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Recent Supreme Court rulings highlight the persistent presence of misogyny in the US.

Megan Amundson, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, expressed her anger over the Supreme Court’s message that “women are second-class citizens, not capable of making our healthcare decisions without the interference of our bosses and complete strangers on the street,” and she encouraged the crowd to send a message back.
This was the most striking language in the buffer zone ruling, to me:
petitioners are not protestors; they seek not merely to express their opposition to abortion, but to engage in personal, caring, consensual conversations with women about various alternatives.
Unbidden strangers given the rights of "counselor." Since when is anyone who wants to talk to me considered my counselor? Why is the word "consensual" in that sentence? Patients haven't consented to this counseling. They are hounded by it. This kind of distortion of someone's behavior and giving it a title which then affords them rights, when they are really just harassing people would never happen if the recipients of said counseling were white males. Where is the autonomy of the woman in this interaction? This is codified misogyny.

In a country which claims to be "democratic" and to believe in "liberty", how is it that  autonomy is not fully respected for all people?

It would seem that something overrides our belief in the respect of the individual which should be inherent to a democracy and our commitment to privacy when it comes to personal liberty. Could that be capitalism?

Will you join me for an exploration of the linkages between capitalism and misogyny?

author's note:
For understanding my communications, please know that I distinguish sexism from misogyny, just as I distinguish bigotry from racism. Sexism and bigotry are personal expressions of seeing a demographic group as somehow inferior to oneself. Misogyny and racism are larger cultural systems and atmospheres which serve to keep certain demographics oppressed for the benefit of other demographics. I give an example at the end of the diary.

I want us to explore not only what it is we experience as the actuated reality of a country which worships the concept of capitalism, but what it is we would want in the country of our dreams. Toward that end, I have a question at the end of the diary which I hope sparks some fun and creative conversation. What lies between here and there is simply leading to that.

An Imperfect Metaphor
So, we in the US claim to believe in democracy and personal liberty, yet when we look at our behaviors both as a nation and culture, we see those principles betrayed quite often. I'd like us to think of the country as an organism. A living, breathing entity with a complex set of biological systems. Our principles or values are the heart - the source of our vision and mission, our laws are the brain - directing how we carry out the mission, our populace is the gut - it's responses and reactions reveal the harmony or disharmony between the heart and the brain. The political and economic systems are the arms and legs with which we walk through the mission and feed the internal systems.

If there is discord and suffering, let's see it as an illness. Something in the system isn't serving all the parts of the system. Things are not stable. It won't be a perfect metaphor, but it can help us to think about how things can move in an unhealthy direction without anyone consciously steering it there.

This is an easy metaphor for me, as I live with a chronic illness. I know many people who do. Often, there were signs of things going wrong earlier than we acknowledged. For me, it was persistent exhaustion. I would complain about how no amount of sleep rejuvenated me. People around me would say that I was stressed and not handling it well. I believed that and kept pushing myself. Once more serious symptoms such as cognitive decline, temporary loss of vision, debilitating pain and seizures presented themselves I finally went to the doctor. Still, it took two more years to get a diagnosis. Why?

It took that long because I had contracted the disease long before and it didn't look as expected, now. I had an "advanced" version. Something far worse than the original disease. We still had to address the disease, but that would not fix everything. The disease is now pernicious and will return if I'm not vigilant about it. Worse, it had ravaged my body so badly that my systems got messed up and couldn't recognize healthy cells from destructive ones. My body now attacks itself. I must consciously tend to myself all the time, if I am to have any quality of life. The minute I am lax about it, I lose more functionality.

You see where I'm going here? A society can contract a disease and not realize it. It can start to show a symptom and be in denial about having the symptom and then about recognizing where the symptom comes from. It can live with the disease for so long that it end up not being able to tell the difference between healthy cells and destructive ones. It can begin to perpetuate the symptoms of the disease all on it's own. One has to work hard to consciously recognize the symptoms and address both the disease and the resulting disorders.

If you build a democracy based on the tenets of individual liberty and equality, how can you have slavery and misogyny and genocide? Those are symptoms of an infection. Likely, something you are not conscious of.

In a healthy organism, the heart and brain and gut and arms and legs are all working together in harmony doing the right thing to keep things running smoothly. If they are fighting with one another, or one of the systems is suppressed, something is wrong.

An Infection
If the political and economic systems are the mechanism for nurturing the organism we need to look at what they're feeding us. Good food replenishes our healthy cells. Bad food replaces them with something dysfunctional. Eventually, you are what you eat. Regardless of what you set out with in your heart or how you thought you were going to carry out that vision or how well you managed your gut reactions to individual moments, the food you eat is what you tell yourself to become. Bit by bit, you change. While you're still healthy enough, you can recognize disruptive change early on and adjust your diet. Farther in, though, your feedback mechanisms won't work or you'll deny what they're telling you. You suppress dissent and keep pushing forward without addressing the unhealthy diet.

It doesn't take much for an infection to set in. For me, it was a little tick bite I never saw or felt. For the United States, it was capitalism. Capitalism isn't named in our founding documents, but Adam Smith was very influential at the time. Here is his view on the purpose of government:

“Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.”
It was a relatively small group of people who wrote our founding documents. They were the wealthy and educated elite. Though they fought against the idea of a monarchy ordained by God, they were products of their time and social class. They may not have had royal titles, but they did see themselves as the "gentleman" class. They held all the economic power in the thirteen states they represented. They wrote the laws to control who could participate:
In twelve of the thirteen states (Pennsylvania excepted), only property-owning White males could vote, probably not more than 10 percent of the total adult population. Excluded were all indigenous First Nation people ("Indians"), persons of African descent, women, indentured servants, and White males lacking sufficient property. Property qualifications for holding office were so steep as to exclude even most of the White males who could vote. A member of the New Jersey legislature had to be worth at least 1,000 pounds. South Carolina state senators had to possess estates worth at least 7,000 pounds clear of debt (equivalent to more than a million dollars today). In Maryland, a candidate for governor had to own at least 5,000 pounds of property. In addition, the absence of a secret ballot and of a real choice among candidates and programs led to widespread apathy.
What is Democracy?
I don't want to spend more time here on the details of just how elite the founding fathers were. The link referenced above does a great job of it. What's fascinating is to see just how well the idea that the US was egalitarian has been implanted in our consciousness, when, in fact, equality never existed. We know it, too. We know it plainly. We know there was slavery. We know that Native Americans were not treated as people. We know that women were not allowed to vote or own property. We tell ourselves that these were just vestiges of pre-democracy. Yet, even amongst the white males there was exclusion based on wealth and property holding. Only 10% of the people living here were participating.

Here is the Oxford Dictionary definition of democracy:

A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives
Is our whole population governing? Or do we need to understand who is considered an "eligible member?" Do we feel that the people elected to office are really representative of us? If only 10% of the people who lived here at our founding were eligible members, was it really a democracy? Or have we come to have a distorted understanding of democracy due to those beginnings? Did we let capitalism infect our ideal? Why are some people eligible to participate and some not?

As soon as you justify disallowing one group of people, you start to chip away at the very concept of self-rule. You start to class some people as more or less worthy of mature adult autonomy and you establish who makes that determination. You are willing to impose governance on them by force. Coercion, the threat of force, or actual use of force is the only way to stop them from participating in the system you want. As soon as you are willing to use force to control who can and cannot participate, you are establishing an authoritarian class.

Once you've established an authoritarian class, you have established oppression. It is patronizing to think that the authoritarian class will be able to fairly and justly represent the interests of those they consider less worthy, due less respect. If you don't respect someone, you will not honor them and cannot consider their interests without bias. You  disenfranchise them from the group which you call "the people."

Is that democracy?

Even with increased eligibility to vote here, we don't have full participation. When participation is less than full, is that because it's just human nature to not care? Or is it a sign that something else is impeding the actualization of democracy? Is something else dampening the faith in participation?

What About Liberty?

In the preamble to the US Declaration of Independence is this line:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
It is declared that liberty is an unalienable right. Here's the Oxford Dictionary definition of 'liberty':
The state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views
Liberty is very anti-authority, or pro-autonomy. With liberty, as long as I am not impeding on another's liberty, no authority shall exercise power over me. As soon as someone is impeding my liberty, I have the right to stop them or seek help stopping them. My life is mine to live and no one else gets to impose their will about how my life should be lived or how my body is used. Self-determination. As a nation which has codified the right to liberty, I am under no obligation to anyone else. My right to authority over my own body trumps the needs or desire of anyone else.

