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The international corporate state has failed.  It was bound to fail from the beginning because it was based on the type of value system and ethos that engenders tyranny.  It functions on the spread of ignorance, on false narratives and propaganda, on subjugation, oppression, and exploitation, all driven by depravity and greed.  In its lust for excess, it destroys lives and defiles the environment.

Image: R_Evolution by Guillem Marí
The reason it was able to last this long is because its rapacious exploitation of the natural environment (and resources) allowed it to share a small portion of the wealth it generated with the populace, and because it had mastered the ability to control people through the most sophisticated and effective propaganda machine the world has ever seen.

But those two conditions for its existence are rapidly disappearing.  Because of climate change, the effect of pollution, and the over-exploitation of resources, the corporate state can't keep up with its rapacious pace, and therefore can't produce the little extra wealth it has been sharing with the population.  As a consequence, it is now forced to oppress and exploit the population in order to extract (or squeeze) as much profit as possible as its days come to and end.

Before I go on, let me define "Corporate State": A supra-national ruling class has established an international financial cartel that has been able to capture the governments in several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Greece, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and other EU countries.  In each country, the takeover has been done in an eerily similar fashion: a legalized system of bribery and influence peddling corruption.  In each country corporatist cartels and the bribed political class make up plutocratic oligarchies which engage in the imposition of neoliberal policies specifically-designed to extract the maximum amount of wealth from both, human and natural resources.  Some of the principal methods of control these oligarchies use against the population include (in order of importance and effectiveness), a very advanced and sophisticated propaganda apparatus in the form of corporate media conglomerates; induced economic insecurity which keeps tens of millions of people living a subsistence level, which makes it almost impossible for them to have the time to figure out the true nature of the system; and a rapidly expanding total information awareness surveillance police state.

Those instruments of control do three things: They convince the population to accept a self-serving narrative as to what is and is not possible regarding how societies can be arranged, i.e., capitalism equal democracy, communism and socialism equal tyranny, etc.; they keep people distracted with breads and circuses, i.e., Honey BooBoo or the Duck Dynasty, or TV in general; they keep people confused and not quite able to properly organize against the oppression.

Illustration: Science Undermined by Goñi Montes
That is how a tiny group of people in each of these countries has been able to control the population thus far.  But as the corporate state fails, people are beginning to figure out that what they believed to be democracy is actually a veneer hiding the criminal plutocracy; that what they believed to be a free media is actually propaganda; that the reason they haven't been able to properly organize in order to bring down the corporate state is because they have been sabotaged.

This realization is now spreading across much of the world like wildfire, and it portends its demise.


As people come to this realization, many still remain highly influenced by the ethos and false narratives of the corporate state.  That condition makes them feel impotent against what they see is an insurmountable challenge; it makes them feel fearful and apprehensive.  And because of it there is a tendency to want to have someone explain exactly what will happen if the corporate state is defeated, and without a sufficiently-detailed explanation, they remain "on the fence" when it comes to joining the fast-spreading movement against the international corporate state.

Defining an alternative to the corporate state is indeed very important, and I think the first step may be being able to articulate a new ethos for a post-corporate state society...

Here's my take on it: The rejection of greed and consumerism.  People would contribute to society according to their abilities and will receive aid in accordance to their needs.  They would consume only what they need.  They would consider an injustice done to anyone to be an injustice done to themselves.  They would consider education, shelter, food, clothing, and health care universal rights guaranteed for each individual by the collective action of all.  They would protect the natural environment.   Each individual wanting to work would be guaranteed a job.  Those who manage to consume the least and to help the most would be considered the most virtuous.  Literature, the study of Humanities, music and the arts would be exulted.  All science and technological advances would be at the service of humanity, its benefits to be enjoyed equally by all.
Now, what I wrote above took me a few minutes; it is by no means something I invented, of course.  They are based on the teachings of moral men and women throughout the ages, from Jesus Christ, to the Buddha, to many a philosopher, economist, writer, activists, and revolutionary.

I argue that it is common sense; that that is the essence of what it means to be part of a community, of a just and fair society.

That philosophy, that ethos, so threatens the ethos of greed and depravity and exploitation upon which our current society is based, that it is no wonder that the capitalist-based corporate state has done everything in its power to demonize it, to discredit it. But again, people are coming to the realization that the reason it has been demonized by the depraved corporate state is because it is easy to exploit those who buy the lie of hyper-individualism than those who embrace the ethics of collectivism (the true meaning of society).

As the corporate state fails, what should we do?  The most important thing we must do now is connect with each other, face to face, hand in hand.  Moms, dads, doctors, teachers, activists, artists, musicians, the young, the old, those who can walk, those in wheel chairs, those who can see, those who are blind, let's embrace a new ethos based on community, justice, equality, brotherhood, solidarity, the rejection of rampant consumerism and exploitation...

Let's meet at the public square every week. Bring your guitar along; bring your canvas and your oils and paint a beautiful painting; teachers can teach about history, humanities, philosophy, right in the open; we could march in protest, we could sing songs; we could talk; we could build a new world, together.  We could have a peaceful revolution!



Above all, don't be fearful, don't hesitate to open your mind to countless possibilities about what it means to be a member of a just and fair society; don't buy into the illusion that those who hold (illegitimate) power now are invincible.  The depraved and greedy class of individual who have surreptitiously taken over the levers of power will remain in their positions until we say "enough!"  Then they will fall like dominoes.

Join the movement!  It's happening right now!

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Market For The People |Ray Pensador | Email List | Twitter | Facebook

Sockpuppets & Trolls Watch: Their aim is to disrupt, to annoy, to introduce "noise" in order to prevent meaningful discussions of issues.  Their tactics include casting aspersions (attack on the reputation or integrity), and ad hominems, where instead of addressing issues, they attack the character of people.  They also engage in mockery, and logical fallacies.  A good source of information about the tactics used by sockpuppets, trolls and hacks is "The 15 Rules of Web Disruption."  Once you familiarize yourself with those tactics, it is pretty easy to spot the potential troll.  Once spotted, the best thing is to ignore them. [Image credit: Jacob Bøtter from Copenhagen, Denmark]

Originally posted to Ray Pensador on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 04:04 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If only you wouldn't succumb to the temptation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gchaucer2, terrypinder

    …to group the non-Anglo EU into your grand vision -- it would hold together. Let me make it simple for you:  If they don't speak English -- they are not your soul mates and they are not experiencing the evil corporate overlords and oligarchs and whatever it is that you rail against.

    It drives me crazy every time when you do this -- synthesize your theory to include all European nations -- Why? Just because they are white?

