like. These are all distractions to what is in the marrow of what they say. It may or may not have been so much thought through as sipped through the dominant American pop culture.

      WTF?! Max your brain has been soaked in the Liberal opiates for much too long. Your rhetoric is the real challenge facing all anti-Capitalists. Liberals are so desperate to maintain their elitism that they haven’t realized that the Capitalist class don’t give a shit about them anymore and that their usefulness to the continuation of Capitalism is now defunct.

      Chomskyism represents what the “Left” has degraded into over the past 40 years. In fact the WSWS identifies this tendency as “middle-class” Leftism and raised this issue recently against the ISO. They site the desire of the “Left” to rally around celebrities and identity politics rather than confront issues that deal with real day-to-day working class aspirations. I agree with this premise. I would have not limited the problem to the ISO. This is a problem overall with the so-called “Left”. However I would take the critique further to also include ignoring the rising power of Zionism in the USA. Here the “Left” anoints an admitted Zionism as its intellectual leader. Clearly this reflects of the absolute corruption of the Left. This is not a mere sectarian complaint but an analysis of a FUNDAMENTAL contradiction and illustrates the degrading of the Left from core principles.

      Chomsky as the Left’s most foremost intellectual leader has made a good living (like other Left personalities most notable Amy Goodman who rakes in $1,000,000.00/year compensation) pretending to be a radical while acting as an apologist for Zionism. Chomsky as a “Libertarian Socialist” critiques of the Capitalist system are awfully thin and has not really promoted in his hours of commentary a Marxist critique of the system to his followers. If Chomsky had the guts to offer a real critiques of both American Zionism and Capitalism I doubt that he would still be working at MIT but the Left would be in a better intellectual position to deal with the current crisis. Unfortunately, the mainstream Left today is intellectually bereft of offering critiques of the Capitalist system. In fact Max your perspectives is very much in alignment with today’s mainstream “Left” viewpoints. Thankfully we are seeing the emergence of Marxist scholars like David Harvey and Richard Wolff getting their perspective out. Thankfully via the Internet we are seeing and hearing from many more Marxist scholars today.

      It is this core difference between those who see limits and see great complexity and diversity within these limits; and those who whether with the ideology of Capitalism or that of Marxism who unquestioningly push for a plundering in the name of the great human experiment of limitless growth that leads to a profound difference of how we should live on this planet we find ourselves on.

      Economic democracy is a push for human participation in economic decisions. Plundering for profits is what Capitalism is about. Marxism is about providing as scientifically as possible a critique of the workings of the Capitalist system.

      What you are doing Max is engaging in a system of hope, faith and belief. Your call for “limits” without redistribution will only result in harmful and dangerous reactionary outcomes. Your lack of analysis and clarity is why you are incapable of understanding the contradictions of your advocacy.

    42. Deadbeat said on July 11th, 2010 at 4:54pm #

      lichen writes …

      It is infantile to make this an argument about “technology.” The fact is, either we can try to downscale and power everything with only solar, wind, tidal, and geothermal power now, using as little as possible and restructuring ourselves into egalitarian societies that aren’t based on consumption, waste, and destruction or we can continue on the path we are now, and we will “have our computers” until the reality of the environmental disasters caused by this destroys the institutions that keep electrical grids and oil wells running. “Marxism” is a vacuous hole that doesn’t guarantee holistic environmental practice or really anything other than a vague vision of economics. That’s all I have to say here.

      The purpose of Marxism is to do something that you refuse to do. Critique the Capitalist system. You are not going to get what you want without Marxism no matter how much you think you can avoid it or at worst — condemn it.

    43. teafoe2 said on July 11th, 2010 at 5:25pm #

      Just when I start to think this Max must be pretty dumb, I’m forced to recognize his cleverness. Observe how he couches his “arguments” not in coherent sentences, but in strings of words connected in an oblique fashion.

      Which makes it extremely difficult to refute him, since he advances no coherent propositions. The strawmen he erects are not constructed syllogistically, but out of sentence fragments jammed together willynilly.

      Observe how careful he is not to quote those he attacks directly. He selects a word, posits it sans original context, then hangs a string of adjectives on it, then attacks his creation obliquely, from the right flank.