Liberty for He but not for She
If we truly believed in liberty, a woman would have no more obligation to allow her body to be used for gestation than she would for saving the life of someone who needed her kidney. The life of no one else would trump her right to self-determination. Period. No one would ever have a thing to say about her health care choices. It simply wouldn't be a subject of public conversation.

Yet, women have been subjected to laws denying them the right to vote; denying them access to contraception and abortions. We were the property of husbands in the early United States. In 1839, Mississippi was the first state to allow a woman to own property separately from her husband. Until the 1970s, we couldn't get credit cards in our own name or car loans or mortgages. We are still shamed and shunned about our "way of life" or the way we look or whether we speak our mind. We are offensive "bitches" if we are strong-willed, deserving of abuse if we are  "not assertive enough", temptresses if we are attractive, pointless if we are not. When we are raped, we are guilty of both deserving it and of not preventing it. We are man-haters if we name a man who has assaulted us. We still get paid significantly less for the same job as a man. We are both literally and socially policed into silence and subjugation.

Women do not enjoy liberty. Any that we seem to have is only at the whims of the men around us.

If we proclaim to be proud of being the "land of liberty", why this contradiction? Who does it serve? The founding documents of our country lay out some operating principles or moral codes, but we ignore them. Something is trumping our commitment to them. Misogyny just might serve that which betrays our proclaimed principles.

Founding fathers. The country was born of fathers and no mothers. The founding fathers were the landowners, slave owners, women owners and business owners. It only makes sense that as the holders of all the wealth and influence, they would want to keep that for themselves. If they granted full citizenship, with rights and liberties, to everyone else, they would face far more competition. Best to keep all those people who were already in the underclasses right where they were. So, along with all the slaves, Native Americans, non-European men and white men who weren't in the "gentlemanly" social class, women remained inferior. They were to be despised if they attempted to be anything other than that. Misogyny assured the elite class of continued economic dominance. It still does.

A Capitalist State
The other proud proclamation so often made about the United States is that we're a capitalist country. We deem ourselves superior to other countries based on the form of economic system we employ. It is practically a cardinal sin to believe that any other economic system is even valid to consider.

What is capitalism? Back to the Oxford Dictionary:

An economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.
So, what does it mean to be a capitalist state? The only values expressed are that everything is controlled by private owners and it's done for profit.

There is nothing in there which speaks to what kinds of rights people have, ways to treat each other, how we want society to function, the value of the ecosystem we need to survive or whether anything needs to be sustainable. Profit for private owners is all there is.

What is profit? To profit in a transaction is to get more out of it than you put in. That means taking more from someone else than you are giving them. How do you convince someone to give you more than you give them?

One way is to obfuscate the fact that this is what you're doing. When currency is used to mediate transactions, you don't know whether equal value is being exchanged or not. We are trained to think that my $100 equals your $100. If I had to work 10 hours to get $100 and you only had to work 1 hour, then our $100 dollars are not equal. Mine cost 10 times as much! We only accept that because we tell ourselves that one person is worth more than another. A human life is nothing but a span of time and we have come to accept that the time of some human beings is worth more than the time of other human beings. So, one person can put in 1/10th the effort of the other person and we'll call it equal. But that means that we don't really believe that "all men are created equal."

Self-Oppression, the Auto-Immune Disorder
Capitalism has infected the national body. We've been living with the infection for so long that it is now a chronic illness in an advanced form. We have stopped fighting it. In fact, we have developed an auto-immune disorder wherein we're defending it rather than the healthy version of ourselves. That is by design. We weren't meant to really believe in democracy or liberty for all. We were always supposed to recognize that that is just for the superior class. Any real belief we have in equality is problematic by-product of the illusion they used to convince people to accept their rule.

Whether by force or coercion or deception, we have let capitalists rig every law, every system, every transaction in their favor. With all their resources they control the flow of information via media. They spend more money on political campaigns to get themselves or those who will favor them into government. They hold all the money which allows any business between people to occur. We put our money in their banks and we pay them to let us use our own money. We let them use our money so they can make more money. And they withhold our money, or threaten to, if we challenge them. (One of the big reasons that banks were bailed out in 2008 was that they made the claim that business payrolls wouldn't be met if we shut them down.)

They control how education happens and what we'll be educated about and why. This impacts our perception of the world, how we use language and whether or not we practice critical thinking. We end up admiring the "winners" and seeing the "losers" as immoral. We emulate the winners in whatever small ways we can. By doing so, we continue to feed their coffers. We believe that if we just do all the right things, we'll become one of them. We believe that there is no better way to organize a society, even as we watch millions of people suffer from homelessness, die of treatable illnesses, go bankrupt working three jobs. We see schools in some neighborhoods get lavish funding while others don't have books or heat in the winter. All the data in the world showing increased wealth disparity here, and the suffering people around the world are paying for the elite class to keep hoarding more resources and affluence can't convince us that there is anything wrong with capitalism.

Our oppressors no longer have to do much to oppress us. The auto-immune disorder is so entrenched that we oppress ourselves. If one group of us tries to speak out, another will criticize them for being unruly or creating chaos. Lives are destroyed by capitalist pursuits, but don't be rude about it. The gentlemanly superiority is still the order of the day via the tyranny of politeness. It just isn't polite to name an offender.

We continue to stereotype groups in disparaging ways. This keeps ups feeling superior to someone. Another sign that we have a chance at getting into the winners' circle. We make jokes about rape, letting women know that the torture they endure is really just a source of entertainment for the real people in the world - the men. We let massive numbers of black people go to jail for non-violent crimes. By doing so, we destroy the fabric of their communities. Constant trauma and poverty ensures that they can never compete. They will always be the losers. We don't even notice that once we've enslaved millions of black men in prison, we then begin to decriminalize the acts they've been incarcerated for and let white people start 'legitimate' business to make money in a new industry that has a ready-made customer base from the decades when it was a criminal offense. We celebrate the decriminalizing of the act, without concern for decriminalizing the people. Why invite the competition?

A Feature, Not a Bug
Misogyny, racism, classism and any form of social norm which centers around demeaning another, laughing at their plight or in any way makes us feel superior to someone else are all features of capitalism. They all serve to keep us from thinking about whether there is a more just and sustainable and peaceful way to live together. They keep us believing in competition and how "the best man wins." They inure us to the cost of losing. We relish competitions and swarming to celebrate the winner, whilst giving not a moments thought or concern for all the losers and the suffering they might endure. They deserved it by being inferior.

When I went to business school, I was told that a business should have perpetual growth. A business and an economy were not healthy unless they were always growing. It was an axiom. Not a theorem. Profit, profit and always more profit. The bottom line. Don't consider anything else.

Women have been at the butt end of capitalism, always. Men owned everything. Men made the laws. Women were seen as intellectually and physically inferior, as well as inherently immoral. All the work which women did to support a functioning society was valued at zero. Every transaction they made was a 100% loss or worse. That supported the capitalist system. Misogyny is a feature, not a bug. Devaluing other human beings so that capitalists can continue to have gains is a feature of capitalism. That's the disease.

Getting everyone to buy into it is goal of the disease. The disease doesn't have to work so hard if it can give the system an auto-immune disorder.

Aren't Things Getting Better?
Capitalism must always have it's losing classes. If we don't have women and slaves to take up the 100% loss slot in the social strata, where do all those losses go? Those who benefit, or suffer the least, from the capitalist structure are not going to give up their gains and their power position without a fight. This is why misogyny and racism are so persistent. It's also why we see great tensions amongst different demographic groups struggling against oppression.

We don't want to say it out loud, but we all know that capitalism can't exist without losers. We're all just scrambling to see who is going to wriggle up out of the bottom tiers. We're reshuffling the deck rather than designing a new game. We must fight that consciously. We can't continue to passively let it serve the disease. We must tend to our health.

What's happening, now, is that as it become socially unpalatable to oppress groups based on gender or skin color or ethnicity or sexuality, capitalism needs a new way to maintain a dominant class. The top tier may have some "diversity" so that it looks more acceptable, but it will always need to be elite and in power. If you can't use the readily identifiable factors of gender and skin tone, how do you draw new, easily distinguishable lines?

Make Corporations the Eligible People
The loophole in this whole democracy thing has always been about who is eligible. If  capitalism is to survive, make sure that capitalists' interests are represented by the eligible people. What better way to do that than to establish person hood for corporations? What entities are more likely to defend capitalist interests? Give them person hood and watch how they infect the democracy. With their vast wealth, they become the de facto leadership in no time at all.

If corporations are people, they can can vote, they can use their vast wealth and affluence to control elections and, therefore, maintain laws which support their capitalist interests.

