Saturday, March 16, 2013

hdden aspect stuff

     The "hidden aspects" of the economy  (  ) . That would be all the hidden things we don't know. But the hidden things are not part of the "rhetorical" side so no one knows about it. Humans are cultural animals. They go where their culture tells them to go. They are not truly creative. I don't think it is really that they are so creative or that they are constantly going where they want to go. I do not think that life works that way.
     In the field of economics there has been a capture of the human thought system. The practice of creative thought has been captured and tamed. There is a specific program of economic disinformation. It is "specific" because this has all been worked out, quite well, and with many economists intentionally contributing their  shovel of dirt. You can be very sure you will therefore end up being oriented towards the accepted norm, the approved norm, which is some kind of establishment or right-wing view. Well, usually. Or neo-liberal, or conformist or whatever you call it --- the norm, the normal position. You might call that the missionary position in economics. The result? Well. We are unfamiliar with "hidden aspects."
     But also, it is because we just simply don't seem to be smart enough. There is not necessarily just ONE reason. Actually, there is a lot to be said about it.  
     [ -This blog, Ethx, tells us what German students do! 25% of them are self-medicating, taking brain stimulants - or not, depending on who you believe, and whether you believe everything you read! Why am I including this!!?]

     In most subject fields (academic disciplines) there are indeed actual "discussions." "Conversations." But in the discipline of economics you will not find that. It is not easy. The economists did a total capture, and --- sorry, Charlie. Sunkist only accepts the same old routine. But you knew that, right?
     Therefore, to discuss economics it is not some much  economic science you need to discuss, but the nature of propaganda and rhetoric. To understand why the economics discussion has not been truthful is difficult. It has been, really, quite a problem for me to get at. We may ask this. Why did economics as a science positively need to avoid the truth? It's a fascinating area. Could capitalism ever have even developed at all, without this avoidance, this refusal to know itself? Was there an absolute need to accompany the rise of capitalism itself with what is sometimes called the "superstructure," or with its rhetoric, its ideology? That is an issue that could be opened up and discussed. It could be looked into a little. A little more. It won't kill ya. Or are we still slaves to our deluded minds?
 (see this LINK: http://jacksgreatblog.blogsrent-i-something.html).

note: thanks to Arjo Klamer and Dierdre for inspiration

and finally: this one, like the other one under it, was added by resourcing an old "draft" post and posting it. This blog is actually defunct. But I allow myself to re-write or edit old posts. I found this one and it seems to hold together pretty well. Arjo is tryng to have a "conversation" with other persons. This is on some webpage or other of his, and I sent him a "contact form" message. I already browsed off of the website where he was inspiring me. So I cannot tell you the address. Thanks so much Arjo, Deirdre and Ziliak, you wonderful conversationalists.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

German Economic Hubris

[This was saved on the blog website as an unpublished draft. I let it surface today, Aug. 23]

Various European countries are having crises not just one country. The WSJ reports that maybe even Germany. Wow. Even "honest" frugal Germany. Heavens! What next? If even "innocent" self-righteous G. is having problems then maybe everyone is. Maybe everyone is 'only human.'
     My view is that capitalism is a system of reciprocity, and if this is the case then capitalism is not a system of mere egotism. My view is that the acts of capitalism are therefore less private or "self"-oriented than is usually indicated. The problem is basically ideological, not rational. So, you will notice how they (practically everybody, certainly the mainstream and many of the elite) always try to tell us that capitalism is about something like "self" or "private property." Do they not say this? Is there anyway to oppose or resist such prevalent ideological conditioning? Or is 'the big lie' impossible to fight against.
     For example, why not say that capitalism is about interconnection? That works too, doesn't it? Logically, that would work just as well. The best case that capitalism has an inherent nature of reciprocity would be to picture an the actual world situation. ("Imagine," if you are J.L, musical hero, a picture of the world.) See the world, then. See the picture of the world. In accord with such a picture, every individual (note here that an alternative would be "individual country") ought to depend on others. This is actually the truth: capitalism has always been reciprocal; we just don't know it. We do not picture it that way. When we observe, without our old ideological blinders, we now notice that the capitalistic players (as a general rule) do not (ought not) retreat into 'privacy.' But they also prefer ideological misinterpretations of reality, so that, in the real world of thought practice and ideas, they achieve another wish that they have, which is to avoid acknowledging the interdependence that is actually inherent in the capitalistic system. And should they be so extreme so as to actually retreat into a real, as well as an ideological, private place, even if they do, even if we consider that they did retreat into privacy, those individuals represent only themselves. It is a big world out there, and they do not thereby change the nature of capitalism. My view here, you see, is that, without interdependence, no capitalism. however, that is what they are trying not to face, or admit.
     Private property is there; I am not trying to say that no such thing exists. It does not exist. It is an element of the overall reality we live in. But it just does not explain the success of capitalism. You can say that private property is important. It is certainly important in society; it is important in capitalist society. Individuals do exist. I am not saying they do not exist. But to try to explain capitalism as "individual profit-seeking" or something is not terribly fulfilling (to me), and it causes us to lose sight of an important aspect of it, which is interpedendence and sociality. Instead, we could and should introduce a new emphasis on these particular aspects. So, that's my "news" for you about capitalism and ideology. The news: capitalism is sociality. 
     So, I would say  that individuals alone do not explain capitalism. I agree that we ought to admit that they are there but this emphasis on "the individual" is not really so helpful. It is not sufficient, you need something else. If, by "capitalism," we mean the general type of society we have, in some of the countries of the world, then life in those countries is capitalistic, yes, but that does not imply individualistic.
      There is the fact that many persons want it to be individualistic. But this type of society that we have in these countries is not particularly individualistic: it is capitalistic.
     And the "something else" we need to understand these types of capitalistic societies as lies at the heart of  reciprocity in capitalism. There is a lot more to be said about this reciprocity. No one should be excused from it -- no not even Ms. Merkel is excused, merely because they do not get it.