    They would consider education, shelter, food, clothing, and health care universal rights guaranteed for each individual by the collective action of all.  
    They already have that! They've had that for decades.

    They are on a totally different path.

    Talk about the US and the UK and Ireland and Scotland if you want to. But when you start bringing these other countries into your conspiracy your are flailing around in crazy land.

    Other than that, there's a argument to be made.

    •  I really struggle with trying to understand the (11+ / 0-)

      reasons for your strong objection where you find it necessary to talk about "crazy land." The Neoliberal push IS ALSO happening in Spain and Portugal and other countries, including in Latin America as well. People ARE indeed increasingly rising in protest against it. Even the Pope has spoken about it.

      It is true that there are many regional and cultural factors in the mix, but I really don't see why you would get so upset with the overall critique of the international Neoliberal agenda.

    •  Man you are so off base (6+ / 0-)

      you're not even in the same stadium.  

      Non-Anglo?

      Hate to tell you but the countries that don't speak English are getting it worse than the ones that do.  Portugal, Greece, Crete, Spain, Italy, and so on.  My beloved Portugal is getting fucking raped by these greedy bastards.  

      Those things that they had are slowly getting taken away.  Privatization has taken hold and state owned institutions are getting sold to private entities thanks to the EU and IMF.  They're on a different path alright, but they're on a fast track to get to the hell hole of corporate dominance we live in now.  

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 06:55:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's a wonderful vision, (6+ / 0-)

    but, in a time of scarcity, who decides? Your vision may be possible in a time of relative plenty, but scarcity is more likely than not within the next 50 years. Any society that expects to survive beyond that will have to be organized to cope during scarcity; when there is not sufficient food, or clothing, or shelter to distribute among the people who make up the society. Will you depend on the inherent goodness of man to decide which children will live in times of famine, which adults are of most worth to the survival effort?

    Even if, somehow, we avoid scarcity, other questions remain. You seem to envision a society in which all the "bad" people have been ousted from power, and are somehow being kept from regaining it. To say that "some people are bad, and some are good, and we can tell the difference, and if we get rid of the bad ones, we'll be fine" is at best, simplistic. Who decides? Who will be the executioners, or are you simply creating a new class of prisoner, who will then have to be supported indefinitely by your society? Suppose that you skim off the top .01 percent (which is around 7 million people last I looked) and find a place to stash them that cannot be finagled around. How is that justified within the structure that you propose to build? How many people must become prison guards, or executioners, in order to maintain their separation, or must the moral people, in fact, free them to live within whatever society you build?

    Even if you can justify imprisoning or executing them, are they indeed going to be all of the people you will have to separate out for your society to work? From time to time you have categorized between another one to ten percent of society as corrupted by these top people - how will you contain their corruption if their former masters are imprisoned? Or will they, in turn, need to be separated out, stigmatized, and incarcerated also? We're now, I believe, up to a potential 700 million or so people who need to be ostracized in order for this new society to function. I suggest that this is unmanageable, no matter how perfect the structure nor how moral the people it contains.

    Like you, I think that there are real problems facing this society, and this world. Unlike you, I do not see them as monolithic. And also, unlike you, I do not believe there are any trivial, or even simple, solutions. You dislike having your assumptions and conclusions questioned or challenged, I have noticed, but even if you do not wish to acknowledge or answer them, the questions remain.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 03:35:54 AM PST

    •  That was truly bizarre. What I'm describing is not (6+ / 0-)

      "my society," but instead "the new society." I'm not calling for the rounding up and execution of anybody, much less 7 million people (a number, by the way, that seem eerily familiar).

      Regarding scarcity, to the contrary, if we as a society do not make a strong course correction away from rapacious and wasteful consumerism and embrace a new type of ethos, then we will face that future you mention.

      The rest of what I advocate is based on brotherhood, solidarity, collectivism, respect for the environment and each other. How is that a bad thing?

      •  you seem to have missed the question entirely (8+ / 0-)

        I don't know how.

        Of course it would be a good thing if we all lived by the Golden Rule -- and of course that isn't a new idea. However, at least a small fraction of people (presumably including the ones you call sociopaths, or in this diary, depraved) are unwilling or unable to live by the Golden Rule. What do we do about them? Alternatively, if in fact a large fraction of people fall short of the Golden Rule -- arguably all or almost all of us -- how do we deal with that?

        It's a basic question of political philosophy -- and not just for philosophers. It doesn't go away when and if the "corporate state" is toppled. After all, if the Golden Rule were as natural as breathing, it wouldn't be a rule. ("Don't forget to breathe" is, in most circumstances, a metaphor if not a joke.)

        "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

        by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 05:51:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I always wonder why people (8+ / 0-)

          on the left/lib/prog scale always assume we have the market on nice behavior or embracing the Golden Rule in a somehow "better way" than the right. There are dick heads in left wing movements as well just like I work with some "nice" (as in pleasant to others and kind ) who have some completely appalling right wing views. Its complicated.

          •  social psychology (4+ / 0-)

            To the (easily and often exaggerated, but nontrivial) extent that liberals and conservatives have different moral compasses, of course we prefer ours to theirs, and "naturally" we tend to exaggerate the differences. That's all the more true because people who actively purvey conservative ideology often aren't nice people.

            I think that most liberals and most conservatives do realize that their side doesn't have a monopoly on ordinary human kindness. Sometimes it can be hard to tell.

            Now, Ray inter alia is critiquing a small group of people — much smaller than conservatives in general, never mind the amorphous but apparently very large group he deems "system apologists" — who really are too greedy and too powerful. There he and I agree.

            "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

            by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 08:09:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  That argument seems to be advocating for the (0+ / 0-)

          perfect solution before making any move against the corporate state.  If that is the case, would not that be an argument for the protection of the status quo.

          The questions of morality, ethics, fairness, justice, equality under the law are eternal arguments; kings and philosophers and thinkers and writers, as well as the working woman, and the guy at the corner bar have been debating those issues for as long as humanity has been organized as societies.

          Those are worthy debates; in fact, contemplating those questions have lead progress... That is why is so important that openly debating those issues (of morality, ethics, justice, equality, governance, etc.) is never curtailed in any way.  It is a necessary condition in the process of helping bring about a "more perfect" world, a process that never ends.

          Finally, I hope you are not arguing that because we are all flawed, imperfect, wanting, that we should therefore acquiesce to the tyranny of many by the few, right?

          I hope you would agree that tyranny and oppression should always be opposed, always.

          I would very much like to get your answer on that.