It's a natural evolution of a capitalist state. It's what happens when we don't remain conscious and vigilant about our ideals. Enough of us are believing in the capitalist ideals that we don't think twice about it. Everything else about the US becomes subordinate to it's core identity as a capitalist state. We're only a democracy if we serve the interests of capitalism. We only get liberty if it serves the interests of capitalism. We only get person hood if we serve the interest of capitalism.

The change must happen slowly. You need people to go along with the idea. The ownership class knows that they are small in numbers and that their ability to maintain their position is dependent upon getting a critical mass of people to accept their vision of our country as the right one. Too many people losing and you get revolt. So, you use all the things which have allowed you to keep people oppressed to date and you push it a little further.

Women have been seen as inferior and of evil judgment all along. We have been chattel of our fathers and husbands. It's not a stretch to convince enough people that we should also be chattel to our bosses. How do you give bosses the right to be involved in what kind of health care a woman has access to? You deem corporations to be people, with religions! You give those corporate people rights which supersede the rights of women. I mean why does our health insurance have anything to do with our employers in the first place? Only capitalists have autonomy. They have authority over the bodies of everyone else. Their time is worth more; they determine how little they can get away with valuing other people and they get more and more control over every aspect of society.

What Can We Do?
Misogyny - and other forms of oppression denying any group of people liberty and full participating in governance - is a tool for the ownership class. If we want to thrive in a sustainable world, we need to face the fact that there is no morality, no call for justice, no concern for ecological health in capitalism. It is a system designed to serve a few and keep the rest of us clawing at each other so we leave them alone and continue to transfer any wealth to be to them.

Solidarity is the only meaningful recourse. There can be no justice for anyone until there is justice for everyone. We need to rid ourselves of our internalized misogyny, racism, and xenophobia. We must very consciously reestablish the health of our immune system so that we can fight the disease.

Capitalism doesn't know national boundaries, either. Nationalism is just another symptom. If we cling to the idea that we in the US are somehow superior and, at the same, vulnerable to all those inferior people around the world, we don't challenge what capitalists are doing. We say we care about human rights, but we won't give up comforts when we know people are being abused in order for us to have them.

We think of our ability to buy things as power. That's part of the auto-immune disorder. When we buy things who are we serving? Beyond food, shelter and health care we don't need things. The money we hand over for things we don't need is simply a transfer of wealth. We keep giving away our wealth. Wealth inequality has been growing in the US for the past 30 or so years. If we believe that the ability to buy things is power but we keep giving away our ability to buy things, aren't we draining our own power?

Or are we incorrectly perceiving our power? What if our power is in NOT buying things? What if we stop handing over our resources? What if we turned to one another to get or needs met? We have to have faith in one another first. That means learning to appreciate one another. Fighting all the messaging we've gotten about how to view each other.

We Can Do This
We have to gain some consciousness. We must resist the attacks on our critical thinking skills and our compassion and empathy. Contrary to popular belief, humans are not born selfish. We are instinctively compassionate. We actually have to be trained to be otherwise. That is, it gets acculturated out of us.  If we choose, we can undo that acculturation. We do that by reading about, listening to and bearing witness of each other. Share stories. Listen. Don't criticize. Just take in other people's experiences. Anyone who is different from you. Let their experiences and perspective become a piece of the whole cloth of the culture you are immersed in. Every single person's experience is a thread in that cloth.

One of the things which happens when there is an economic elite class is that they control all the mechanism of storytelling. All the education, news, entertainment, magazines and books are laden with their perspective of life. We get taught what is "normal" and "good" and we get told their version of why people behave "badly." We believe it because the message comes from so many directions, subtly and not-so-subtly, at such a relentless pace that it literally directs the development of our brains. Mass access to social media is starting to change that.

For instance, for the first time in human history the stories of women, by women, are being recorded en masse. Everything from our mundane experiences to our great sufferings and brilliant ideas are being made available without the intervention of males. This is true for other demographic groups, as well. We're all being humanized by finally having direct exposure to one another.

Solidarity
Since we've all been programmed and it's natural to follow the path of what is comfortable to us, we need to be careful about only exposing ourselves to people who are comfortable. If we want to fight the disease, we need to work against the auto-immune disorder. Diversity of perspective, experience and ideas is the antidote to the auto-immune disorder of gentrification. Seek out difference. Don't debate with people. Don't demand that they be your definition of perfect, without any hypocrisies. An auto-immune disorder has left us all with hypocrisies. Simply read and listen and bear witness. You don't have to love them or like them. Simply witness them and include them in your consciousness and know there is no liberty or democracy unless they are included.

Be there for one another. Have meals together. Build bonds. Build solidarity. If you're white, take in the stories of what it is to be black in the US. Let them tell you their own stores without your intervention or interpretation. Don't require that they "speak your language" or "take responsibility" or "learn to play the game" or whatever meme pops into your head when you hear about someone different from yourself.

If you're a male, listen to the stories of females. Question your internal messaging about "she asked for it" or "she should dress a certain way" or "she's too bitchy" or "she's not assertive enough."

If you're straight or cis-gender, listen to the stories of those who aren't. Don't overlay their stories with "something probably happened to them to make them this way." Something happened to you, too. Something which made you stop connecting to people if they didn't look or act a specific way. A way which served those who dominate.

You get the idea. Simply accept people where they are and know their stories are a part of our culture.  Everyone. Stop using all the capitalist, gentrified justifications for invalidating everyone's stories. Let all the stories be part of your story. Sub-plots in the chapters of your life.

Solidarity is the only fix for the auto-immune disorder. Then we fight the disease of capitalism. Once we've gained solidarity, we'll find a way. It will be natural. We'll never get rid of every vestige of capitalist inclination. There will always be those who believe in it and fight for it's ascendance. They'll tell us that we just need to amend it and we'll be fine. But, by definition capitalism is nothing but the pursuit of profit, and therefore the cold hearted willingness to cause someone else to lose. The vision of equality and liberty is always compromised by that. With solidarity, we can keep it at bay and more fully pursue that which will lead us to a more just and sustainable world.

Maintenance Plan
How do we tend to our social health in such a way that we fend off disease and keep auto-immune disorders at bay? We must vigilantly remind ourselves of our vision and mission. Everything we do, every decision we make must be tested against those. We must be willing to fight the inclination to urgently address a temporary issue with a "fix" which doesn't fit our vision and mission. Each time we compromise on that we're saying that we really don't believe in them. If we don't believe in them, then let's stop saying that we do and determine what it is we do believe in. If we do believe in them, then we must have faith that they will guide us to better solutions. If we aren't ready to say that we don't believe in them, then we need to question why we're making compromises. If it is because of fear, let's face the fear by applying our values. If we seem to facing fear all the time, we need to figure out why. Perhaps that's a symptom of disease.

At any time, if we're doing anything which feels like it compromises our values, changes our mission or is reactionary we need to consider what is infecting us and address that. We address that by going back and examining our values and reconfirming that we hold them dear. If we hold democracy dear, then we everyone should be allowed to participate. Anything less means we don't believe in democracy. If we hold individual liberty dear, then bodily autonomy should be inviolable for everyone. Only I make choices about my body. I can be stopped from making choices about someone else's body.

Figuring out how to stop bad behavior can seem like a conundrum when we've all been brainwashed with the culture of might makes right. Being so out of harmony with the tenets of democracy and self-determination, we're all a bit diseases and will, therefore, exhibit a lot of bad behavior and this will challenge our belief in the those tenets. We must fight the urge to address the disease with symptoms of the disease. We must find ways to ensure bodily autonomy and democratic participation even for those who may have violated those tenets, whilst still impeding their ability to continue to violate. How do you do this?

That's complex. Something I'd love to see us, as a culture discuss. Recovery from disease is challenging and painful and has it's setbacks. The simple answer is compassion. If our choices are always founded in compassion and a belief in self-determination and a people self-governing, we'll figure it out. We'll find alternatives to punishing and seek paths of healing. We'll realize that when people commit offense, they are likely are in need of healing. That by healing them, we heal the social fabric. Punishing them only tatters the social fabric.

Tend to each other. Always. Here and everywhere. Radical tending. That is our real power. Not in purchasing, but in tending. No one can drain us of that power. They can bankrupt us but they can't stop us from caring for one another. Only we can do that. That's the auto-immune disorder triggered by the disease. That's the piece we have sole power to address. Start tending to those who are suffering the most. Constant, relentless tending. Put all your focus there and watch our power generate a transformation.

Solidarity.

