Monday, February 21, 2011

Economic Theory-1

It may be proper now for me to say a little about a theoretical alternative among theories of capitalism --- this I would locate in the discourse of economics, and, specifically, international trade. (It is sometimes better to read my blogs chronologically, the earlier blogs first, so maybe I can label some later blogs "Economic Theory-2 or 3, etc., so that the reader can find a thread to follow chronologically.) I arrived at this theoretical alternative within the discourse on economics as a result of an insight into international trade, which is to say the trade in goods between one society and another----perhaps between the rich societies and societies that are much less wealthy.

I think that the correct approach as far as the overall way that capitalism affects our lives is to think of it as a giant public structure. It is, as we know, "global," and, it is a structure that involves all of us in the developed world, and, not only that, it involves the victimized, exploited countries too.

I think that we do not merely need to see economics as the "aggregate"
(aggregate is a favorite economics term, in common use) outcome of the actions of
of individuals. That is just an ridiculous attempt to make it seem as if these individuals are not connected to one another, in the first place, and thus, they are supposedly only involved in their own private, personal self-interest.

But that is just not capitalism. The personal self-interest theory of capitalism is therefore ideological and false (just to give one example of the absurdity involved in all this---there are nations. But I guess the persons who framed economic theory never thought of that).

The personal self-interest or private self-interest theory says that capitlaism is something that it is not, which is to say it is an erronious description. The problem is that a wrong view of that sort leads to eventually to an impasse.
Does "self-interest" exist? Yes, I will admit it does, and, it might be nice to investigate how self-interest works within capitalism. Self-interest exists. It is there existentially. The concept certainly may be defined and elaborated on in dictionaries, and philosophised about and so forth. That does not however mean that it is the main thing or only thing in capitalism. So, once again, the problem is that we have gotten into the wrong ideas about capitalism and we seem to be stuck there.
It's all very ideological. Once again, we can certainly find self-interest, in nature. Of course. We do not want to try to state that it is not there. But we also do not want to state that self-interest is all there is. As as a student of economics at a graduate school, the term came up in a fundamental way, because it was embedded as a core assumption in the theoretical justifications within the course material, specifically the textbooks. I could never make any sense of it. In any consideration of economics, self-interest should not have this central role. This concept should not be a front-line concern. It is not on the "cutting edge" of concerns in any dynamic sense, for self-interest is only one component in capitalism, and not the most dynamic one. Maybe self-interest should be more of a background theme. It isn't the theme we need. So, let's lose it, then.
If we do that, we could come to see capitalism in a new way---a much different way. This is what I have achieved, myself. This also enables us to completely get rid of the standard trope that says "do not interfere in the dynamism of markets" and so on. We come to see capitalism as a public structure. Once we see it this way, it makes no sense to say that a public structure, i.e. capitalism should not "interfere" in itself. To say that capitalism is a public structure is, also, not to say that it is not private in some ways, too. It does not need to be formalized as a public structure. It is one, whether we realize it in theory or fail to and run around believing ideological nonsense. Formally and publicly saying that capitalism has important social components, or that it is a giant public structure, might sound similar to socialism, so, that helps us understand why it was so important to frame capitalism according to an incorrect (superstructural ideology or) theory. At any rate, aside from these important questions of how ideology functions in a society, it does exist, which is to say already, as a social event, not as an exclusively private one.

Now that we have gotten that all straightened out, we can appreciate the possibilities for (and I will say it straightforwarly) intervention. We can appreciated the benefits that can come from intervention. We can now see how powerful intervention could be since intervention is not a problem, once we see capitalism as vitally public. We now see capitalism as only incidentally -- or provisionally -- private or self-interested. We now see that capitalism is a public issue more than some private thing that is somehow "aggregated" by the theorist in order to make sense in theory. The whole notion of capitalism as being "private" is simply ideology. It is the very power of capitalism that made this ideological trope necessary.