          •  huh? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            serendipityisabitch, Hey338Too

            You don't have to answer basic questions about your political vision, but I don't quite see the point in saying that anyone is "advocating for a perfect solution" -- except, perhaps, to distract from the fact that you didn't answer the questions.

            Noted.

            "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

            by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 07:47:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Is the question "What do we do about tyrants and (0+ / 0-)

              average folks who do not live by the Golden Rule?" The problem is that that is an absurd question and taking part in entertaining obviously absurd questions never lead to any satisfactory outcome.

              That's why I addressed the real issue behind the question.

              Either way, what do you do when a wrong is being done, when abuses of power are being committed, when people are being subjected to injustices?

              Well, you demand that the wrongs are addressed, that the abuses stop, that justice prevail over injustice. Frankly that is not really that hard to understand.

              And how do you deal with wrongdoers? Well there is the rule of to begin with.

              •  Okay. A wrong is being done. When you say (3+ / 0-)

                that someone else's question is absurd and therefor will not be addressed - now let's look at MY question, which is obviously not absurd - you have done a wrong to the original questioner.

                Of course, you do not see that as an injustice. I do. Between the two of us, who is to judge? Not you, surely. I would say that you have no real taste for justice; you simply want to win, on your terms.

                Now, since I see that as an injustice on your part, can I "demand that wrongs are addressed, that the abuses stop, that justice prevail over injustice"? Not to you, I can't, because you have prejudged the case to my detriment. In this, how are you any better than the corrupt rascals you decry time and again?

                So I am making a public outcry against you. I expect it to have no more effect on your future actions than I think your visions will have on the actions of the powerful people you rail against.

                Will you prove me wrong? That is a new question for you, and I don't expect you to think it's worth answering, either.

                At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                by serendipityisabitch on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 09:16:58 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  In my last 20 diaries you have commented 100 times (0+ / 0-)

                  or so (give or take a couple of messages).  I think I've probably visited one of your diaries and if I remember correctly I may have posted one or two comments, max.

                  Now, your interest in my diaries goes way beyond the last 20, but since we are asking questions, I wanted to ask you (once again) a question about this...

                  As you know, we've discussed this before because I've mentioned that I find it very perplexing that since you obviously have a negative opinion of my writing and style, you seem to participate extensively in several of them (lately in almost all of them).

                  As you know, I've mentioned that you've gone so far as to get cached copies of diaries I've briefly published and then unpublished, and then post a link to the cached copy of my unpublished diary in an unrelated diary... You may remember I mentioned I found that creepy.

                  Your posts in all my diaries seem to be highly critical, often crossing the line into personal insults, insinuation and unnecessary polemics (in my view).

                  At least, from what I perceive there seems to be a theme in your postings about me and my writing... You've called me or alluded to me being narcissistic, paranoid, dishonest, dangerous, among other highly personal insults.

                  I'm not going to comb through my last 20 or 30 diaries and post the quotes and links of what I'm referring to here hoping that you would at least admit that what I'm reporting is accurate.

                  But I'll wait to get your good faith and honest answer on that.

                  Either way, here's the question I have for you: If you find me so disagreeable, and find my writing so unworthy, what is your intention in posting so many derogatory and highly personal insults in my diaries?

                  I know I've asked you this question before and you've answered that the reason you keep posting so many posts in my diaries is that you find me fascinating, but I find that answer unsatisfactory, to tell you the truth.

                  Hopefully you'll give me a better answer than that, but if it's still the same, let me know.

                  Finally, and just to make sure there is no confusion... I fully understand that anybody can post as many messages they want in any diary here.  That's just a fact and there is no problem with that.

                  The reason I'm perplexed is because, it is my impression that your messages tend to contain personal attacks and/or allusions against me to mental illness (as in paranoid or narcissistic) or questioning my character, as in dishonest or a demagogue (in this very diary).

                  •  I think you've just gone to new and giddy (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hey338Too, HudsonValleyMark

                    lengths to avoid even considering the questions I'm asking. Me 'at's off to yer, gov.

                    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                    by serendipityisabitch on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 10:28:42 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I answered your first bizarre question. See this (0+ / 0-)

                      Here's my answer again, from above:

                      That was truly bizarre. What I'm describing is not "my society," but instead "the new society." I'm not calling for the rounding up and execution of anybody, much less 7 million people (a number, by the way, that seem eerily familiar).

                      Regarding scarcity, to the contrary, if we as a society do not make a strong course correction away from rapacious and wasteful consumerism and embrace a new type of ethos, then we will face that future you mention.

                      The rest of what I advocate is based on brotherhood, solidarity, collectivism, respect for the environment and each other. How is that a bad thing?

                      I was answering to this first post, pointing out how truly bizarre it was, especially this:
                      Even if, somehow, we avoid scarcity, other questions remain. You seem to envision a society in which all the "bad" people have been ousted from power, and are somehow being kept from regaining it. To say that "some people are bad, and some are good, and we can tell the difference, and if we get rid of the bad ones, we'll be fine" is at best, simplistic. Who decides? Who will be the executioners, or are you simply creating a new class of prisoner, who will then have to be supported indefinitely by your society? Suppose that you skim off the top .01 percent (which is around 7 million people last I looked) and find a place to stash them that cannot be finagled around. How is that justified within the structure that you propose to build? How many people must become prison guards, or executioners, in order to maintain their separation, or must the moral people, in fact, free them to live within whatever society you build?

                      Even if you can justify imprisoning or executing them, are they indeed going to be all of the people you will have to separate out for your society to work? From time to time you have categorized between another one to ten percent of society as corrupted by these top people - how will you contain their corruption if their former masters are imprisoned? Or will they, in turn, need to be separated out, stigmatized, and incarcerated also? We're now, I believe, up to a potential 700 million or so people who need to be ostracized in order for this new society to function. I suggest that this is unmanageable, no matter how perfect the structure nor how moral the people it contains.

                      Again, I know you're pretty smart.  Do you see the insinuation about mass imprisonment and executions of up to 7 million people, and then you are ascribing that to me, somehow?  Isn't that kind of creepy also, bizarre?

                      Especially given the fact that the tone of my diary was about unity and solidarity and peace and rejecting the ethos of consumerism, and embracing the arts, and humanities, as we join together against oppression.

                      Didn't you like that answer?  Is there anything you would like to ask me directly?  I have no problem answering any question you may have...

                      Now, on the other hand for what I can see you've refused to answer directly my questions.