Group think:
You may have noticed that I'm not suggesting any particular economic system to replace capitalism. The first defensive response from people who don't want to consider that capitalism may not be healthy for us is often, "well, what else do you suggest? Communism?! Socialism?!" I don't suggest we start there. I suggest that we start by asking ourselves how we want to be together and what it takes to thrive in justice and sustainability. I suggest that we'll develop a way of nurturing ourselves - an economic system - once we've solidified those ideas and base everything we do on them. To that end, I offer up an exercise. (Maybe this will be the sole subject of a future diary!)

You and 149,999 people are sent to a new land mass which has risen up from the bottom of the ocean. A continent the size of, say, Australia. Human social systems are collapsing everywhere and we recognize that we need to send a group off to try something new. You have all committed to the mission  of building this new social structure. Everyone there knows it will take time to work it all out and has committed to 50 years of determining how you will all manage the process of living and thriving together. The rest of the world will leave you alone. In fact, it is likely that no one else will exist by the fifty year mark. No one has to worry about food, shelter or health care for those fifty years. After that, everyone must work together to thrive. The one rule is that it has to be a system which every single person agrees to and has ongoing governance participation in. Where do you begin? What's the first topic of discussion? How do you organize the discussions so that all 150,000 people can participate and come to agree to the social structure which gets devised?

Sexism and Misogyny
"Women are horrible drivers" is a sexist comment. Laws preventing women from getting licenses to drive are misogynist policies. One could think women are horrible drivers and still believe that all people have the right to a driver's license, including women because one sees women as full-fledged people. That person would be sexist but not misogynist.

One could think women may drive just as well as men, and be very respectful and admirable of the women one knows. Yet, that person may still believe that "person", as originally used in the US Constitution, doesn't include women (or people of color.) This person is misogynist. And sexist. They simply wrap all their sexist perspective into a larger package. As long as women know their place, they may express surface respect and admiration, usually in the form of "chivalrous" or "gentlemanly" behavior.

Originally posted to Anti-Capitalist Meetup on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 03:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Sexism and Patriarchy, Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism, This Week in the War on Women, Sluts, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And exceptionally thoughtful and thought-provoking (28+ / 0-)

    diary, UnaSpenser!  I particularly like the distinction you make between sexism and misogyny (as well as pointing out how they can overlap.)

    This diary deserves a much more careful read than I can give it at the moment, Una, but I will come back when I am more rested and can give it the attention it deserves.

    Thank you for putting so much time, effort, and thought into this excellent diary!

  •  Tonight's anti-capitalist meetup has been (13+ / 0-)

    x-posted to:

    wild wild left:

    http://www.wildwildleft.com/....

    Docudharma:

    http://www.docudharma.com/....

    The Stars Hollow Gazette:

    http://www.thestarshollowgazette.com/....

    FDL (sans pictures again, they do not like pictures from dkos):

    http://my.firedoglake.com/....

    garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

    by Galtisalie on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 03:14:54 PM PDT

  •  ACM Schedule (7+ / 0-)

    JULY

    20th: Diomedes77
    27th: Geminijen

    AUGUST

    3rd:
    10th:

    17th: NY Brit Expat
    24th:
    31st:
    Annieli

    Hi Comrades and Fellow Travellers!

    Next week we have Diomedes77 writing for us for the first time on the 20th and we have Geminjen on the 27th. For August, we have only two dates filled; NY Brit Expat will do the 17th and Annieli will do the 31st. If you can write something for the 3rd, 10th, or 24th, that would be extremely helpful!If you can volunteer for those dates, please do so, we need you to keep the group going!

    Alternatively, if you could put a piece in queue that is NOT time sensitive, we can use it when need arises. That would help everyone out in organising the series!
    Please can you help by volunteering to post. It does not have to be fancy or theory ... it can be about anything from an anti-capitalist perspective ... perhaps an action that is happening that you think is important, a discussion of current events or serious debate ... whatever you feel comfortable with and what you can do!
    Please respond to this post or/and send a private message by kosmail to NY Brit Expat and/or send a message to our email group: dkanticapitalistgroup@gmail.com

    Please, the ACM needs you to write, can you volunteer to keep this great series going?!

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 03:17:02 PM PDT

    •  Sorry, I did a schedule comment above, but yours (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides

      is the official one! I'm sorry I did not mean to confuse things, but was not sure if you would want me to do that! Glad you did! I will note above to go to your schedule comment below.

      garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

      by Galtisalie on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 03:26:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  they are exactly the same ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Galtisalie, thanatokephaloides

        what happened was that my computer for some reason did not register the comment and I stupidly decided to help you when you didn't need help. I am sorry!

        "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

        by NY brit expat on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 03:50:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  ACM Schedule (4+ / 0-)

    JULY

    20th: Diomedes77
    27th: Geminijen

    AUGUST

    3rd:
    10th:
    17th: NY Brit Expat
    24th:
    31st: Annieli

    Hi Comrades and Fellow Travellers!

    After tonight's important and timely diary by UnaSpenser, to complete a smoking hot July, Diomedes77 is writing for us for the first time on the 20th, and we have Geminjen on the 27th.

    In August, we have NY Brit Expat on the 17th and Annieli on the 31st. If you can take the, 3rd, 10th or 24th of August that would help this important and worthy series keep going.

    Alternatively, if you could put a piece in queue that is NOT time sensitive, we can use it when need arises. That would help everyone out in organizing the series!

    Please can you help by volunteering to post? It does not have to be fancy or theory ... it can be about anything from an anti-capitalist perspective ... perhaps an action that is happening that you think is important, a discussion of current events or serious debate ... whatever you feel comfortable with and what you can do!

    Please respond to this post or/and send a private message by kosmail to NY Brit Expat and/or send a message to our email group: dkanticapitalistgroup@gmail.com

    Please, the ACM needs you to write, can you volunteer to keep this great series going?!

    garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

    by Galtisalie on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 03:23:44 PM PDT

  •  UnaSpenser!! Beautifully done!! (18+ / 0-)

    I think your distinction between sexism and misogyny is right on target. An excellent and compelling piece which is simply right on target and you have done a wonderful job! It seems a number of people agree as you have hit the rec list deservedly!

    These two decisions brought home quite clearly in a country which babbles endlessly about democracy, liberty and freedom, that the rights of women are simply not seen as those that men have. They are appalling ... in one case, a corporation pretends (to save money) that they have religious values and get conscientious objector status instead of being forced to cover birth control for their female employees on a health plan. The other decision enshrined the rights of abusers and harassers to freedom of speech rather than recognising the compelling reason that women have the right to privacy, to not be assaulted, maimed and abused while seeking a medical procedure and pretended that there was not compelling interest due to historical violence (including 2 murders) to restrict the rights of thugs to assault, harass and abuse women. It is as simple as that ... what are the rights of those to actually access their civil rights guaranteed by the constitution being forced literally to run a gauntlet to access those rights compared to the rights of violent and vicious people to harass them? Appalling that the rights of women to be safe from violence while accessing their right to health care are irrelevant in the face of so-called freedom of speech of thugs and religion. In both cases, the question of separation of church and state are relevant; as those opposing women's right to choose and access a procedure is set against and considered secondary to the rights of religious people to harass them and then also to prevent them from coverage to ensure that they can cover birth control on health insurance plans.

    I am beyond angry and I cannot thank you enough for your wonderful piece exposing the misogyny that underlies these decisions and the societies in which we live.

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 03:47:16 PM PDT

    •  Really?! Oh, wow. Thanks! -nt (8+ / 0-)

      Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

      by UnaSpenser on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 03:50:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One nit, (4+ / 0-)

      ". . . in one case, a corporation pretends (to save money) that they have religious values and get conscientious objector status instead of being forced to cover birth control for their female employees on a health plan."

      I don't think the case had anything to do with saving money.  It has been documented that increasing access to contraception saves money since it is less expensive to prevent a pregnancy that to pay for one.

      The purpose behind the case was political, not economic.  It is about putting the President in his place and undermining the ACA.

      “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

      by ahumbleopinion on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 09:32:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that they did this for several (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade, northsylvania

        reasons. I completely agree that there was a strong political agenda on the part of the right-wing and religious patriarchal argumentation. I think they used the political agenda to advance their argument, but in all honestly corporations do not give a fig about religious beliefs (with the exception of the Churches themselves who often behave like corps but with additional agendas), while the money appears negligible, it would add additional costs to them and the policies they are providing and if successful, it is not one corp that will do this but all of them. We will suddenly find out that their corps have religion in the near future. Corps do not have religion, they are corps, they are interested in profits and reducing costs or shifting costs to their employees is part of that. That means that part of necessary costs for employees are shifted off of the corp and onto the employees.