In this regard, let me note also that the whole practice of using the terms "public" and "private" strikes me as curious. Economics, after all, is the study of how a society divies up available resources. So, isn't that public? But no, capitalism is "private," the economist says. Yet, as I just said, economics is by definition a matter involving at least two persons, so it ought to be seen as public in any case. So, we get this odd language use of "private sector" and "public sector," which does nevertheless seem to make good sense, once we know what we are talking about. But the problem with these terms is, once again, an ideological one. The terms "public", "social", and "private" seem mixed up in some kind of an ideological stew. Capitalism is actually a spontaniously and informally public system, wherein all kinds of persons operate in markets and trade and create profits.
But we cannot do anything of use in economics if we have been completely captured by ideology. Whic is a depressing subjct. At any rate, seeing capitalism in terms of its public elements is something I am trying to prime the reader for. Seeing capitalism's public aspects is a real possibility. I have been doing it this way for years, but I would appear to be the only one. (Also kind of sad.)
Such an new vision would, certainly, entail finding an alternative to the usual way of seeing things so that instead of always, always, always seeing the private or self-interested elements in the thing, we could get to a more correct view. What would happen is that we would now have an alternative to seeing things as the more normative and orthodox ideology "commands" us.

Therefore we have been trained, by ideology, to frame this whole thing in the wrong way.

Economics---we may also substitute the word "capitalism"---is both public AND private. I should not think this is so very difficult to admit, although perhaps I have overlooked a more compelete discussion of the grandness of American capitalism's accomplishment, in denying just the very thing that was true all along.

(As for the stuff in international trade, I guess that'll have to wait for a later posting on this blog.)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

When does capitalism benefit society?

What makes for a good capitalistic society? And what makes a capitalistic society not a good one---what makes that kind of a society no good?

The answer is so obvious. But we do not know because ideology has obscured our understanding of this.

A good capitalistic society is one that has a good government taking care of it.

That is a very simple explanation. To understand this, it is not necessary that you be a PhD. Capitalism without government is impossible. A silly, unreal idea. We nevertheless hear such silliness more and more, because these modern day Republican corporatists, or public labor thieves, for example the Governor of Wisc.?---only understand the ideology, not the real economics as it is.

The question is that of when capitalism benefits the society within which it is contained---the society that it dwells within. It benefits that society when some over-arching force is doing its job. Things is(?), you cannot assume that it just happens automatically, which is the silliness.  They'll say, "through the magic of the market," right? What are the possibilities for our understanding what this overreaching, over arching force is that must be there? First of all, it could be nature. There could also be a temporary period where society is stable and successful because of market forces pure and simple (I do not really think so but for the sake of argument we'll offer that it is a possibility). Or, again, the overall benefit we are talking of can come about because it is the government that is the over-arching force. It can happen in any of those ways but in each case there is always something "outside," so to speak. Capitalism is never autonomous. There is some "other" factor we have to take into account. It is not "just capitalism". We do not know here, however, what it is that we mean by "just capitalism" or "mere capitalism itself."

So, these boundaries are what need to be explored. This is to say that there is always something "outside of the market." Again, there seems to be a smaller "market" versus the bigger market situation, which seems a matter of context and casting or something; and I have never seen a serious discussion of what is actually meant by "market." It is a bit difficult to stipulate that a given phenomenon is outside capitalism or whether it is within capitalism, or the same for the word "market": outside of, or within?---markets? Is there a market for the stars in the sky?

Our thesis is that something else outside of mere capitalism itself has to govern capitalism. But really....Should that be so hard to understand? Capitalism exists within society but is somewhat less than society. In other words the terms are not coterminous: capitalism is a socially-linked system of human affairs, we can say. Therefore, not mere individualism. Therefore, not the mere aggregate of the individuals. But it is not totalistic either, because it is, we can say (using Bart Kosko's "fuzzy logic") "a bit smaller" than society.

Somehow it has to be "a bit smaller." "Society" is the biggest designation. It means the totality of human relations, in some human population. Now, I admit, capitalism is big too. I do say that "capitalism is social," but still, "capitalism," it turns out, should not be confuted with "society." But at the present juncture in history, capitalism is a bit pretending it is---pretending that it is just as big as society, hence I hear from the dean of my continuing education English comp. class telling me that IU has a good "product." Even hospitals, today, are the market system or market syndrome.

But, in the words of John and Taupin --- "it's impossible."

Or, as Buddy Holly said, "that'll be the day that I die." Or that we die.

Economics: The Lesson from TA

"TA" is "travel America" of [see comment below] something. It's like a truck stop.

Want to see the pure free-market? OK, go to the sort of commercial zone, like they have at a U. S. military base. Or go to the truck stop on a big, long highway -- the interstate one -- the refueling station they call "TA." I recommend the one in West Gallup, New Mexico where I stopped on my way somewhere some time back.