The deepest manifestation of such reciprocity, the most important manifestation that we seek to explain or appreciate is not the actual trading event (which are rather boring in themselves). It is a 'sociality' (if I may use this as a legitimate word that I like to say), a reciprocity that bleeds out irresistibly into the fabric of things and becomes a part of society, the heart of the society, what keeps all of us going. (It isn't the individuality that keeps us going.) All attempts to repudiate that fly in the face of this social reality. However, the trading event itself can be called a mere individual act. I do not have a disagreement with that, but there are an enormous number of trading events; we are not talking about just one. Thus, it is true that one does not make a deep social bond with the butcher, when you buy a piece of meat, or with the vegetable man when you but a piece of lettuce from the veggie areas of the economy-----if you are a vegetarian. Individual acts of exchange do not seem to be at the core of what I am talking about here as reciprocal (social). No, it is the society, not the individual that I am talking about ---- and capitalism is social, dammit, they just aren't telling us the truth. The truth is that capitalism enters world history in a sense that is always reciprocal----a capitalist society. It is interdependent; human society is reciprocal in any case! Capitalism is an element in that, and reflects it. That will always be the case until we have a form other than capitalism.
     By nature society is reciprocal. That is the meaning of "social," a term in the language. Thus, we have to introduce the term "society" when we introduce the term "economics." What 'they' did ideologically was just the opposite. They chose the opposite way to do things. Rather, I would suggest that we now put those two (meaning, society and economics) together----they need to go together. It gets a bit complex here, with this stuff about "ideology." For me, this is quite difficult, and I think others share this opinion. But, at any rate, we can discover a new way of seeing, in regard to the subject matter that falls under the category of economics, and that means a new way of seeing where we see that "capitalism" means "social interdependence" not "individuality." So, I guess there is a kind of choice there and I am trying to link capitalism with society, not with individuality or individualism or any of the other similar terms or cast of ambivalent terms ('entrepreneur'), which in turn allows us to cast capitalism as significantly "social." It's a very different and I suppose, new way of looking at this. (A definite point of view.)

    [older material follows that has not yet been re-written]: Let us now carry on in the lively tradition of the fine rhetorician Donald Rumsfeld (who insists on remaining gendered as a male). Let's say, then, that capitalism is "embedded" within a particular society (today that would read: embedded within the global society). Capitalism is economics. It is also social, and located in the context of a society. (Of course we do not actually know where the "Location of Culture" is...Bhabha!!)
     Put differently: capitalism needs to integrate with society. There is nothing wrong with that. Society and capitalism can live together. We do not have to see capitalism as individualistic. But were it not so framed it goes sour. It is no longer humane. Those are my views.
     Here, I have a habit of using the following example: If the whole matter is that of a picture in a frame society is like the frame, slightly larger than capitalism. The frame has to be a biit larger than the picture. The two complement one another, but also the frame is slightly larger.
     In this view, "capitalism" and "society" are fairly close to each other. (It also depends on whether we choose to look at it like that, or adopt some other ideology!) Now I see capitalism as a humane system ---- a system with some potential that should be worked with, not destroyed, and what we see is that only if our society displays the quality of reciprocity does our capitalism have a chance.
    That's why capitalism did so well in the US. The society let it embed and framed it. It happened that way also in Venice (you could say that's going back a ways, but I figure it may be relevant as Venice is called one of the central capitalist cities, by Braudel [Fernand B.]). Later, there were cities in Holland, there was the city of London, and, finally, famous New York, N.Y. No doubt you can go there. Go to New York City. You'll see this. You are going to see capitalism surrounded by a society ---- and not separate from it.
                                 -            -             -             -               -               -
When Merkel says her capitalism is her concern, hers alone, what a sick and lonely song. And what an old tune, really. It is an old song; It's an old story. And what is it?----it is plaintive and it is pathetic. My property. Leave me alone. I am not linked to you.