        Moreover, what needs to be taken into account is the women's labour market and how that is organised. That is a complicated discussion but it is part of lingering patriarchy and needs to be addressed.

        "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

        by NY brit expat on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 05:09:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There is also the fact (3+ / 0-)

          that these 'religious' corps. like Hobby Lobby have money invested in pharmaceutical companies that produce and sell contraceptives. They seem to have religious scruples and are 'people' only when it applies to the inherent corporate agenda of profit. Capitalism has no goal or purpose other then profit. Religions in our culture seem to have a huge conflict of interest because like Bain capital or even Pepsi a lot of the large corporations are owned and controlled by the too big rich religious orgs. Really is like Babylon where  capitalism and wealth, Mammon are worshiped. This belief system is directly opposed to equality, humanism, justice or any democratic values. There is nothing sacred about greed.

          Money=God, like the CEO of Goldman Sachs said these people really believe they are doing god's work. So we have not only the belief that in our republic capitalism=freedom but that god=wealth. A double whammy and totally anti-democratic as religions are authoritarian political entities in their own write. The Family takes this odious combination to it's extreme and yet all of the people who have power in our government pay homage to their prayer group. The powers that be can then convince people that there oppression is the inevitable will of god.

          'Oh Lord won't you buy me a color TV'    

                 

  •  Absolutely brilliant. (11+ / 0-)

    What do you do when a small group of that 150,000 people consistently dissent to keep anything from getting done? That is one way that a small group can wrest power from the rest of us. Unless you believe that the drive for power over others is not innate. I'm not so sure about that.

    We need a world in which we ask "What's happened to you?" more and "What's wrong with you?" less. (From a comment by Kossack nerafinator)

    by ramara on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 04:03:56 PM PDT

    •  I think that "power over" as an internal drive (10+ / 0-)

      is another acculturated thing.

      Everybody on the island would come from the existing cultures, so they'd had to figure out how to strip those things out of their processes and move forward. They're going to starve if they don't.

      Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

      by UnaSpenser on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 04:17:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah (6+ / 0-)

        In other words, the result would be the same for everyone, not as it is here, with some immune.

        Interesting thought.

        We need a world in which we ask "What's happened to you?" more and "What's wrong with you?" less. (From a comment by Kossack nerafinator)

        by ramara on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 04:31:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  People learn what they live. (4+ / 0-)
        Unless you believe that the drive for power over others is not innate.
        I don't believe that it is for most people.

        There's always the 1% criminal psychopathic fringe.

        -7.75 -4.67

        "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

        There are no Christians in foxholes.

        by Odysseus on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 10:31:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  agreed. to my mind, one of the first things (4+ / 0-)

          this fantasy group would have to address is how to address concerns without getting hijacked and that would mean acknowledging that we can have a certain percentage of people who aren't able to function cooperatively. How would we identify them and how would we treat them?

          Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

          by UnaSpenser on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 07:53:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Problems in utopia (6+ / 0-)

        are addressed in some science fiction, such as Ursula K Le Guin's The Dispossessed. The very fine line is to acknowledge the concerns of the minority, or even one individual without letting them hijack the conversation entirely.

        "The 'Middle' is a crowded place - that is where the effective power is - the extreme right and left might annoy governments, but the middle terrifies them." Johnny Linehan

        by northsylvania on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 12:58:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm half way through Dispossessed! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          northsylvania, NY brit expat

          Yes, this fantasy group would need to figure out how to hear everyone's concerns and determine which were legitimate and which were not.

          They would also have to figure out how to make sure that concerns are felt to have been taken seriously and are still on the table to address if they can't be addressed right away.

          To my mind, the first 4 of the 5 years are likely to be about developing faith in one another (consciously addressing  acculturated fears and bigotry) and developing decision-making processes which feel inclusive and just and sustainable.

          Probably, the first year or two is simply developing an agreed upon set of operating principles which support the vision and mission. Everything they do has to pass the test of meeting the principles and supporting the mission. Understanding how to make sure they are doing that is going to be the biggest challenge.

          Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

          by UnaSpenser on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 07:59:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The devil is in the details. The small group could (6+ / 0-)

      not rest power from the rest of us if we did not allow them to do it illegitimately. The could not keep re-electing illegally gerrymandered voting district and if the Supreme Court had not abused its power in interpreting the constitution and if the congress had not confirmed people with a history of opportunistic decisions which do not follow the constitution and if we had not let an false election of George Bush, confirmed by the Supreme Court prevail.  
      Although Supreme Court Justices are elected for life, they can be removed from the bench through an impeachment process if they fraudulently abuse their position. The right wing wants to impeach Obama, they did try Clinton, why cant we put some of the most egregious SC judges on trial for abusing their power of interpreting the Constitution (which isn't even in the constitution - judicial review became accepted through stare decisis).

      •  one can imagine that if a small group kept (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NY brit expat

        obstructing by bringing up concerns that were not real, or by trying to inject ideas which did not support the vision or mission, they might end up with some mechanisms of kicking people off the island and back into the dying world.

        But, I do think that, ultimately, if they can always hold up them vision/mission and can agree on a set of operating principles which they can always turn to as a litmus test for ideas an concerns, the problem would be minimized. They know they have to figure out how to survive together. They won't have any food if they don't.

        Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

        by UnaSpenser on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 08:03:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (15+ / 0-)

    Your comparison of our current state of belief in national myths (in the UK as well as in the US, though for very different reasons) to autoimmune diseases is truly inspired. There were a lot of other 'eureka' moments throughout the piece as well, one of them being:

    We are trained to think that my $100 equals your $100. If I had to work 10 hours to get $100 and you only had to work 1 hour, then our $100 dollars are not equal. Mine cost 10 times as much! We only accept that because we tell ourselves that one person is worth more than another. A human life is nothing but a span of time and we have come to accept that the time of some human beings is worth more than the time of other human beings. So, one person can put in 1/10th the effort of the other person and we'll call it equal. But that means that we don't really believe that "all men are created equal."
    Any good paying job, when women begin to predominate in the field, often becomes a bad paying job. Sometimes, as has been the case with teachers lately, it's suddenly not a real job at all.
    There are many points to discuss here that I hope others pick up on and make comments about. Thank you for writing such a comprehensive theory of why we have reached such an impasse and, more importantly, suggestions of where we might go from here.

    "The 'Middle' is a crowded place - that is where the effective power is - the extreme right and left might annoy governments, but the middle terrifies them." Johnny Linehan

    by northsylvania on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 04:10:47 PM PDT

  •  thank to NY Brit Expat for urging me to write this (9+ / 0-)

    and thank you to Galtsalie for for doing all the tech work of reposting, etc. Writing this took a lot out of me and I would not have been able to manage posting everywhere and tracking the links.

    Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

    by UnaSpenser on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 04:20:06 PM PDT

  •  Rec List! (8+ / 0-)

    Though things go on and off there so I hope this gets Community Spotlight so it's up long enough for a number of people to read it.

    "The 'Middle' is a crowded place - that is where the effective power is - the extreme right and left might annoy governments, but the middle terrifies them." Johnny Linehan

    by northsylvania on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 04:26:17 PM PDT

  •  More thoughtful ideas here (9+ / 0-)

    than I've seen in one place in a good long while. I saw NY brit expat's invite to join 1st, so I sent a PM to join.  I haven't followed this group up til know, but you seem like a kind and caring group, so I'll jump.

    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 04:26:29 PM PDT

  •  Cooperation vs. coercion, that's what defines (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UnaSpenser, thanatokephaloides

    the thing we call capitalism.

    An egalitarian society makes coercion impossible and cooperation is much more difficult and expensive. Of course, equality also reduces options for evading responsibilities, and many people really do just want somebody to tell them what to do.

    An egalitarian model was the original goal and somewhere along the way, we forgot that and slipped back to the familiar.

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

    by Greyhound on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 05:00:48 PM PDT

    •  how could it have been the original goal when (7+ / 0-)

      there was slavery and women were not considered people and only people owning property could vote?

      I think it wasn't so much a goal as a PR mechanism.

      Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

      by UnaSpenser on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 05:46:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Read what they wrote. I know it is much easier (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        UnaSpenser

        to simply take somebody's word for it, especially when they agree with your default position, but if you actually bother to dig, you will learn that these exact arguments were happening then.

        They were fully aware that what they were doing was miles away from the ideal they wanted, but they did the best they could at the time with what they had. Declaring independence and revolting against the Crown was the first and most vital step. They made horrible compromises in the effort, and almost all of them died regretting what they did to gain the chance they gave us, only to see it wasted.