I would opine that anyone intelligent enough to spit into a tin can would find it hard to find anything socially redeeming about hellishly superficial, neon-lit "commercial" zones like these. ANd military bases contain the same localized explosions of what we should definitely not call "economics." Economics is something social. It cannot exist in isolation. Economics --- or capitalism --- always has to be connected to something. If not government, then something.

Are such places really examples of economics? Is that kind of idea viable? There is no "pure free market." The very phrase does not make sense. Bit the closest you can get (since it is a social fact that we believe the free-market ideology) are these "experiments" in the impossible---in pure free markets at places like the TA in West Gallup or these tiny neon-lit zones on military bases where potato chips go up on sale (where infinity goes up on trial - sang Dylan). And these places revulse one.
(the spell-checker says "revulse" not a word. I though it was. Guess I'm not in the mainstream?)

I would like to repeat that there is no pure free market. It's a fantasy that can exist, say, in books, but explanations of the existence of pure free markets are phony. They exist, however, precisely because they are created in a spirit of duplicity and malice.

No economy can exist that way.

Friday, February 18, 2011


we exist in culture. We live in culture.
People need a culture.
What we have to confront here is the fact that people need a culture.

What of a certain phrase we see sometimes, by which I mean "business culture"? What is this? -- outside of a clever use of language what is this?

"Business culture" is universal: a culture for everyone, but, just by that same token, one that is not really a culture.

But, quite aside from what business magazines or mainstream textbook writing may describe as "business culture," there actually is one after all.

It is essential to distinguish between two things: when the mercantile/"business" process satisfies human needs, and when it does not.

78 (3)

And I once again awaken to the Black Arts of "Newsradio 78."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Outpot Log; for February 17

..........Today's Output: Poetry

Its hard to make it
Its hard to turn a rake
into a snake
Its hard to kiss the potato
Its hard to be at peace,
when everyone's at war. It's
hard to like your kitchen floor


The king claimed all the land, up to a certain border, after which was the land of some other king.
The Pope examined his knuckle bone then discovered his bellybutton. Briefly, he turned his attention to the Mexican problem, then he prayed for the Algerians. And the African-Americans.


...By the nineteenth century, science and learning, followed by revolution, seemed to have changed Europe.
...Even just from photographs we can see the difference by 1830---and more so by 1900. Most everyone seems to agree that the 20th century was a century of great upheaval. On that most agree.
...Science, education, "the enlightenment," and the spectre of Revolution----it all means "change". Appearances however are deceiving. Although all of these forces came together to create certain things, yet everything remains the same. Even to this day.
...America more than anywhere else bespeaks of the twin totems of "innovation" and "change".
...Yet, all of the power and democracy of the U. S. - or America (excluding Canada, Mexico and South America) - has only been used, in the end, to make the rich richer----and the military ever more violent.
...When the Egyptians had to make revolution, they did it themselves, with no help from the U. S. A.

Wittgenstein's Masseuse

There is what is called the "star."

Our heroes are no longer warriors, or Kings. Neither rabbis are they, nor priests. Our big shots are not military heroes but businessmen. The president of G-Sachs is a bigger individual than the president. The big person is the star -- the big shot in capitalism.

Whether it is a black person in the ghetto, or a Japanese person in a bathhouse, or the Lexus on the Autobahn (?), all eyeballs rotate towards the one with the biggest number of an abstraction. Everyone wants to be the big person -- the big shot is simply he who has $ and can rent the...motel room and drive the luxury motorbike.

In this kind of national condition, everyone has the same goal...

it is lowest common denominator living and if this is truly what we are about...

then words have lost their value...

Newsradio 78 (2)

--Poem: This Time Silence Wins

I again awaken to "Newsradio 78"

There is fascism in your breath as
You pant and advertise. And
As you say, "this is the ultimate." And
I turn off the radio

I was turning it off anyways. And
As I did so it's last frantic words were
"this is the ultimate." Wowie zowie. What
the other day evoked my interest, analysis,
speculation and editing and re-editing
is, today, only boring

February 17, 2011

Money is just phony numbers. Money is merely an abstraction. It is number; and the practice of finance and banking has hammered this fact home.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

78 (1)

.. ..
The fleshy jungle injected its virus word, like a third mind, under my skin and into my morning awareness. And I wake up hearing "Newsradio 78." I had set the alarm to it. It's a radio station, A.M. band. The station has a sound to it, as expressed by its AM radio "voice" -- expressed by the voice of the individual newscaster -- all the newscasting voices on "78" seem to me to create one particular effect.