                      •  Sorry, it doesn't fly. You can either consider (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        HudsonValleyMark, Hey338Too

                        that my post has some legitimate content, and strive to reply to that content, or you can, as you did, simply pass it off as too bizarre to take seriously. That's not an answer, that's a sidestep, and I'm still calling you on it.

                        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                        by serendipityisabitch on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 10:56:10 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  And, since I see the clock has moved into the new (0+ / 0-)

                        day (my bad for not catching it earlier), Merry Christmas.

                        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                        by serendipityisabitch on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 10:57:46 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  I also note that THIS thread is because I said you (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Hey338Too

                        had done HudsonValleyMark an injustice. You've totally avoided that one, too.

                        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                        by serendipityisabitch on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 11:00:47 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  "The problem is that that is an absurd question" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                serendipityisabitch

                No, it really isn't. If you want to talk about a revolution for justice, yet you aren't willing to talk seriously about how to implement justice, it isn't "absurd" to point that out.

                We can do many things to oppose tyranny and oppression, but most of them don't amount to revolutions. Setting up a false binary between revolution and acquiescence makes no sense.

                "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

                by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 05:32:52 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  ??? (9+ / 0-)
      in a time of scarcity, who decides?
      There are two paths for this. We continue on and become like Ireland or North Korea and our people starve. Or we have uprisings and some people are killed in the uprising but the powers that be are scared enough to relinquish some of their grasp of the resources people need. Both Ireland and North Korea were put down with massive brutality. And our militaristic police are quite willing to oblige at the moment.

      The coming scarcity COULD BE MITIGATED if we start now. There are ways to produce food using greenhouses growing fish and hydroponic produce and using shelters over crops to lessen the need for water. Communities could start this and have done so in some areas.

      We know that fish from the Pacific and the Gulf regions are compromised. That is a big hit to our resources right there.

      ALL of our institutions have been hollowed out by the greed ethos. There are none left with heart intact or souls for that matter. So the zombie is all around us - me

      by glitterscale on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 05:13:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed, with a large maybe included. (6+ / 0-)

        I'm inclined to think that the dislocations caused by climate change could be significant, no matter how well we prepare for it. Mitigate, yes, but to what extent?

        I'm mainly questioning, in that part, whether peace and brotherhood is enough of a base for any society if things get sticky. And if not, what's the minimum structure we might get away with to handle hard times.

        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

        by serendipityisabitch on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 05:32:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In my mind, this is ALL about (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ray Pensador

          connectedness. We either join together and find common cause or we are extinct period.

          ALL of our institutions have been hollowed out by the greed ethos. There are none left with heart intact or souls for that matter. So the zombie is all around us - me

          by glitterscale on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 08:07:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Of course it is. When it comes to opposing (0+ / 0-)

          tyranny the answer is ALWAYS unity and solidarity.  Those who try to discourage it are acting in defense of the establishment.

          •  Now that is a perfect example of a simplistic (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            6412093, Hey338Too

            argument. Tyrannies have been ended by assassination, military overthrow, trade wars, plague, and waiting for the next generation to foul things up and slip from power. Sometimes it's been a long wait.

            To allege tyranny for political purposes is common, and to use that allegation to drum up fear in the populace to promote political purposes is also. To then proclaim that anyone who disagrees with those purposes is acting in defense of tyranny - that is the mark of a demagogue.

            At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

            by serendipityisabitch on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 12:01:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Let's sidestep the "demagogue" ad hominem and (0+ / 0-)

              address an actual issue, if you would.

              What is your interpretation of the current situation?  Do you agree with the premise that the political institutions have been captured by a plutocratic ruling class?

              I think that's a central question.  As you know, that understanding have been gaining ground recently.  But nevertheless, what is your interpretation of the situation?

              Secondly, if you agree with that premise and with agree with understanding that the system is turning increasingly fascistic and tyrannical, isn't it the duty of the citizen then to oppose it?

              No I fully understand that you may not agree with that premise and that you may believe the system is legitimate, or even that there are some serious problems but they don't rise to the level of "the system having been captured."

              I understand all that.

              Now, if for some reason you were to agree that the system has been captured by a plutocratic ruling class, and that it has turned tyrannical, but reject the notion that people should unite in solidarity to oppose it, then you would be defending the indefeasible, right?  And that would make you a system apologist.

              But, again, I'm open to considering your actual interpretation of the status quo, if you would.

              •  Thus sidestepping the entire discussion. You (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Hey338Too

                really don't want to have an argument involving any points beside your own, do you?

                At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                by serendipityisabitch on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 12:15:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think you're pretty smart. After this (0+ / 0-)

                  interaction, do you feel that I'm the one sidestepping the entire discussion?  Are you insinuating that the discussion should be about why RP is a demagogue?

                  Do you think it is wrong of me pointing out that I consider that an unwarranted insult, and ad hominem, and that instead we should focus on the actual topic of the diary without having to resort to name-calling, insults and mockery?

                  If I'm not mistaken I think you've been commenting along these lines in my last 10 to 15 diaries (give or take).  You often accuse me of not wanting to address the issues, of not wanting to engage in actual debate... You've used words (and allusions) like paranoid, dishonest, demagogue (here), narcissistic, against my person in many of those diaries, and you have engaged in brash and mocking rhetoric, and I always reply "why don't we discuss the issue at hand and set aside aside the insults," but somehow it is I who is not arguing in good faith?  How does that work?

                  •  No, I'm stating, not insinuating, that you are (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hey338Too

                    sidestepping discussion on any of my original questions. And getting more and more pejorative in your attempts to do so.

                    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                    by serendipityisabitch on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 12:49:58 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Tyrants have been overthrown by those things (3+ / 0-)

              but tyranny manages to continue past the tyrant of the day. Tyranny never just goes away.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 12:27:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, it doesn't. But it's also a slippery word, (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, Hey338Too

                as easily used to provoke outrage as to describe a real situation (though sometimes it does both at the same time).

                "When it comes to opposing tyranny", the answer isn't ALWAYS (I but reproduce the caps) anything. It's Rays attempt to oversimplify the situation, not the actual existence of tyranny, that I'm arguing against.

                At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                by serendipityisabitch on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 12:39:54 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  There are some things that are always a part (2+ / 0-)

                  of the answer. Solidarity is one of those things. It definitely isn't the only answer, as you point out, but it has to be part of it.

                  And I agree that Ray has a tendency to oversimplify, but I think that's necessary to have these conversations. When people oversimplify other things, like Obamacare being a success, then it's all fine here, but when people oversimplify oppression it becomes a near unpardonable offense. He's managed to start a necessary conversation here for whatever faults there may be in his rhetorical style, and that's very important.