        Read the letters between Abigail and John Adams. Benjamin Franklin founded the abolitionist movement on this continent. Lewis Morris, almost certainly the richest man in America, blew through the entire family fortune in support of the revolution.

        In short, quit taking the word of others as fact, learn for yourself, reach your own conclusions. Almost everything you think you know about those men and those times is completely wrong.

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

        by Greyhound on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 12:12:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I knew all of these things you have written here. (3+ / 0-)

          Still, it was not really a democracy. They were still protecting the property owners above all. The fact its, they made those compromises because they couldn't get the wealthy elite to go along if they didn't. So, they let those with affluence control the outcome at the expense of everyone else.

          And, who exactly was arguing for women to be full-fledged citizens?

          Not to mention the fact that Britain was ending slavery at the time the colonists here revolted. Funny that we decided to keep slavery. That's democracy for you.

          People in privileged positions, particularly intellectual people, do tend to grapple with ideas and their inconsistencies. It's the luxury of the privileged to be able to make compromises which hurt other people and then regret them.

          Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

          by UnaSpenser on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 08:10:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I would quibble and say (5+ / 0-)

        it was less a PR mechanism than a genuine fear of the rabble conflicting with Enlightenment ideals. My very (ugh) conservative dad was always reminding me that the country was set up as a representative democracy for a reason. In Federalist Paper #10, Madison says that bankers/ land owners/ businessmen have very different goals from debtors/ workers and comes down pretty hard on the side of the former, i.e. the 1%. They had no intention of giving power to the disenfranchised rabble.
        However, definitions of what exactly the "rabble" is have changed over time. Unfortunately the current lot of judges have gone back to the opinion of some of our more aristocratic forebears, and are trying to reclassify women and poor people as individuals unworthy to govern themselves.

        "The 'Middle' is a crowded place - that is where the effective power is - the extreme right and left might annoy governments, but the middle terrifies them." Johnny Linehan

        by northsylvania on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 01:45:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed ... (4+ / 0-)

          there were personal and political conflict with the ideas of the enlightenment. One very interesting one comes from Locke.

          Locke had argued in favour of universal suffrage arguing against property qualifications and to do this he argued that everyone had property in their own body, so we are all endowed (if you'd like) with property. Additionally, for the same reason, he argued that property in one's body could not be transferred and alienated and opposed slavery.

          While Locke (and his follower Tom Paine) were wonderful for propaganda purposes and agitation to earn support of separation from Britain as a colony; his ideas on universal suffrage and opposition to slavery were clearly inconsistent with both patriarchy, control over the new government they were creating and the economic demands of slave owners in the South. So Locke and Paine are jettisoned. It is not until Jefferson adds the bill of rights that these ideas are introduced, albeit in a much weaker form, into the constitution. What people do not understand is that there were rights guaranteed under Britain for the majority and that these needed to reinstated into the constitution.

          "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

          by NY brit expat on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 04:59:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Unaspencer I really appreciate your metaphor of (8+ / 0-)

    auto-immune disease for internalizing oppression! Beautiful piece and will look for ways to be more thoughtful and supportive of others in my own community to help break the cycle. Thanks for your warmth and vision.

  •  You characterize Capitalism as an auto-immune (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides, Yonit

    disease. Some of the predicates Capitalism needs to flourish sustainably include private property rights (including its inheritance), sanctity of contracts, common law (i.e. laws built up from below, not imposed from above), thrift, individual liberty. Is it fair to say you would favor your quasi-Australians drastically altering these features?

    I was also struck by your statement about profit:

    What is profit? To profit in a transaction is to get more out of it than you put in. That means taking more from someone else than you are giving them.    
    It totally disregards the concept of value in a transaction.In a market economy (another feature of Capitalism)
    You price everything you [want to sell] [own] above fair market value. That's why you still own it.

    The economy depends on disagreement over value. You sell when the money is worth more than the thing, and the other guy buys when the thing has more value than the money. A disagreement that produces a profit for both sides!

    The reason you want economic activity is not to keep people busy and off the streets, but that every voluntary trade increases the wealth of both sides, and so increases the standard of living of the nation. The more activity, the higher the standard of living.

    It's magic, and it all comes from a disagreement over value.

    •  No. Internalized oppression is the auto-immune (11+ / 0-)

      disorder.

      Capitalism is a disease.

      It is a lie that every transaction increases the wealth of everyone involved. That simply isn't possible. For everyone to profit means that every single person involved gets more out than they put in. Not possible. Most transactions these days involve more than two people. So, it can look like two people profited, but that just means that someone somewhere else down the line is paying the cost not being accounted for. Sweatshop labor in another country or chemical dumping in a river so the corporation saves money while people living nearby pay with their health or lives and ecological devastation (bees dying off due to pesticides, deforestation) are just some of the more obvious costs not being accounted for. If someone walks away with more than they put in there can be no equity. Wealth only represents the ability to control resources. The earth is a finite resource. At the end of the day, if someone gains control/access over more resources someone else is losing control/access. Or we're losing resources altogether. Basic physics. Talking about value is sleight of hand.

      Market value is so often an illusion created by stories/propaganda/advertising that it is rarely actually fair.  It is another way of obfuscating inequality.

      The growing wealth inequality in the US is a very clear indicator that not everyone can profit. Once those at the top have gotten all they can by letting another group prosper and there isn't any more wealth to be garnered from the poorer groups, they will start taking wealth from the next tier up.

      Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

      by UnaSpenser on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 08:05:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If capitalism is magic, it is because it has cast (6+ / 0-)

        a spell of triumphalism on the part of its adherents and resignation on the part of its victims. The invisible hand has been slapping the hell out of most of us for far too long. No mas.

        garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

        by Galtisalie on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 09:23:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh. I see. In that case, I reckon the (0+ / 0-)

        quasi-Australians only need to develop a capitalism vaccine that prevents them from developing the symptoms. Of course, for that small proportion for whom the vaccine is ineffective (e.g. to use my own analogy, those Englishmen who imposed Magna Carta on King John in 1215), we ought to rid ourselves of them.

        Talking about value is sleight of hand.  
        Not if they are things you value, e.g. 'resources'. You just don't want to acknowledge not extracting them, or even doing so in ways you approve, also incurs costs.
        •  when I say market value is a sleight of hand I (4+ / 0-)

          think of things such as the time I lived in Brazil where the inflation rate was about 1,000%.

          One day, a cup of coffee was worth 15 minutes of my labor. The next it was worth 30 minutes. What changed? Only perception. Either the perception of what coffee was worth was undervalued in the first place or it was being overvalued in the end.

          The reason we mediate our transactions with money as the quantifier for value is to obfuscate what things really cost. One huge obfuscation in there is labor.

          I'm not saying that nothing should be extracted from the earth. As a part of the natural systems of the planet, we get to consume what we need to thrive. Our definitions of thrive can get skewed, though. Through acculturated messaging we say we "need" things which we don't really need. And we abstractly attach more value to it.

          At the same time, it takes labor to extract any resource  from the earth and to transform it into use. The resource we all have in common is our time. We each have one life to live. It is a span of years, months, days, hours. When we give our time to something, we are giving a portion of our life.

          Yet, we want to say that when one person gives their time to keeping our spaces clean that person is worth less than the person who gives their time to sitting at a desk coordinating a project. By doing so, we skew the value of everything. We don't account equally for the life-time of every person who had inputs into the product or service. So, the value we end up claiming something is worth is an illusion.

          Then, the person who gave their time for cleaning is given less money for their time. So, even though they worked the same number of hours in the same place as someone else, when they buy food, it costs them more of their labor hours than the other person. Same dollar stamp on the food package, but one person had to work a lot harder to be allowed to eat.

          That kind of unfairness is rampant in capitalism. And we all think it's normal. We don't question it. That person whose labor is devalued ends up having a harder time eating, having shelter, getting health care, etc. If they can afford the basics of survival at all.

          Then you have situations where people are not paid anything close to a living wage. Or they are working in mines or factories with low pay and without safety measures. They literally give their lives for the things we want to extract. We don't include that cost in the value of all these things we say we need. So "fair market value" is a mass delusion that we all agree upon in order to implicitly condone who will lose and who will win in the game of life.

          Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

          by UnaSpenser on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 08:26:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't capitalism based on the idea that value is (0+ / 0-)

        subjective?  In that one man's trash is another man's treasure.  The whole point is that in a transaction, all parties give up something they value less for something they value more.  So each party feels like they come out ahead, or at least better off than if they had not made the trade in the first place.