There's a little thing called "tone" that I was studying -- this means in my university writing class, and the station is one that has its own particular timbre or wavelength -- voice of newscastery tone.

They sound like they are, and very kindly, inviting you to an affair. Although they make this impression I know, for sure, that only certain folks are going to be let in, to the soiree.

I really don't think that they would let me into that party, which---Ha! ha!---doesn't even exist.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"Reform Capitalism" Department

The first thing we have to do is defend OUR system. We have to solidify the basis of our liberties, freedoms, our democracy; and also make a more socially justified variety of "capitalism."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Position Politically

I have been looking at a few blogs and I thought I should express my position politically. There are for example conservatives, the there is the business establishment, there is the Left, and so one. There are certainly a plethora of other groups. So, I guess one must state one's position. So, then what do I say, about my, Um---"position" ----"politically"? Alright, I'm not sure what those words mean, and so I put them in quotes but it is standard language.

Most of these blogs I saw have some definite point of view. For ex., i was one from the "Austrian School." (SEE auto comment in comment box for correction!)

OK. Where then do I stand?

I think the society of the contemporary capitalist world or "the developed, democratic world," is plural. That means different viewpoints.

Left and right are both alright. Everyone has the right to their different ideas.

I am not a leftist because I do not seek to destroy or squeeze out the right. I don't care; I don't take a side. I don't have an axe to grind.

What I do think is that we ought to be open to ideas from both sides.

But I do not stop there. I have more to say...

I think the right are frustrated. They are feeling squeezed. They do not get their way so the word is "frustrated.' They have their point of view. But the world does not work according to that point of view. The world just does not seem to have gone the way of the conservative. We cannot just let some weird representative of a rightist fantasy have power. If we elected someone like Bush, that leader would not resolve the underying problems we have. If we elected the weird kind, like Sarah Palin or Glen Beck or someone, what they would do would have nothing to do with the real world. That would not work, to put it mildly. So we need a basically "liberal," "Progressive" type of set of policies, but not because those are "right." Nothing is "right" in the absolute sense. A society like ours tolerates so many diverse opinions; but you cannot rule out of diversity. There is only one government at a time.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Expert Book Review

Newt Gingrich has had any number of forays into the publishing arena. I don't really like him much; I think he's nuts. I know the man writes, though, because I saw the one where he "embraced," --- we suppose --- environmentalism and put together expert-sounding sentences -- about sea turtles. (I photocopied the sentence: --- autistic people tend to focus very was just such a funny thing to me: such a funny, ridiculous, idiotic thing going into detail, comparing species of sea turtles and then having to decide grammatically whether to use the plural or the singular, or the possessive or something. In my little world, it's like a classic sentence on the sea turtle situation from Mr. Gingrich and his co-author, some guy named Martin, the import of which is that some sea turtle species are doing well and some are not doing well) But the book I plucked out of those on the library shelf last time, a novel, was "1945." Not that I have any right to dis him or anything (ha ha) but it is such a clever title. Ging and his co-author (both "historians" the flyleaf or inside cover says) depict a world --- an alternative world --- in which the great war (two) is over and there are TWO superpowerz. Again, what a clever notion --- that there could be two superpowers. Wowie-zowie. But, not that it is a right-ward tilt or anything, but the two are Germany, under Nazism, and the good ol' U.S., natch.

The American part in the war gets put off a few years, you see, so Gingrich can control it when it happens.

The book is full of action: "Admiral William 'Bull' Halsey's face turned to stone as he recognized the other person awaiting him in the Office of the Army Chief of Staff"

His face turned to stone. What a sentence. Wowie zowie.

If only, if only, if only....Gingrich's world is "alternative."

It is as if there is no material weight; it is as if saying is as good as doing; and, I can live on fantasy

because I Well---I am Newt. And you are NOT.

Jest having fun.