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 12:49:53 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, we need this conversation. We need a full (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AoT, Hey338Too

                    and varied discussion of how and when and where, and how to get ordinary human beings with diverse interests to collaborate on real solutions.

                    It matters a lot. The hell of it is, many of these conversations do happen in Ray's diaries, but they tend to happen in spite of his attempts to malign people with different viewpoints. Which is fine by me, as long as they happen. And maybe we need to be able to do it in spite of someone shouting "there is only one true way" - after all, if we try to implement anything that comes up, there will be much heavier invective to survive while doing it.

                    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                    by serendipityisabitch on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 12:56:59 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Just a quick follow up because I think this is (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AoT, BruceMcF, poligirl

                    important.  I understand that you are of the opinion that I tend to oversimplify things.  I don't agree with that but I respect it; it's your interpretation, and I'm not going to argue about that.

                    However, I just want to make sure you understand that when I use the word tyranny to describe the current system, I'm using it in the truest sense of the word.  Again, you may not agree with it being used in this context, but I want to make sure I make it clear that I do really mean tyranny.

                    I've based that on very deep and detailed analysis about the system, about how it brutalizes people, about how oppressive it is, and corruption, etc.  And about the consequences it has on the population... A myriad of factors.

                    Another thing I'd clarify is that I don't measure things necessarily on what happened in the past, in historical periods.

                    In other words, I believe that tyranny today has different elements than tyranny of the past; that there are many different factors.

                    Again, you obviously have the right to totally disagree with all of it, but I just wanted to make sure you understand I don't use these terms lightly; I think about it very carefully and once I make a determination, then I use them.

                    •  All status quo establishments ... (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Ray Pensador, BigAlinWashSt, poligirl

                      ... constrain as well as enable individual action.

                      The tyrannical ones are the ones that primarily enable the individual actions of a select few allowing them to arbitrarily restrict the rights of those they choose from among a large majority.

                      That's a pretty good pocket description of our current establishment.

                      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                      by BruceMcF on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 02:47:11 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

        •  Regarding this: (0+ / 0-)
          I'm mainly questioning, in that part, whether peace and brotherhood is enough of a base for any society if things get sticky. And if not, what's the minimum structure we might get away with to handle hard times.
          Nowhere here I argue that peace and brotherhood alone would be enough to confront the challenges we face.

          In the struggle for justice against the Neoliberal corporate state we need to try to find a way of articulating the challenges we face accurately, and that entails counteracting the effects of false narratives and propaganda we are subjected to 24/7...

          It entails people who have reached a common understanding about the challenges we face (based on having been able to accurately articulate those challenges) uniting in solidarity, and very importantly, reaching out to others so the movement can grow and gain strength.

          Regarding the myriad of challenges we face, would not staying on the current path of exploitation, oppression, rampant consumerism, destruction of the natural environment, all fueled by the depraved greed of the ruling class, assure that will will indeed end up in an even worse "sticky situation?"

          Finally, and just to get your view on this, you are not arguing that people should not rise up and oppose tyranny, right?

          I think that's a central question here and I'd love to get your view on it.

          •  Ray, you are stating, not arguing, that "all" that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hey338Too

            needs to happen is for people to stand up in solidarity and somehow everything will magically get better because the dominoes are ready to topple. Unicorns farting rainbows.

            If there's any more substantive argument in this diary, it surely isn't obvious.

            Your "central question" is polemical - intended to force the discussion of a complex and complicated situation into simple black and white terms. It certainly doesn't help solve the problem that in fact exists.

            At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

            by serendipityisabitch on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 12:13:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So, following the approach you've been taking in (0+ / 0-)

              several of my diaries, you once again resort to insinuations and abrasiveness, but refuse to respectfully address the actual issue at hand.

              Let's say for argument's sake that you have the view that all the diary argues is that "'all'" that needs to happen is for people to stand up in solidarity and somehow everything will magically get better because the dominoes are ready to topple. Unicorns farting rainbows."

              Okay, you got the insult and the mockery in there... Fine, but as you may know, if in the comment thread I respectfully put forward a question to you seeking to elucidate on the topic, would it not make sense to engage in actually debating the issue at hand instead of resorting to insinuations and mockery, at a personal level?

              Would you not say that doing that does not show good faith, when it comes to debate?

              Here's the question again:

              Regarding the myriad of challenges we face, would not staying on the current path of exploitation, oppression, rampant consumerism, destruction of the natural environment, all fueled by the depraved greed of the ruling class, assure that will will indeed end up in an even worse "sticky situation?"

              Finally, and just to get your view on this, you are not arguing that people should not rise up and oppose tyranny, right?

              You could answer that question a number of ways, with nuance.  You don't have to look at it in a black-and-white, or false dichotomy fashion?

              I happen to believe that we are on the wrong path, and that rampant consumerism, destruction of the environment, fueled by the depredations of the ruling class are the surest way for us as a society to get into a "sticky situation."

              That's my interpretation of things... If you don't agree with that, why don't you put forward your own interpretation and back it up with a strong argument?

              Like I do with anything else, if you present a strong counter-argument based on facts and/or strong evidence, I will consider it and if you make a good case, I would have no problem reassessing my interpretation on things.

              I have no agenda; I'm only interested in the truth on any given subject, and in justice, equality, the rule of law, that sort of thing.

              It's easy to engage in brashness and mockery; any six grader can do that.  Now, engaging in a substantive debate, that's for adults.

              •  "Good Faith" would have been you attempting (0+ / 0-)

                to directly answer any one of the questions I originally asked.

                I note that you generally start inferring insults by a commenter at about the third round of any conversation you have not been able to sidetrack. This is par for the course.

                At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                by serendipityisabitch on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 12:44:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Okay, it seems that you will stick to attacking me (0+ / 0-)

                  personally at every opportunity and will refuse to focus on the issue, on the topic of the diary... If that is the case, I think this is a good point for ending the interaction.

                •  Forget it, Serendipity (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  serendipityisabitch, Hey338Too

                  Ray doesn't talk to, he talks at, and it's your job to download his information at face value, because, well, he says so. Asking questions is an act of defiance, so of course he won't answer them, what wise bearded sage marching down a mountain, with tablets in his hand, would tolerate that?

                  As clearly evidenced by his support, but inadequate to the point of incompetence understanding, of Druckenmiller and Mauldin, I'm not really sure Ray understands the finer points of what he's talking about half the time.