I think otherwise. I think maybe we are linked, after all. Good night, as ____  said, and Good luck.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

July 28, 2012 11:00PM

In capitalism we buy and sell things, that's the gist of it. An entire culture does this. There you go. Now you are capitalist. What happens when the world does this? It is capitalistic. Today we have a capitalistic world (globalization). Hoo-Ha. Why it is a cause for celebration I'm not sure.
    Why everybody started buying and selling things to one another in the first place is, I think, a matter that it is kind of complicated. There is not just one reason [insert descending pitch effect]. I know that is a disappointment to you, but we have to start somewhere so let's find a place. In fact let's pose a question:
    How'd we come to depend more and more upon the merchants, which is to say, the group of persons who engage in trade? They say that, today, even politics and nationalism are eclipsed by globalization, the merchant class, the so-called "bourgeoise." One answer to the question of why trade became so important is that there were more things to trade. OK, that may not be the only, or the best, answer but it's a starting point and the topic is an extremely tangled and complicated thing. To get at... So, although that is just one answer, for one question, it will have to do. For now... Now we shall discuss this in a way that is linked with technology since many of the cutting-edge purchases today are technology. They are electronics purchases for example. And I will discuss all of that for one paragraph - OK, maybe two. But just a short second one, if I need to -- that's it.

     Once technology becomes available the motivation that persons have is that they buy the technology because they want power; they want to get more powerful in some way. Technology is sold for  the purpose of making persons more powerful. How does that work? Let's see...OK: in the sense that each time I buy a gadget or add on more "power" to a device I already have and each time I build a new software program in order to dominate a new market, it is always power, that's how I figure it. There are two persons involved. This is trade, not power of violence, not warfare this time. This time around, in trade, you have yer seller. He (or she) gives up some tech device and gets a bit of money; the buyer, who buys the technology, she gets that old power surge, as I believe I mentioned, above. Each buyer,  who buys things, is trying to become more powerful. That is the motivation for buying things, technologically speaking, you see. Not so different from the earlier phases, or the early days of trade. Nope---it was the same: persons may have acquired or purchased spices, silk, and so on instead of tech devices with more 'gigs.' But they were the same people with the same motivation of power---that you kin be sure about. The persons who make one another more powerful are the capitalists. They are engaged in a mutual benefit process. In the older way, that of warfare, only one person only wins. In that older method there is something that is quite different, a quite different institution, that of the---warriors.
    So there it is, readers! We trade not to kill but to become more powerful. And traders want power. Not the only answer, maybe, but...its' an answer. Huh?

July 28, 2012

Persons are afraid to put up ideas or controversy on the web because they think they will DIE. They think the government will KILL them.

July 27, 2012 (2nd posting)

"ork in a capitalist society is a conflicted and contradictory phenomenon, never more so than in hard times. We simultaneously work not enough and too much; a labor famine for some means feast for others. The United States has allegedly been in economic “recovery” for over two years, and yet 15 million people cannot find work, or cannot find as much work as...they would like. At the same time, up to two thirds of workers report in surveys that they would like to work fewer hours than they do now ..."

-this awesome bit of text was from "Jacobin" republished on 'Prose Before' site ... ...

To continue, then: "The grueling toil of the Amazon warehouse is certainly hard; so too, in a way, are the 80 hour weeks and intense stresses of a Goldman Sachs trader. Yet the former can hardly be said to be healthy or improving for the human spirit, while the latter only creates wealth for the few and economic chaos for the rest of us."

Interesting point? That both occupations are grueling, contradictory, and conflicted elements of the way persons have to work, in this world. One damages the persons working, the other damages the world.