      The “Marx” he rails against is a Marx that exists only in his imagination. The real Karl Marx anticipated Max’s concerns about the effects of runaway industrialization by a century and a half.

      Yes, it is true that those who found themselves trying to create “Socialism In One Country” often displayed a limited understanding of what they were about. Persons/groups calling themselves “Marxist” or “Socialist” have been guilty of many serious mistakes and many serious crimes. But this does not prove that everyone who invokes the name Marx or the term Socialism is a criminal or an idiot.

      We who desire to see the current balance of social power overturned are at a very early stage in the process. There is no organized coherent movement with a definite program of action we can support or reject. Which is to say we are at a stage where the number of political activists who engage in various activities, i.e. the abundance of “footsoldiers”, is not very important.

      Because there is no agreement on the goal or on how to get there.

      So what we need now are not more footsoldiers, but a few real Generals. I mean political generals, people capable of discerning the most promising way forward, and then of motivating others to move ahead on the same path.

      I’m hoping there are young people with fresh minds reading the articles on this site, some of whom have the potential to become the kind of “political generals” I describe.
      If the reader happens to match the description, and is serious about trying to develop her/himself into the kind of leader we need, you will find a deep knowledge of the works of Karl Marx and F. Engels indispensable.

      Yes you will need to study a lot else besides. But before you can go further you need your basic Marxist analysis of how capitalism works.

      Nowadays we know that to understand the physical world, we have to study Einstein & Planck, plus a mountain of more recent science. But before you can tackle E=mc2, you need to study Newtonian physics, learn all about kinetic & potential energy, levers, pulleys, refraction vs reflection.

      It’s the same in politics; before you can essay to create in the manner of a Beethoven or a Charlie Parker you have to know and understand the major & minor scales.

      If you listen to this Max, you’ll be lost in a 19th Century British Gentleman’s club cloud-cuckooland forever.

    44. Don Hawkins said on July 12th, 2010 at 2:08am #

      BP and the adult delinquents are again the friend of the human race. They have the top hat 2 and the stock is up. We are on the road to recovery and very soon the climate bill again adult delinquents hard at work believe in me, us we love you we love you very very much. Now these people with there head firmly up there ass are about to start the big push here are some words to describe the big push universal deceit, foolishness, nonsense, well dressed bullshit, and remember these adult delinquents don’t go barefoot but have alligator shoes and money can’t buy you love but there going to give it one hell of a try anyway. Am going to turn on the tube and see if I can spot any adult delinquents with egos the size of mount Everest. These wimps do know that a climate bill or not so far is a joke on the human race so as to move forward with this nonsense the messages will not be so much believe in me but you will believe in me papers do you have your papers well that comes later when the Palin, Rush crowd get’s to drill baby drill with the help of other adult delinquents. Remember just one thing if the price of fossil fuels is cheaper than renewable energy it will be used to the last drop as one thing about these adult delinquents they seem to always’ take the easy way out it’s just better that way. Maybe for them but the other 6.7 billion of us get the shaft and they get to eat gold.

    45. mary said on July 12th, 2010 at 2:33am #

      Be very afraid. Supposing there is some rupture in the seabed caused by an earthquake? 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10657124

      Also remember that more oil than the Deepwater Horizon ‘spill’ has been ‘spilling’ (there’s an euphenism for you) in to the Niger Delta region over 50 years. See the link alongside the one above.

      Gulf spill a familiar story in oil-soaked Nigeria
      By Jon Gambrell 12:00 PM Monday Jul 5, 2010

      Men walk in an oil slick covering a creek near Bodo City in the oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

      Nigeria – The brown spots run like a trail of blood down the deserted coastline near this fishing village. Just underneath a handful of sand lies spilled oil.

      Oil powers this West African nation’s economy but is killing its southern shores. Villagers here say the spillage regularly washes ashore, ruining their fishing nets and meagre livelihoods. Children whose parents can’t afford school fees pass the time flipping bottle caps into tin cans.

      While the world is transfixed by the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, oil spills have become a part of everyday life during the 50 years that foreign firms have been pumping out Nigeria’s easily refined fuel.