                  I've seen some hardboiled eggs in my time, but you're about twenty minutes

                  by harrylimelives on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 10:04:13 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You don't understand my tactics. ;) (3+ / 0-)

                    Ray has a really well defined method (well, several of them) for avoiding actual confrontation on any real questions. I'm actually not sure that he realizes how stylized and rote they seem, once you've seen them a few times. My hope is that I can lure him beyond those rote responses to where he is actually confronted with the necessity to create a new response, which will, hopefully, be directed to the actual content of my comments and those of other intelligent commenters.

                    I happen to think the guy's brilliant - if he could break out of whatever is keeping him from admitting that the world isn't quite so simple, or the problems so monolithic, as he'd like. I'd like to see that brilliance unleashed.

                    Alternately, it's possible that the whole thing is a scam, to see how well he can game the Daily Kos system. If so, then I'm in the process of learning strategy from a master. It's a win/win situation.

                    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                    by serendipityisabitch on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 10:49:00 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I admire your intent (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      serendipityisabitch, Hey338Too

                      But, I just don't see much depth behind his words. Anyone seems brilliant if they can stick to the cliff notes, deviate though, and it's fertile ground for foolishness and failure.

                      Personally, I side with ego trip and scam.

                      I've seen some hardboiled eggs in my time, but you're about twenty minutes

                      by harrylimelives on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 11:26:17 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Well, we'll see - or we won't. I'm not wedded (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Hey338Too

                        to my opinions (well, mostly not). In the meantime, though, these diaries are a good place to explore possible alternate scenarios, and I'd enjoy a few rounds with you about potential out of the box methods for actually implementing a more survival oriented sociopolitical system, given that we're starting with the one we've got. I'm really good at questions, but I'm just beginning to think about useful answers to some of them.

                        Flak from Ray can't be any worse than the flak we'd actually take trying to implement something like that, so it might be worth considering the diaries as a training ground. In that respect, he might be doing us a favor, whether intended or not. The problems are certainly worth looking at.

                        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                        by serendipityisabitch on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 11:50:00 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

  •  How many peaceful revolutions (8+ / 0-)

    Have we had?

    Nor am I advocating for violence. I think I might be pessimistic only because assuming powers are entrenched as you present them, they aren't just going to walk away from the spoils of their wealth and influence.

    I think meeting in public squares to exchange ideas is great but it will take more than that.

  •  People don't want to do that (11+ / 0-)
    Let's meet at the public square every week. Bring your guitar along; bring your canvas and your oils and paint a beautiful painting; teachers can teach about history, humanities, philosophy, right in the open; we could march in protest, we could sing songs; we could talk; we could build a new world, together.
    The homeless are too busy finding a warm place to sleep.  The people who have had their SNAP benefits cut are busy looking for something to eat.  The oppression of the ruling class works in many ways to make sure that not too many people have the spare time to rally and sing the Internationale  --мы наш, мы новый мир построем!

    When the International Corporate State fails to deliver the goods, people are going to be even busier trying to survive, let alone build a new world.  If you have spent any time in the Eastern Bloc in the last 20 years, you've seen how the new society assembles itself: most people try to get by day to day, and there are all sorts of self-serving types trying to steal as much as they can for themselves.

    While organizing the new community from the top down takes a lot of effort and mobilization and discussion, it is almost effortless from the bottom up.  In very small communities, one person has a green thumb and is the go-to person for gardening advice; another knows how to sew and another has building talents.  It's only when you get a half dozen people with experience that things bog down.  They begin to one-up each other comparing their experiences and arguing, excuse me, make that discussing how something should be done, that they lose sight of the goal and that it needs to be done.

    So excuse me if I don't meet you in the public square with all the other people this week.  I have to figure out what my neighbor is doing and do him a favor so that he will owe me one in return.

    •  What you have stated is very true... (4+ / 0-)

      and why, ultimately, I do not believe that we can have a non-spiritual solution to our problems.

      Our EGOS are our problem! As you suggest in this part:

      "It's only when you get a half dozen people with experience that things bog down.  They begin to one-up each other comparing their experiences and arguing, excuse me, make that discussing how something should be done, that they lose sight of the goal and that it needs to be done."
      THAT is ego!

      It's also, largely, what prevents productive discussion in forums such as this. People's egos wishing to "one up" one another all of the time rather than having intelligent, cogent discussions.

      The path we're on is disastrous, but I have no solution that doesn't include identifying the very serious problem of the human ego.

      If you want to know what's really going on in a society or ideology, follow the money. -- Jaron Lanier

      by joegoldstein on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 06:52:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "crooked timber" (7+ / 0-)

        "Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made."

        I would say that there isn't really a "solution" to our problems, whether spiritual or non-spiritual. That doesn't mean things can't get better – or worse. But, as you say, our partial solutions have to identify the human ego as a design constraint, not assume it away.

        For narrow solutions, that constraint can remain implicit. The existence of human ego isn't an objection to increasing Social Security benefits or regulating the banks (although it might have some bearing on the details).

        "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

        by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 07:51:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm certainly for trajectories and tendencies... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          serendipityisabitch

          I realize that perfect solutions are largely theoretical.

          Thanks for your good thoughts, Mark, you always have a good voice in these discussions.

          If you want to know what's really going on in a society or ideology, follow the money. -- Jaron Lanier

          by joegoldstein on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 10:12:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  thanks, I appreciate that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joegoldstein

            With holiday travel, I completely overlooked this comment until now. It's good to spend time with family. (Happily, I very much like my extended family; I know family holidays can be stressful for many people!)

            "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

            by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 07:17:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  That is not ego, it is bad teamwork... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        terrypinder, AoT, serendipityisabitch

        Teamwork is knowing when and how to engage in and wind down a discussion, factoring in the points raised during discussion to create a plan, building a consensus around the plan, and being accountable for the results of the plan - good or bad.  If there is a goal, if something "needs to be done", a team member needs to be accountable for it.  Having "a half dozen people with experience" should be a dream come true for any movement (and any team) because it makes the odds of a successful outcome that much more possible.

        Ego comes into play when an individual believes that he or she is bigger, better or more correct than the team.  Ego is exemplified by sowing discord within a team for personal gain and notoriety.

        Looking through the bent backed tulips, To see how the other half lives, Looking through a glass onion - John Lennon and Paul McCartney

        by Hey338Too on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 09:06:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's both, really (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hey338Too, serendipityisabitch

          There's a lot of ways for organizations to fail. The blockquote he was talking about was a pretty clear example of ego.

          Other than that I think you've got a lot of good points there.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 10:06:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  What you describe is certainly something (3+ / 0-)

          I'm onboard with as far as how a good team should function.