This is not what Deirdre McCloskey calls "rhetoric" because it simply gets at truth. Or I should say that the rhetorical element does not dominate entirely. While it has rhetoric (and Deirdre says that most writing does) it also has something else --- there must be something else other than rhetoric, for as soon as we say "rhetoric" (and Deirdre McCloskey says "rhetoric" more effectively than anyone) instead of "language" we admit (or imply) that that is not all there is to "language." (Because: why else would we need another word ---- why is there an alternate language word?) We could have said "language" but we said "rhetoric." I think there is a little bit more to it than rhetoric sometimes. But of course "rhetoric" is an interesting topic too, especially in McCloskey's book "The Rhetoric of Economics." This means that rhetoric is something we can talk about, too. Say it. "Rhetoric." What is it? Well, it seems a bit like "knowing your audience." It is where you know who you are speaking to. You know your audience. Even as you speak to them and address them you are also thinking about how to use language. My opinion is also that there is the matter of writing to the "best reader," or penultimate witness. An author has in mind the witness (the author herself perhaps being ultimate) to the text, when he or she writes the. McCloskey, for example, is aware in her book on the rhetoric of economics, that economists are writing to academic audiences. But writing to a more general "best reader" goes one step better.
     Such an audience - the best reader - encapsulates what is most profound and noble about being alive in one's peculiar environment.

This text I choose for today's blogposting activity is about contradictions of employment.

As long as human beings hate one another and compete against one another and work against nature itself it is daft nonsense to talk out of both sides of your mouth this utter blather that capitalism is "amoral" ---- and we discussed all that, on this blog a few days ago.
     Machines are amoral. There is no case to be made where one asserts that humans are. They aren't. And if humans are not amoral, how could capitalism be? Capitalism is after all operated by humans. Capitalism may be a big machine, that is true. It is quite true that it represents a mechanical dimension that we need to include in our evaluations of life.. The mechanical part, however, has to function in tandem with human parts (didn't the Tin Man need a heart?). Capitalism functions ---- for awhile. It works, despite the wretchedness of human race --- and that is because yes capitalism is a machine but a machine that consists of (and is based on, is made of, and includes) humans (see Robert Owen, early 19th cent). Mr. Sloan said that Bain Capital is free to do whatever it takes and he pointed out how the idea was just to make money. He merely tells us about himself. What does he show us about himself? He shows us his moral bankruptcy. He shows that he has nothing to say. Nothing to say,  that is, on the subject of morality.
     What does some robot drone have to say about morality? The actual title of that piece was: My last word on the private equity political debate. He is slamming the door on us. His "last word." It is like he is stating his dirty little philosophy, then slamming the door walking out of the room. You know, ...
     ...I much prefer the other one, on "ork" ...........

Lady Gail and Lady Bird

     My blog is having days of getting as many page views as 41 or 42. The popularity of the internet is really blossoming, and like a piece of beef on a shishkebob skewer I am taken along in the stream. And this is my review of Gail Collins' book, which is not called Tejas.

                                            Book Review - Gail Collins

     Lyndon Johnson, whose name I always thought acceptable -- rather nice -- had a wife with an unusual name ... Lady Bird.
     Now I realize it was a kind of Texas thing (which is what I suspected in my so-called subconscious or "invisible mind").
     This is a state of individuals who say things like "Howdy," and, "there's going to be a crisis boiling point." That latter is an actual quote thing, something they actually said, and that's just the beginning. (reported in Gail Collins' book, about Tejas)
     Americans are not terribly sophisticated in their use of language. And, many of us talk a little roughly. And we all seem to think we are 'equal.' This is one of our charming national characteristics: talking trash and being equal. Howdy.
     I know I have written pieces with slang and vernacular.
     I know I have done that, but Texans have simply been walking backwards longer than most of us have.

     I drove across Texas once. I drove from the eastern part (Galveston) all the way to New Mexico, and I noticed Texas people think they are being "big," or something. They have a real affinity for the larger than life or the super-sized. 
     I think this is connected with industrialization. The arrogance of industrialized civilization is now causing almost every day to go to 90 degrees, or higher where I live.    

     Arrogant life kills normal life... ...

     But Texans are also extremely cute, according to Gail Collins. She always makes it seems so, in her new book, published by Harper and Row, or Simon, or Norton, or whoever it was ... it is the book that proves, on paper, that Texans are cute, after all. Real cute stuff. Bad - but also cute!
     I heartily endorse the book, though, since I enjoyed reading the first part of it. It is a book equipped with a money-making, grammatically poor title. The cover: (1) a large white cowboy hat tops awkwardly the Washington Monument in D. C. But wait!!! I have a crisis boiling point!!! Why is a white hat topping off the Washington monument? Why not a black hat? That would be good -- what, in general, makes us choose one thing over another? Why not a black hat? I think there's a very major issue there. A big one, but not big merely out of the deluded arrogance of Texas. Are we playing good cop-bad cop with the color of the hat? Thanks for the book, little Gal!

(1) As Texas Goes... [exact copy except italicized of the book title, iterated in large letters on said cover]