      Environmentalists estimate as much as 2 billion litres of oil have poured into the Niger River Delta during that time – at a rate roughly comparable to one Exxon Valdez disaster per year.

      /…..

    46. mary said on July 12th, 2010 at 2:34am #

      Typo = euphemism

    47. Don Hawkins said on July 12th, 2010 at 3:57am #

      Sent this to CNBC this morning and see if I can see some adult thinking well dressed adult thinking.

      OK,

      Limitless growth is inherent in capitalism. Grow or die. No such thing is inherent in socialism. Needs are not the same as those you see now in which consumerism is encouraged in order to sell things. We can’t define and decide what all the needs will be. I don’t blame technology for what’s it’s currently doing to the environment. It’s how it’s used.

      An interesting comment don’t you think. How do a few balance this whole Limitless growth. Technology will do the trick I don’t think so and best guess so far about 6 years to go for it or we don’t slow it. Cap and trade and that will be watered down if that so is there an underground movement we don’t know about to build renewable energy? We will need oil and coal for thirty more years a secret if so we will not need renewable energy. So just what is the thinking from the rebels and Icons in all there shapes and sizes no not what you hear on TV the real thinking.

      Don

    48. Max Shields said on July 12th, 2010 at 5:42am #

      Cameron,

      I don’t deal in manifestos, but here are some thoughts.

      The problem for me is a rejection of harmony and affection for place; the breakdown of community and the lack of humility regarding our natural interdependency. This is seen everywhere there is industrialization. I don’t care whether the nation is labeled capitalist, socialist, or a mixed economy. (Also, to be clear, if industrialization did not reign supreme, it does not assure harmony and affection for place, but with it one can be sure that harmony, etc. will never be attained.)

      Recognizing that there is a Great Economy (consisting of ALL) and a small economy (the human devise) which either works harmoniously within the Great Economy or not begins to reveal what is needed.

      Energy is important but less so than soil that is made from death, and provides life. Soil wraps the earth in a skin of life like no other known planet. Go outside, dig in the ground, pull up some soil in your hands, and feel it. Energy amplifies the human existence and thereby distorts it. The most efficient mode of travel is walking. It fits with the Buddhist economy which is to obtain the maximum of well-being with the minimum of consumption.

      Energies from non-renewable and renewable have limits defined by use. Using the sun to mass produce “goods” (almost none of which are needed by anyone) is little better than using fossil.

      Industrialization is a counter force to harmony. (Not to be confused industrialization with technology; particularly appropriate technologies which can be in harmony with the Greater Economy; i.e., a bicycle is an appropriate technology). Industrialization by its very nature is consumptive, destuctive in purpose, is all about the commodization of resources here on earth. Harmony requires a balance in what we take and give back.

      Industrialization is an attempt to dominate the planet. To control it and create false value. The only real value comes from the planet. A board is still a part of a tree. There is no more value added by making it a board.

      But this is not about perfect harmony, but rather keen awareness of our limits. I do not see anywhere in any Marxist text a concern for such limits. Certainly someone can call themselves whatever, using Marx as a suffix but it just like saying “I’m a Capitalist Marxist or I’m an Anarchist Marxist, I’m a Liberal Marxist…” These are all just game playing and confusing labels.

      To Deadbeat: what you don’t understand, which seems to be far more than you do, you try to turn into some distorted name calling. Pull yourself together and think.

      Don we don’t need oil or coal for 30 more years. We need to change the way we live.

    49. Max Shields said on July 12th, 2010 at 7:34am #

      The crux of the issue with Marxism (whether the so-called vulgar implementation or the Marxist thesis itself) is that it is born out of a notion of worker ownership of production. There is nothing in this transfer of ownership that presupposes harmony. The determination of equality becomes as illusive as the pursuit of happiness. There is inherent a class struggle that is perpetual.

      There are those who have attempted to inject into this notion of worker ownership an ecological concern. One can inject this into any ideology and say “problem solved”. But the underpinnings of Marxism again is the assumption of a worker who must be defined clearly as a producer and the connection of the capital and production to the work is the essence of what a Marxist vis a vis Capitalist transition is essentially all about.