          I'd say a lot of our problems, from environment to fiscal to social are due, though, in large part from out-of-control egos, or those who don't realize that our entire planet IS "the team"!

          If you want to know what's really going on in a society or ideology, follow the money. -- Jaron Lanier

          by joegoldstein on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 10:14:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think it's symptomatic of a larger problem... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hey338Too

          ...within the leftist movements in the USA, where it becomes about people's self-fulfillment rather than about the fulfillment of a goal.

          Whenever someone suggests changing the message or the presentation to appeal to more ordinary people—like, say, not having guitars and a drum circle, or dressing like ordinary working people and waving American flags, or even doing something simple like all wearing the same color (which virtually every other leftist movement in the world does)—they're shouted down by those who want to "express themselves," called "censors" or worse, accused of trying to impose right-wing values on the movement, et cetera.

          If there are people who care more about "self-expression" than about persuading a critical mass to get things done, if there are people who would rather have an impotent movement where they feel like they're saying exactly what they want to say rather than a successful movement where they subsume their own desires to the mission, then it would have been better that they stayed home and never gotten involved, than that they poisoned the movement with their self-absorption.

          What the left needs are those who understand themselves as part of the whole, who understand that the whole is more important than them individually, who are willing to sacrifice their own self-expression if it means forward movement on the mission. That's what other countries' protest movements have had historically, which is why they've succeeded where American leftist protests of the last 40 years have been the very picture of impotence.

          It's the poison of individualism over above collectivism—a concern for self-before-cause that is no less insidious for wearing tie-dye and carrying a drum instead of wearing a track suit and driving an SUV. And I think it's a poison that requires a spiritual solution of some sort—a belief that there is a universal justice greater than oneself, that sacrificing is worth the cost, that the whole is more important than me as a part. In short, if everyone is someone who "marches to their own drummer," then nobody will be in step.

          "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

          by JamesGG on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 10:25:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I keep hearing this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            6412093

            And yet I never see anyone actually propose how to create an organization that is as authoritarian as you suggest. People are going to do what they're going to do. The discipline thing is a non-starter. I've seen a huge number of hard leftists who try and work like your talking about and every single on of their organizations is still marginalized. It's the content, not the trappings, that determines the success of a movement.

            And the idea that dressing the wrong way and wanting a drum circle is going to destroy a movement is absurd. It didn't destroy Occupy.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 10:37:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's about collective identity. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hey338Too
              And yet I never see anyone actually propose how to create an organization that is as authoritarian as you suggest. People are going to do what they're going to do. The discipline thing is a non-starter.
              It doesn't seem to be in other countries. There, people are willing to say "I wanted to wear blue, but the movement is wearing red so I will too." They are willing to put aside their own self-expressive desires to conform to what the group is doing, in order to show solidarity with the group. There is a communal spirit, in which everyone understands that the mission is more important than them. From what I've seen of the American leftist movements, that perspective is severely lacking.

              And I do think you hit the nail on the head right there; "the discipline thing" does in fact seem to be a non-starter among American leftists. And that is why the American left is ineffective. The American left was strongest when it was comprised of working-class union members, who knew what it was like to be part of a larger unit and to put the group's mission ahead of themselves.

              And the idea that dressing the wrong way and wanting a drum circle is going to destroy a movement is absurd. It didn't destroy Occupy.
              I think you're misunderstanding me. It's not about "this will destroy the movement, and that won't"; it's about what will be most effective in furthering the goals of the movement. If dressing like ordinary working people and telling people to leave their drums at home would make the movement even slightly more effective at persuading non-involved people to join, I say do it in a heartbeat.

              Occupy certainly wasn't destroyed by hippie-looking people doing drum circles, but that's not the point. The point is, how did dressing like hippies and having drum circles help Occupy further its goals of changing the economic system? If there isn't an answer for that question, then there isn't a reason to have those things. Mission before expression. If something does not move the ball forward, it is useless; if a person thinks that expressing themself is more important than furthering the movement's goals, then the movement is better off without them and they should stay home.

              "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

              by JamesGG on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 02:32:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Here's what you seem to have done: You took (0+ / 0-)

                a fairly insignificant part of the diary and gave it too much significance.  Some people would call that nut-picking.  You've focused on that, on the drums and guitars and teach-ins lake a laser.

                And then, having elevated that fairly insignificant part of the diary, you then proceed to paint the entire diary with the same broad-brush.

                If you notice I start the diary by defining the corporate state and including links as examples of the damage the neoliberal agenda is doing (in other countries).

                Then I take a stab at trying to define a new ethos for the post-corporate state era, and then I explained clearly how I came to define it.

                Then I argue that in this type of struggle against tyranny the most important thing we can do is to one, come to a common understanding of the problem (accurately articulating the problem), and unite in solidarity against the oppression.

                Anybody familiar with these things would tell you that those are key components when it comes to a successful movement: define/articulate the problem; define/articulate some sort of value system/ethos; reiterate the importance of unity and solidarity once those two conditions are met.

                After having done that, I finish with some prose about unity and such...

                You could have presented a counter-argument on the actual theme of the diary, but instead focused on the least important part of it.

                 

                •  Apparently you haven't read this thread... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  serendipityisabitch

                  ... maybe start at the top and work your way down instead of starting at the bottom.  The context of JamesGG's comment makes much more sense if you do so.

                  Looking through the bent backed tulips, To see how the other half lives, Looking through a glass onion - John Lennon and Paul McCartney

                  by Hey338Too on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 03:53:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I read every single one of his comments carefully (0+ / 0-)

                    and from the start he wasn't addressing the theme of the diary and instead chose to focus on the issue of "self-expression" and drums and singing... For example, from his first post:

                    If there are people who care more about "self-expression" than about persuading a critical mass to get things done, if there are people who would rather have an impotent movement where they feel like they're saying exactly what they want to say rather than a successful movement where they subsume their own desires to the mission, then it would have been better that they stayed home and never gotten involved, than that they poisoned the movement with their self-absorption.

                    What the left needs are those who understand themselves as part of the whole, who understand that the whole is more important than them individually, who are willing to sacrifice their own self-expression if it means forward movement on the mission. That's what other countries' protest movements have had historically, which is why they've succeeded where American leftist protests of the last 40 years have been the very picture of impotence.

                    The highlighted text I find interesting because agree with those sentiments, about focusing on the mission instead of personal agenda/preferences, about understanding oneself as part of the whole movement, etc.

                    So I don't know, it seems that somehow there is an allusion there that there was a certain narrative in this diary that really wasn't.