Google/Blogspot does not cut-and-paste? I had to paste this url into the subject box. Which is called a title box. (by THEY)

I think Blogspot is SOOOOO lame.
Mubarak's top aides and family — including his son Gamal, widely viewed as his intended successor — told him he could still ride out the turmoil. (only a short excerpt from the good article url'ed above)

OK, try it now, fans:

I had to use "Edit Html." But I stick with what I said about Blogspot. I suppose I am endangering my future existence as a capitalistic human being by saying something that will no doubt not endear THEY to ME.

I saw this big-money actress/fake punk rock star talk about how she loves some band apparently called "the Haters." It's all so ha-ha-ha.

Anyway, fans, that's a good story about Egypt. Stick wit' Jack. He'll steer ya right.

Friday, February 11, 2011

February 11, 20011

When I visit Chicago and travel on a city bus: to say that what I am seeing could be called civilized is an outrage.
Never do you hear a word about these streets in the press. Nor do you see them on T. V.
Human fulfillment is utterly missing---there is nothing but a hollow shell.

The promise of democracy has been dashed to the wind.

Everyone talks about tyranny and democracy, or tyranny vs. democracy---what does that mean?

It means universal aspirations. Legitimate aspirations. The people of Chi-town have legitimate aspirations too, it isn't just the Egyptians. On the streets that the bus just drove through I could not even talk this way, without the risk of getting beat up.

Then how do I know other people feel the same way I do? I know.

Because it is legitimate.

Eventually I make my way to a slightly "better" -- or better insulated -- neighborhood at Montrose and Leavitt. And I go into a Starbucks.

I ask him for the cheapest thing; that's a "small coffee" and then I buy a biscotti and the soft seat, as the music, is free. And here they play for 1/2 hour the best jazz ever and I know. I am a jazz expert. As I write the number they play is not as good to me. I don't care for it. But I had one half hour of the best jazz, in a soft seat, with the best coffee, flavored w/ cinnamon, sugar, and milk.

And civilization is falling apart

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I'm OK, You're OK - But Words are Spinnin' Plates

Words are placeholders waiting for the next word...

While you are speaking, you are seen to be creating a sentence. Like those lines of spinning upside-down plates or cups that the "magic" people arrange, each word merely holds its place until the sentence is finished.

This means that while you are working each word is provisional or active: you are still constructing. Senetences are constructed in time, not as dead things. Therefore, "sentient" which I almost wrote, is the right word. Sometimes penitent...

Anyway --- before you put me in the penitentiary --- A (The?) sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a dot, a period. (I dont know why it's called a period.)

Sentences are not dead things, such that a person might analyze. A word that is used in a sentence is still spinning, while others are added.

If any of those words were dead you would not have a sentence. Not really. They are all somewhat living and the initial caps and final dots are more like a formality. Of course, formally, I'll be glad to admit, we do have the periods and the initial caps. This seems to regularize. Quite honestly I think this too is necessary.
It would seem to keep everybody in the society on the same level or on the same plane so they can interact with one another. It keeps everybody in line, we might say.


......=...............=..............=......."Mubarak in the news"

The other day I was getting profound. I wrote:

........................... ................Mubarak's behavior has been unimpressive.

I thought that would work as a policy statement, maybe for the State Dept., but that's history. I just saw him on television and he was great! His suite was very nicely pressed too. Frankly he looked pretty good. So what do I know? Everything just kind of changes you know. I created such a good statement about him being unimpressive. Then everything changes on me. That's the internet age for sure.

Based on my hearing Mubarak's words, from Cairo, Egypt Egypt seems like a pretty interesting country. What I heard from M. is, or seems, perhaps I should say, remarkable. Seems might be a better way to say it.
He switched sides. He also promised to totally punish those thugs who killed persons meaning they didn't act on his orders, which I find to be a relief; he said nice things about the demonstrators, and he promised to respond to the people's will. I mean I have rave reviews here just wantin' for you. I mean, it was a really good speech. Now he's on the side of the demonstrators! Awesome! (research the speech; don't listen to the T.V. commentators' opinions on it; they aren't Egyptian --- they know squat)

(And now a word from Thomas Hobbes): But he is still president you see and it is just that fact --- that he is still president (i.e. acc. to the speech I just heard) --- that gives him the right to switch sides. Awesome. Who should he turn the country over to? Nobody? According to what he said, he is now sorry for all the bad things he's done, he is now on the side of da people, and everyone should therefore leave him in power, as he's the fucking president Right? If only the stuff were true. But if it is...