      The human relationship to industrial and agricultural output is barely modestly addressed. However, it is based on a mechanized view of the human state which is the deeper, more profound problem. There is a certain organicness to Marxism dialectic methods, but it is just out of reach in talking about every day life. I think in large part that is why it ends up as a vulgar form of implementation as we saw in various manifestations in eastern Europe and parts of Far East.

      I am not convinced that Venezuela is an example of Marxism. Yes, there are bits and pieces which one would hope would have emerged had Marx never existed; but it is such a blend. Those who say you cannot have socialism when capitalism rules are just begging the question. No doubt there is a struggle here, but if it is doable it can be on a human scale. Still I do not think that Marx would be the template, even if there was a socialization of land and perhaps land use. We are past the days of manifestos in our back pockets, that we pull out for lunchtime reading.

      I think permaculture is a non-doctrinaire way of seeing and doing which can be valuable as we move on, past this hyper industrial state.

    50. Deadbeat said on July 12th, 2010 at 12:35pm #

      It’s obvious from Max’s latest response is that he doesn’t know what he is taking about in the case of Marxism. Also Cuba was one of the most recent countries to adopt permaculture. I posted a link about this some time ago only for Max to go ballistic because it didn’t fit within is rejection of Marxism. The reason why Cuban adopted permaculture was due to the collapse of the USSR and the continuing boycott by the Capitalist USA against Cuba. The Cuban people discovered that permaculture works yet still remains a Socialist country. Therefore unlike what Max falsely depicts permaculture and Marxism are not mutually exclusive and are integral. This can only occur in a political economy that serve the people and not the profit motive.

      Max doesn’t explain how he plans to end the property relationship in his notion of “permaculture”. This is the blind spot of so-called “environmentalists”

    51. Deadbeat said on July 12th, 2010 at 1:22pm #

      Max Shields scrawls …

      But the underpinnings of Marxism again is the assumption of a worker who must be defined clearly as a producer and the connection of the capital and production to the work is the essence of what a Marxist vis a vis Capitalist transition is essentially all about

      No Max that is the Marxist CRITIQUE of how Capitalism exploits and degrades humanity. Marxism provides the basis for an intellectual critique of the system. What you are doing Max is making an argument against an intellectual critique of Capitalism.

      If you are against this critique of Capitalism then please offer your own non-contradictory critique of Capitalism. And please don’t re-introduce Henry George since it has already been shown that his critiques and solutions are contradictory and can easily be circumvented and will not end Capitalism.

    52. Max Shields said on July 12th, 2010 at 1:53pm #

      Deadbeat you wouldn’t know a critique if it hit you side the head.

      As usual you don’t confront what I’ve posed. Instead, rather thoughtlessly per your usual diatribe, you pull out a sentence and claim you’re addressing anything I’ve stated. You haven’t.

      A little thinking would do your posts some good. Who knows you might even find something pertinent to say.

    53. Deadbeat said on July 12th, 2010 at 4:54pm #

      Max Shields angrily pontificates ….

      Deadbeat you wouldn’t know a critique if it hit you side the head.

      That is a non sequitar Max because if my head was struck it would hurt but it still doesn’t describe how anyone identifies a real critique.

      As usual you don’t confront what I’ve posed. Instead, rather thoughtlessly per your usual diatribe, you pull out a sentence and claim you’re addressing anything I’ve stated. You haven’t.

      Teafoe2 identified your methods from which you try to lamely divert from yourself. However Max this entire debate counters what you have posted because your Chomskyite ideology is steeped in contradictions.

      In fact Max lets examine your entire idea of humanity.

      The crux of the issue with Marxism (whether the so-called vulgar implementation or the Marxist thesis itself) is that it is born out of a notion of worker ownership of production. There is nothing in this transfer of ownership that presupposes harmony. The determination of equality becomes as illusive as the pursuit of happiness. There is inherent a class struggle that is perpetual.

      Your argument is a non sequitar and a strawman. Marxism is about providing a scientific critique of the Capitalist system (of which you offer none whatsoever) so that people can understand the system that controls them and a mode of thinking that can free their mind from the Capitalist indoctrinations.