              •  In regards to how it helped (0+ / 0-)

                It got people who wouldn't otherwise be involved to be involved. There's a whole lot of people who wouldn't show up if they thought they would have to be nice and quite and dress neatly. I see no organizations that have a problem getting people to wear the same color.

                Ultimately, the society we want to create needs to be embodied in the movement to create that society. Conformity is not a part of any society the I want to create, solidarity is. The latter I see in droves in various US movements, the latter I see people pushing again and again, as I noted.

                If something doesn't hurt the movement then I don't see the problem with it. The civil rights movement was successful and at the time it was associated with far worse things, and far more violence, than any contemporary movement. We can never win the PR war, it's a war they invented because it's impossible for us to win it.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 01:30:28 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, this. (6+ / 0-)

      If I may say so, what Mr. Pensador seems to want is for people to gather in public squares and return to the protest culture of the '60s—have some guitar and drums, some teach-ins, some protest marches. It's basically calling for a retread of the same tired and impotent protest movements that have succeeded in exactly bupkis while the "international corporate state" has gained power.

      If we really want people to come together in public squares to form an alternative society, it's going to have to be something that ordinary people look at and feel like they can use. The "we like to protest" crowd is already pretty well all-in, and they've proved they're not enough. This is about drawing new people in and working with what they're concerned about, not about imposing your own concerns about the "international corporate state" onto them.

      Know what the single most successful public-square gathering in my neighborhood is? Every Saturday (during the growing season), there's a farmer's market. People come to the plaza in my neighborhood, buy fresh produce for the week, socialize with one another, and (when the weather's nice) hang out for a bit to people-watch or just enjoy the day.

      So I'd say, go practical. Dump the guitars and artists, and make the public-square gathering a small-seller market instead, with people making things that they sell or trade to one another in order to make a living, with farmers selling their crops and ordinary cooks selling the pies they've baked, with handy folks selling their services to fix that creaky door or leaky faucet.

      Replace the classes about "history, humanities, philosophy," which will draw mostly the same people who are already pretty well-educated in those subjects, with classes on plumbing, woodworking, cooking on a budget, or sewing—things people can actually use in a time when they're looking for ways to pinch pennies.

      And rather than talking about the "international corporate state" and its power (which makes people feel impotent), connect the gatherings to practical and achievable local political goals like organizing parents to opt out of standardized testing in public schools or resisting a specific foreclosure or helping unionize workers at a specific local place of business.

      People are far too busy trying to make ends meet and fulfill their practical needs to spend time at a public square that holds absolutely no practical value to them, particularly when it's with the same people who have proven time and again that they're completely ineffectual at bringing about the change they claim they can do something about. If you really want a public-square gathering to work, Mr. Pensador, invite the handypeople, potters, farmers, and knitters instead of the guitarists, painters, and teachers of philosophy.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 10:11:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Using public spaces for political gatherings (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador

        is not necessarily a redux of the 60s. That's a pretty big assumption. There are plenty of useful things we can do with public space and leaving political debate to the web and the news networks is idiotic. Provide services and  a space for people to gather and you can get people there and talking, and that's the first important step. But dismissing public gatherings as being useless shows a real lack of imagination.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 10:29:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That is precisely my outlook on this. Exactly. (0+ / 0-)
        •  I think you misunderstand me. (4+ / 0-)
          Using public spaces for political gatherings is not necessarily a redux of the 60s.
          No, but using public spaces for political gatherings at which people do exactly the same things as they did in the '60s—and in all likelihood featuring many people who did those things in the '60s—is a redux of the '60s.
          But dismissing public gatherings as being useless shows a real lack of imagination.
          I'm not dismissing public gatherings as being useless shows. I'm dismissing public gatherings where guitarists, painters, and teachers of philosophy are at the center of the proceedings as useless shows. If this is about getting people involved who aren't already involved, it's got to offer something that meets the needs of the target audience—not the needs of the people putting it on.

          "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

          by JamesGG on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 02:16:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Those people weren't at the center in Occupy (0+ / 0-)

            to cite one example. The news and media followed them around because it's a script the news and media knows. But those sort of folks are always going to be at protests. Unless you have some sort of authoritarian protest police that silences people, which I'm not saying you support, then they'll be there. People wanted Occupy to be a redux of the 60s, but it wasn't, it wasn't even close.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 01:34:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  one thing to do: end corporate personhood (6+ / 0-)

    the corporation is a legal and political construct

    it is not a person

    that and many other ideas are in Thom Hartman's new book

    will the major change happen after the crash of 2016 or before?

    Thom Hartmann on "The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America—and What We Can Do to Stop It"

    •  As I've argued before, no meaningful reform will (0+ / 0-)

      be forthcoming from the American plutocracy.  I think the sticking point is that some still think that we have a functioning democracy and that the traditional mechanism for change are enough to bring about the changes we need.

      At this point, it is not going to be enough to rely ONLY on the traditional mechanisms; they have been damaged, corrupted.  We can't never give up on them, but they are not enough.

      That is why a social justice movement capable of putting enough pressure on the (corrupt) system from without is essential as well.

  •  The Corporate State will not fail easily. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador
    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." - Frederick Douglass
    Post WWII Americans have shown themselves, with few exceptions, to have an increasing tolerance for quiet submission. The people we both want to help to help themselves have, to a large extent, withdrawn into the corporate fantasy land and actively reject any idea that the fantasy must inevitably, end.

    I don't think you're wrong, I just don't think that Americans are anywhere near the end of their tolerance for oppression.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

    by Greyhound on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 12:07:15 PM PST

    •  It is interesting. These issues are tough indeed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Greyhound

      but there seems to be a reflexive hostility towards those who try to really dig deep into both, finding out what are the obstacles that prevent people from standing up to oppression, and actually trying to motivate and organize people to do it.

      I'm I'm not necessarily talking about me; I'm used to it since I've been at it for a very long time... But I see it across the board, with others who try to tackle this difficult enigma.

      •  Happy, Merry, whatever. Of course, you're right (0+ / 0-)

        about the resistance, but I don't think there is much question of why it is.

        No fantasy can ever be complete and every sane participant in one at least occasionally realizes that it is a fantasy. The last thing anyone wants is to have their fantasy disturbed by some one else pointing out that the fantasy can't go on forever.

        What else can explain the last 50 years of American history other than a population determinedly ignoring all evidence and even their own common sense in order to keep clinging to a fantastic hope that it won't happen to them?

        "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

        by Greyhound on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 09:59:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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