        The earth is a finite resource. At the end of the day, if someone gains control/access over more resources someone else is losing control/access.
        Not when resources are standing idle.  If I find an apple tree growing in my yard, and I trade the apple for other things I need (soap, etc.), I walked away with more than I put in, because I now have both soap and an apple tree.  But now the community has apples as well.  I came out ahead because I was the first to make use of the apple tree, but everyone's better off.  That's what happens when idle resources are put to use.
        Basic physics.  
        No it's not, unless you're assuming that every single resource and unit of energy in the universe is already being put to use or even can be put to use.
        •  if this were an absolute truism, how do we get (4+ / 0-)

          wealthy people and poor people?

          Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

          by UnaSpenser on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 08:33:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  one of the biggest fallacies in capitalist theory (6+ / 0-)

            is that all transactions are done in an unfettered, enlightened way where everybody does what's in their best self-interest, both short- and long-term.

            it is easy to give examples of how a transaction might have benefits for all parties. what is missing in defense of capitalism is discussing what happens when people are stressed or sick or injured or have any number of things which put them in a less than solid position.

            when I was in business school and the economics professor made the claim that the free market works because people always act in their own best self-interest I asked, "how many real people have you met in your life who always act in their own best self-interest?"

            We're human, with all the quirks and flaws that come with that. In a capitalist system, those are things to exploit in one another. Just look at how advertising works. Companies spend millions of dollars to figure out how to tap into a psychological weakness and get people to buy their wares whether it's good for them or not.

            What's missing in capitalism is any concern whatsoever for whether the transaction is actually good for anyone besides yourself. And even the self consideration is often short-term. Look at the history of capitalist behavior. Read about lead in gasoline, for instance, and how a scientist had decades prior how dangerous the presence of lead in gasoline was. Corporations spent tons of money suppressing his voice and manipulating legislators so that they wouldn't have to change their products. Their own health and the health of their families was at just as much risk as anyone else. But it would reduce profits to admit it.

            that's sick. capitalism is an illness which causes you to only see profit. eventually, you're so transformed by it that you're willing to kill yourself for profits. actual self-preservation is replaced by some idea that having more money is self-preservation. that's an auto-immune disorder, when you can no longer determine what real self-preservation is.

            Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

            by UnaSpenser on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 08:49:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Capitalist value theory is based on numerology (3+ / 0-)

              There is a basic theorem of utility theory called the von Neumann-Morgenstern theorem which says that a person's preferences define a utility function provided the preferences meet four conditions ("axioms"). But psychological experiments consistently show that human preferences don't satisfy any of the four axioms -- hence utility functions, the basis of mathematical economic theory, are not actually definable.

              This has never stopped economists from building mathematical fairy castles out of utility functions. It's a kind of Ptolemaic system of epicycles upon epicycles, except that the Ptolemaic system could predict planetary positions to within a few degrees and utility theory really can't predict much of anything. But it allows you to write mathematical-looking papers.

              Human preferences are computed by brains -- but not by using utility functions. They are computed by complex neural networks that process large amounts of contextual and state information (memory). Utility functions would in fact be very "dumb" ways of organizing preferences. Real organisms -- even non-human organisms -- have vastly smarter ways of calculating behavior.

              American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

              by atana on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 10:09:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Of course capitalism is not based upon the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          northsylvania

          idea that value is subjective. You are confusing economic theory with capitalism and they are by no means the same thing. See my discussion below on the notion of value and the distinction between use value and exchange value and what value means in capitalism.

          "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

          by NY brit expat on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 09:31:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Interesting. (5+ / 0-)

      I could grant you the points about common law and sanctity of contracts, but why is property inheritance important to perpetuating a stable system? It would seem to me that inheriting a pile of money or a company would simply perpetuate an existing order, and quite possibly inhibit innovation. Once the majority of wealth accrues to one particular set of people, such as the non-royal aristocracy after the Magna Carta, or the Koch family for that matter, the power in that society follows the money. If the then entrenched power system depends on extraction of wealth through exploitation of resources, those will be run into the ground until they no longer exist. If it depends on exploitation of labour, the expectations of the people doing it must be controlled somehow, either through coercion (and I would argue the NSA was set up to do just that) or through distraction by setting the priorities of one segment of society against another.
      In our current system of Capitalism-as-practiced, this process is unhindered by any regulation to the extent that the well being of much of the planet is at risk. I believe the comparison of our current system to a disease is valid. I have thought of it as similar to cancer in that cells that formerly functioned properly are now growing out of control, thereby killing the entire organism. I now think the analogy to an autoimmune disease is more accurate in that the cells have become trained to attack themselves.

      "The 'Middle' is a crowded place - that is where the effective power is - the extreme right and left might annoy governments, but the middle terrifies them." Johnny Linehan

      by northsylvania on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 02:36:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The issue of value is an interesting one (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Galtisalie, northsylvania

      Since others have responded to other points I will address that. Depending on the economic theory under consideration, value has different definitions and relates to different things.

      In the context of a commodity produced for sale, that commodity has two characteristics.
      1) it has use value; that is it satisfies a need, want or desire. In the absence of that, no one will purchase it and hence it will not be produced;
      2) the commodity has to have exchange value; in the context of capitalism, that means that those that are selling the commodity can sell it at a price upon which they can make a profit on sale. If that does not happen, they will not produce it or try to sell it as they will get nothing above the costs of production. There could happen a situation where an excess of that commodity beyond needs is produced and hence they will not be able to sell it at a price that earns a profit. What will happen? They will produce less or none of it for the next production period and that will reduce supply and if there is demand when brought to market, they will be able to get a price which earns them a profit. If that does not happen, they will not produce it for sale. It will in that case no longer be produced for sale in the market. On the other hand, let's say that there is an insufficient amount of a commodity produced and they are able to sell it above the price where they earn a normal rate of profits. In the next period, capital will flood into the production of that good and more will be produced.

      This comes from Adam Smith and it is his discussion of the law of supply and demand which relates to the question of the relation between market prices, quantities, and natural prices.

      Prices relate to cost of production and the ability to earn a profit on costs and investment advanced. Your description is odd. What increases the standard of living of a nation is not what the GDP is, what increases the standard of living of a nation is the distribution of that product between various classes of society. Smith erroneously believed that as the wealth of nations increased, everyone would benefit. However, looking closely at the wage share and money and real wages during the industrial revolution in Britain, while the wealth of the ruling classes increased tremendously, wages were not linked to productivity.

      It was only the impact of trade unions and the rise of the left which forced the ruling classes to raise wages and hence everyone (across classes) began to benefit from the increase of wealth.

      The issue is private property and its control which relates to the control over the surplus (that product over and above what the economy requires to reproduce itself at the same level; so the product above, replacement of raw materials and capital used up in production, replacement of the working class and ensuring their reproduction, and covering amortisation and depreciation of capital). Everything above that is surplus and that is what is fought over in distribution between wages, profits and rents. The economy is based upon classes and access to capital and land. That conditions power relations, there is not an equal exchange between workers and employers; the workers need wages to survive so their existence depends upon work and wages. They do not control the product they produce, they do not control distribution of the surplus, but they can fight to gain a portion of it. That is the capitalist system, other systems function differently, but I thought your characterisation of the system itself rather odd.

      "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

      by NY brit expat on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 06:02:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  one more point and that relates to exploitation (4+ / 0-)

        in the context of the system. I referred above to the need for capitalists to sell the product at a price above its costs of production. I also referred to the idea of replacing the economy at the same level.

        The workers employed by the capitalists produce the product; part of that product equals the amount going to workers and covers replacement and reproduction of the class, the other things that need to be replaced that are used up in production are raw materials and produced capital goods that are required (think of iron and coal that are needed to produce steel as a final product). Also, the machines that are used in steel production, wear out over time and will need replacement, so a portion of the price or value of product needs to be put aside for that as well.

        The exchange value of the product if sold on the market must be greater than this if the capitalist will continue to produce the product if he/she is to earn a profit. If the commodity or good in a capitalist economy does not do that, why produce it? It is not the use value (or the satisfaction of need that is of importance to the capitalist), it is the exchange value or profitability that conditions production.

        Where does this extra amount of product come from that provides for a surplus above costs? It comes about because workers work more hours than what are needed to produce what they need to ensure their reproduction and the reproduction of the economy at the same level. That is the basis of exploitation. There is no equality or equal exchange going on here. Workers must be able to sell their ability to labour, in the absence of a social welfare state or citizen's income, or they will essentially not survive. For the employer, worker's wages are a cost; for the system as a whole, workers' reproduction ensures that the system as a whole will survive.