      Marxism provides an outline of how to achieve the overthrow of Capitalism and what can be put in its place. An outline is not a doctrine. It is up to the people to define their future. One such outline is the dictatorship of the proletariat. In other words MAJORITY RULE. From majority rule derives a society that maintains checks and balances. Majoritarian rule of the political economy suppress the worst aspects of humanity. People MUST cooperate. What you deride as “harmony” is the natural OUTCOME of having a society that puts the needs of people first.

      What you do Max is distort Marxism and create strawman arguments. You are no better than Glen Beck when it comes to that.

      However let’s examine your world view of humanity. In your world view you’ve state the following …

      There is inherent a class struggle that is perpetual.

      Thus Max you offer no hope for humanity because in your stated view there will always be classes ruling over humanity. Apparently in your defeatist view people do not have the capacity to become aware of class and to overcome and transcend this problem.

      In that case … There is no needs to struggle against Racism and Capitalism. Even by your view of the world your “permaculture” solution is nothing more than wishful thinking.

      A little thinking would do your posts some good. Who knows you might even find something pertinent to say.

      Apparently Max when you are backed into a corner due to your contradictions all you have left are insults rather than rational arguments. Unless your real function is the promotion of nice sounding diversionary rhetoric (which IMO is the true agenda of the Chomskyite Left) you need to deeply reassess, challenge, and examine the contradictions inherent in your world view.

    54. teafoe2 said on July 12th, 2010 at 5:17pm #

      Clarifying the sides in the Class Struggle: I think if Marx were writing today he’d replace the term “Workingclass” with something like “propertyless class”, since it is not really whether a person has a job or not that defines their membership in the class deprived of independent access to the means of producing their livelihood, but that very lack of access.

    55. Max Shields said on July 12th, 2010 at 6:58pm #

      Marx is dead toefoo.

      Deadbeat if you’re going to speak for Marxism, for god sakes at least read him first.

    56. Max Shields said on July 12th, 2010 at 7:02pm #

      By the way when you finish reading Marx just keep it to your self. No one in the real world really cares.

    57. Cameron said on July 12th, 2010 at 7:22pm #

      Max, if I understand you correctly you’re against industrialization without appropriate technology. A bicycle, in your view, is appropriate technology. Bicycles are made up of metals, rubber, etc extracted and put together by machineries and transported to shops near you and me. The metal, rubber, and the machinery used in production of bicycles are products of industries which operate without “appropriate” technologies. Have you ever been to a metal mine, a smelter, a metal shop? Don’t all of them use some form of energy? I’m confused. Not sure if I grasp your solution either.
      I refrain from including internet links to the idea of permaculture as is being implemented in Cuba because anyone with access to internet can do a search and find out about it. Does that idea fit into your notion of industry with appropriate technology?
      I’ve read literatures written by Marxists regarding these same issues. The most recent one is this http://monthlyreview.org/091101foster-clark.php.

    58. Max Shields said on July 12th, 2010 at 7:46pm #

      Cameron,
      You can find just about anything on the internet which is why your Marxist writers can expound endlessly on how Marx would plug the hole in the Gulf. Salvaging Marx through reinvention is a waste. We don’t need Marx to think for us. Ok so apparently some do.

      Permaculture was used by Cuba but certainly not as a socialist solution. The creator of permaculture is not Marxist. But it’s good you saw that once Cuba’s industrial world collapsed they smartly used permaculture as one means to adapt, survive and to an extent thrive.

      The bicycle is an example of a simple machine which can be used indefinitely by multiple generations, and is run on human energy. So, it does represent a simple appropriate means of travel for reasonably short distances. One can manufacture a bicycle in a sustainable way – zero waste. The mindset behind it is a dependable mode of transportation. Craftmanship would be appropriate.

      Industrialization is not simply manufacturing. I will assume you don’t need an explanation of what that is.

    59. Deadbeat said on July 13th, 2010 at 1:24am #

      And herein lies the problems with permaculture without Socialism …

      Slow Money, financial permaculture and capitalism

      Anything that keeps the Capitalist system of private property intact won’t last. Liberals tried and how the “permaculturist” want to give it go. It is all feel good crap that is full of contradictions. Unless Capitalism is irradiated and the profit motive eliminated you are not solving anything and will just prolong the problems.