What a freakin' cool country!!!

i loved the immediate switch-over part of it where you get two Mubarcks: one day he's one thing and the next day something totally else and just that this is good entertainment and psychosocially stimulating.

Hobbes was a champion of absolutism for the sovereign but he also developed some of the fundamentals of European liberal thought: the right of the individual; the natural equality of all men; the artificial character of the political order (which led to the later distinction between civil society and the state); the view that all legitimate political power must be "representative" and based on the consent of the people; and a liberal interpretation of law which leaves people free to do whatever the law does not explicitly forbid.[3]

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dreams: Free

Commerce--we see it all around us. Commerce is intriguing. To be intrigued by commerce is normal --- everyone is dazzled by it and although it temporarily enchants no one has it figured out. Not only commerce, but, maybe no one has figured out anything much anyway. Perhaps it is not our place to understand.

Of course not everyone agrees with that. OK, there are, economists for which we can thank the French Enlightenment and what Foucault called "social science." They are always more or less the willing sycophant slaveboys of "business." Their job is to create "profound" appearances, that appear to explain commerce. If you didn't get that drift: it's OK! You don't need therapy.

There are so many vain persons out there claiming to understand things that they do not! When one is sitting at home in one's private home or humble cottage--or even one's grand castle--one is not thinking of "commerce" but, as soon as the individual's interest goes outside into the outside world there they are:----all the semiotic sights and sounds of commerce. But yet it is nevertheless true that commerce remains mysterious, like a dream (in daytime) we sleep off each night. And when going out, we see the daydream of commerce. We see it in the neon--in the neon lights of urbanity. In the urban system one sees businesses advertising.

Businesses advertising themselves is practically all one sees.

Nearly every bite of food you eat, the place you live, the bed you sleep on (Sealy), the car you drive--it all depends upon money and commerce.

But then when we get home we forget all about it. Back home we go to sleep --- then we have dreams: no charge.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February 08, 2011

Leaving the Chicago apartment, after a visit, I have a long drive back home: through the NW side of Chicago, through the near suburbs, the far suburbs.
I noticed something on this trip, and that was signs with prices on them. It's a sign with a picture of something and a number attached to it. For example, one of these signs said: "Jalapeño Cheeseblogger $3.99." Of course you had to be there but I saw other signs too for other things that I maybe want to be buyin' into. And I thought about this.
Why sell for "x" price and not "x+1" price or "x+2" price. If the selling party charges more, he gets more. Then, in his life, he may spend more. I can spend more; he gets more. If I spend less that man gets less. In which case I get more; but why is one better than the other?

I have "x" amount of money to spend. I don't have to get the freaking Cheeseburger if I don't want to. I can assure you, I have more than four dollars. I can buy the Jolly Cheeseburger or not buy it---any freakin' way I wish.

Suddenly I realized: the signs that give quantities of money for goods to be sold at are psychotic. I mean, that's a pretty strong concept, so I wanted to write this down. For posterity.

Now that we know the prices are psychotic, I hope we are more happy. (Is that good grammar?) Later, a sign selling coffee for $1-- per cup: (any size). So what? So, I get more. So Fred gets less. Wowie zowie. But what did we prove?
What I am thinking is that maybe there should be government stores. (Oh, I know, anathema to the conservatives. Zzzzzzz...) They would have regulated prices. At every such store the price for something -- like coffee? -- it would be the same and the benefit is that there is no more confusion and tension, you know? Maybe the price could vary by the day, so, if the economy is up the price would go up. If the economy is going down the price would go down. ...or should that be the other way around? But the basic question here is that of just what the up and down prices do tell us. If anything.

I don't know if I am some kind of spoil sport or what -- I mean, to give away the whole game? Gee, I hope not.
The next time that on an urban street you see that type sign ask yourself if it makes any freaking rational sense. Is there any rational -- relational -- way to determine these precise prices?

... ... ... ... ....

Should I feel happy in a precise ratio to how much a shopkeeper is willing to impoverish himself so that I can get a better deal on let's say, a cup of coffee or some other item, maybe one that I do not even need? Hmmmm.... gets intewwwwwestinnn', duzen't it? All these considerations...

OK --- Do I feel happier when business owners make less money? (when I/U get the lowest price)? Why? What kind of happiness would that be? What kind of bizarre psychology? Let's stabilize the prices and cut the drama
-because this whole thing is not worth the strain.