        "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

        by NY brit expat on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 06:14:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  the rest of the story... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NY brit expat

    [---we have let capitalists rig every law, every system, every transaction in their favor]

    this is a well written, passionate lament.  however, it leaves a few unanswered questions and one big oversimplification.  this is in the definition of capitalism found here.

    “capital” is a fancy word for money.  capitalism is money organized by banks to allow for trading on an open market in goods and services.  so long as the “open market” exists, capitalism exists.  once that open market is compromised in any way, capitalism ceases to exist, or it can be renamed as a certain “type” of capitalism.  like vulture capitalism, for example.

    no question women are treated badly in many ways.  this suggests two questions.   1)  Why?  and 2)  What needs to be done to correct this?

    the “Why?” is because the human race evolved millions of years age before we invented agriculture that has given us modern culture.  this lead to urbanization and the caste system.  the caste was the unfortunate adaptation of the organizational structure of the clan in large groups.

    urban settings allowed for empires and slavery.  the weaker subjugated by the stronger.  our need to adapt better as a species can change the way this works, and what we need to do to survive as a species.

    and a question, one of several perhaps, since women got the right to vote and AFRICAN-AMERICANS who were once slaves as well, in what way has that improved the voting process to give us better government?

    or the same question in re: a president of african descent?

  •  Now, now...Steve Jobs said it best...... (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    Zadatz

    [url]http://torhershman.blogspot.com/[/url]

    by Tor Hershman on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 05:30:08 AM PDT

    •  Haven't looked at the video ... have no idea (4+ / 0-)

      what is on it. We normally do not hr something unless it is racist, or sexist and/or misogynist, or homophobic or transphobic or ableist. Even in those cases, we call it out and explain to the person why their comment is one or more of the above. We do not even hr for redbaiting which is far more common here (as usually people will not do the former, but redbaiting is common practice in the states). If the video is any of the above, please say so Zadatz and explain why you hr'ed it. If it is a troll, we give warnings and ask them to leave, rather than hr'ing them as we strongly believe in democratic conduct.

      So, if the video is any of the above, please say so and explain the hr Zadatz, if not, please remove the hr. We try to avoid hr in this series. Thank you! If it is a troll, give a scream out to me and I can try and deal with it as a moderator of the series.

      "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

      by NY brit expat on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 06:54:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Capitalism isn't working for billions (5+ / 0-)

    of people, and it's killing the planet. All of the odes to the common law will not justify the failure of capitalism. Things those in power do often are unconscionable, including property distribution and contracts, which capitalists hold as "sacred," as well as the rigging of the money-driven political system. New tumors appear, including corporations and financial scams that leave the powerful unscathed when they fall apart.

    Democracy of the economy means we don't have to accept things the way they were and are. The thing that saves capitalism is divide and conquer, which is what Karl Rove and countless other electioneering and media mercenaries are specialists in and capitalist laws like Taft-Hartley ordain.

    Capitalism is the opposite of global solidarity. Anti-capitalist democratic internationalism with recognition of economic and human rights for all is needed, not odes to the status quo that is global neoliberalism.

    garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

    by Galtisalie on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 06:44:14 AM PDT

  •  What an absolute gem of a sentence this is: (6+ / 0-)
    We don't want to say it out loud, but we all know that capitalism can't exist without losers.
    That puts it in a nutshell!  Thanks for a wonderful, thought-provoking diary, UnaSpenser.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 07:49:20 AM PDT

  •  Patriarchy is the disease: a religious disease. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UnaSpenser, a2nite, NY brit expat

    Capitalism is its metabolic system; competition and warfare are its sacraments.

    American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

    by atana on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 10:28:04 AM PDT

    •  yes, perhaps capitalism is a co-infection to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      atana, NY brit expat

      patriarchy.

      more than one disease can be present.

      For the purpose of my metaphor, I was starting with the assumption that the organism was meant to be a democracy of liberty. If that's the case, then the disease(s) are whatever is impeding it from being the things it is supposed to be.

      Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

      by UnaSpenser on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 10:34:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent dairy (3+ / 0-)

    thank you so much Una. I 'm not a big fan of economic theory discussions just rehash the writings and dueling theories of economists from Adam Smith to Milton  Friedman and of course Marx. These theorist's are so academic and elitist in their own way they make my head spin. I'm a visual artist and I feel the same way about art theory. Don't even get me started on political science and theory.

    Your writing here gets right to the heart of the matter of what is going on with the 'world as we find it'. Capitalism on steroids has eaten any semblance this society had to being a democratic representative republic. It has no regard for the common good or even common laws and universal rights civil or human that people have developed over centuries. To use your analogy we are all suffering from this disease and unable to even recognize we are  sick. Even if we suspect that something is wrong we seem to believe the only antidote the only cure available is ingesting more of what is causing our disease. It's inevitable we believe as we are afraid to enter the unknown. People have throughout history faced this disease just as they have always had to develop ways to keep the body politic healthy and balanced.  

    In reality capitalism is a man made structure that preys on the worst of human instincts and gives power to the most viscous among us. Letting go of fear along with solidarity seems to me the first step at flushing this current virulent global infection out of our system. As my Chinese acupuncturist says 'your out of whack'. Balance is gone and we as people need to shake the disease that's causing this rather then treating the symptoms as if they too are an inevitable part of the human condition.

    I would like to join your group if possible. I have been very leery of 'groups' and electoral politics as of late. I'm paranoid about catching the fear and hopelessness that seems to be an epidemic. I probably need to learn more about the 'theories' were all supposed to be operating on. One things for sure this dairy gave me a big dose of healthful optimism. The kind of overview that makes you see that we can heal ourselves, we do have the power we are the antidote.

    solidarity

    As for your island my first thought was..
    'Take what you have gathered from coincidence'.  By this I mean that while our founding fathers were not democratic or egalitarian the principles embodied in the bill of rights and the other documents those self evident truths are as old as humans are to leave them behind seems like reinventing the wheel.    

    .

    •  I'm also very wary of the academic language (3+ / 0-)

      that can get used when trying to sort out what we find is wrong with the way things are and how we would rather it be.

      There are a mix of us in this group. I learn a lot about some of the academic perspectives. I also learn a lot of history in this group.

      Both offerings enrich my thinking. Still, I synthesize them and convert them into a language which makes sense to me. When I understand them, at all. Sometimes, I read whole paragraphs and have no idea what is being said! And I have a graduate degree in business where economics and finance were my foci. I graduated with highest honors. So, it's not that I'm intellectually incapable. It's that I often find it so removed from how we actually walk through life that I viscerally resist taking in ideas and information that way. It shouldn't be hard for people to talk about how to build a social structure and how transactions happen. If it starts getting hard to understand something is wrong. We're talking about life in the way we live it every day. We're not talking about quantum physics and that which is beyond our senses.

      I'll send you an invitation to the group. It's a very lovely group of people.

      Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

      by UnaSpenser on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 11:05:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Shaharazade are you talking about (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade

      joining the ACM or the island that UnaSpenser wrote about? If the ACM, please send me a request for invite.

      "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

      by NY brit expat on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 04:36:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  misogyny and racism (4+ / 0-)

    Fabulous and thoughtful essay. I particularly appreciate how you explain that both misogyny and racism necessarily flourish under capitalism.

  •  Beautifully written (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NY brit expat, shaharazade

    and conceived.

  •  Precisely right (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, UnaSpenser, Chi

    This is explained very well by Rianne Eisler.  Capitalism must have it's losing classes.  Correct.  That is because it's a top-down structure with a small percentage at the top with most of the power.  So naturally you need "in" groups and "out" groups.  That's where racism and sexism come in.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 09:01:18 AM PDT

  •  About your exercize (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi

    Where do you begin? What's the first topic of discussion? How do you organize the discussions so that all 150,000 people can participate and come to agree to the social structure which gets devised?
    ==============

    Where do you begin?  I think we begin by agreeing to a core set of values that must be inclusive of everyone and lead to a society with a relatively "flat" structure.  

    The first topic of discussion would have to be the set of values.

    Getting 150,000 to participate is challenging.  I think the only answer would be something like a social networking system.  Obviously, getting 150,000 people into a town hall to vote is ridiculous.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 09:47:20 AM PDT

  •  Powerful. eom (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NY brit expat

    "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." -- JC, Matthew 6:24

    by Chi on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 05:36:36 PM PDT

  •  Excellent diary! (0+ / 0-)

    I just now read it. Really, really thought-provoking, comprehensive and well written.

    “While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary.” ― Chinua Achebe . . . {Economic Left/Right: -9.12 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.77}

    by diomedes77 on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 12:13:11 PM PDT

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