Actually all these fluctuating prices have reminder value. It reminds of an earlier time in the glorious capitalistic history. [add trumpet flourish...] In those days, modulating prices reflected a dynamic, changing society --- including the economy. There were fundamental social changes that these prices represented. I suppose I am thinking that somehow the prices meant something more when new means of production that changed the society were going on line; and the society itself was going to change. But at any rate, I don't think those fundamental changes are going on anymore. So what are the signs?

These are ads with different numbers attached to different products. Nowadays, though, these ads just punch our buttons and play with our psychology.

Thanks. My neo-cortex has enough bumps and squiggles as it is... ,,, ... /// +++

Monday, February 7, 2011

Failed Writing

The conclusion I came to after perusing Prof. N. Chomsky's "Failed States" (Henry Holt; 2006) for about 20 minutes: our leaders/rulers are crazy. I am certain the highly qualified Noam C. would not put it that way but I have to see it in the terms that correspond to my own experience which is that of a person with only the humble "bachelor's" degree --- I'm like an uneducated idiot compared to so many more qualified others (Gee:what a nice writing trope that was!) The serious, deep and socially-critical Noam Chomsky explains how the elites' security policies work (he sometimes sounds like he speaks in a special super-educated pidgin English) and he does an excellent job of laying out the explanation: of how elites' security affairs work. I think I mentioned that. But anyway, it (the writing) occurs---and this is to his great credit---in a way free of all ideas/tropes of the standard garbage language of "elites." Meaning of course other elites. I have been really very honestly impressed by what I have seen of him. He does not consider leaders crazy, though, like I did, in my recent reading moment. The "mainstream" ideas he puts in their proper place (the garbage can) come from the persons whom Chomsky considers rational, if, (p.28) "perhaps misguided." Well, whatever, N. C., but what I seem to have concluded, is that, in my humble estimation, they are crazy, if they do all these things. Now I wonder if I was right about that. What should I say, that I did not really think it? Look. The bad ideas come from the "elite" rulers who are, in my certainly terribly misguided reading, actually crazy. Makes sense?

He always says "elites." You know? But so what, I use that word too, actually. No, not "actually." Rhetorically... Actually rehetorically. (re-heated and editorially.)

The man --- and I am actually fairly well-familiar with him, beyond the recent 20 minutes of fame, thank you --- I saw him speak last April, in Madison --- writes in order to explain what fellow author Ron Suskind (I sense he kind of likes elites) might call "the way of the world" (his book title, for those of you who are out of this particular intellectual loop: 2008), and, as I think I already mentioned, this particular well-educated individual writes in a way free from, Um ---- what we call the mainstream rhetoric. Which is garbage. As in, say, "Foreign Affairs?" Right. Garbage.

So, it looks like I'm right. But does being right count for anything? The question is: Does being right create "product?" If capitalism counts for something... Well, there ought to be product.
Is it better to call mainstream approaches "rhetoric?" Or is "garbage?" a better word? Which do those educated guys like? I believe my point here is their rhetoric is garbage. So, the two words appear as synonyms in this context.

And, Um ---- where does that leave us? I am concerned I might be destroying Western Civilization, by being rude. By speaking so poorly? By not being educated, at Eaton? What do you want me to do - pretend I have a Master's when I do not? That won't fly.

Let's take a breath like Thich Nhat Hahn teaches.

The basic "service" of Prof. N. C. is to tell the truth (but, says he: not to power as they do not care because they are happy doing their "high-class" act of exterminating the poor and so on, or committing "state terror" --- that is Chomsky's line, but I said they're crazy, not rational.) But how do you tell the truth? He does it as only a highly educated person (albeit in another field!) could. There is also the question of whom he is telling it to? Who is he telling it to? ----- if not elites? ----- in not "to power?" (Is he speaking to the less well-educated? I just turned his truths into vulgarities hurled in the general direction of elites!)

The only answer is to become a better writer. All the liberals hate the elites, and yet we want to be elites. But finally, there is the real society I belong to, and experience. What else do I have? I am writing over two dollar D'in D's coffee, watching capitalism about to finally fall, and at a lower-middle-class suburban sort of "service" oasis (to replicate a word I use above), with all the moderately-wealthy persons, most of them young, milling about me, and, a final observation of "The Way of the World":

.........------.........--The rulers are crazy and the girls are pretty.