It’s a long way from 4000 N. (where I am staying) to 4900 N. where the Blue Line is waiting to take me right into the mouth of the American Lion City known as Chicago, Illinois (plus a.k.a. hog butcher to the world) if I have to walk it – which I do not, so I wait for the Milwaukee bus. If it’s hot at 6:00 AM, then it’s going to be a hot one.
On the way I write out these "Rules of ‘Merica."
The low-income persons count for nothing. Neither do their clever ideas, nor does their low-budget writing style count for anything.
And, even once you accept the upper classes, there is no way to penetrate them based on your mere ideas. Don't even bother because objective evaluation of others' ideas is just against the rules, and that's that. So, what is left? The basic method is that of force and violence. But where force and violence do not work peace and democracy will be indulged to some minimal extent. Noam Chomsky explains that this does not apply to other countries. As for other countries, the only thing the United States cares about is whether those countries will cooperate with U. S. interests, and we have some ideas what those are. And these are, of course, the interests of those upper classes we mentioned, and those are, as stated, based upon force and violence, or upon killing thousands --- so far we still kill unnumbered persons only in the non-Western countries, which means I am, mercifully, free to write here. Mercy, mercy.
If this is the case, then why does anything of any note even exist at all, in the United States? Well, in one word, capitalism. We don’t need to liberate persons from capitalism. Capitalism is a reality. Rather what we need to do is liberate capitalism. (Now that may be hard to understand for some persons --- for those who are following the usual cultural "conversation.")
This is the way to restore balance to the world system, create more security at home, create a more stable country.
Or, if it is too late to create a stronger U. S. by such methods, by liberating capitalism (from those who want to capture it for themselves, i.e. for private self-interests), we could at least stop our further decline by re-organizing the capitalistic economy.
(I am the author of a unique theory and set of ideas. The field in which those ideas exist seems perfectly compatible with what is called "economics,” so I am technically speaking an economist. The ideas are neither right nor left. They comprise a specific theory of economics. They acknowledge capitalism as our system, but clarify that capitalism is public; it should be regulated. The way to do that has been found: the strategy to extract commodities directly out of the present productive stream of, or system of, or capacity for production. The extracted commodities should be given away to certain members of the system, a system that conveniently happens to be "global." Products can be transferred without extracting payment from the recipients. That would be the beginning of a re-organization of capitalism. Without re-organizing capitalism, the system, it appears to me, will perish. It cannot simply continue to be operated by "private" persons, doing as they please.)
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[Now I am on the bus, and I have some other observations]: The materiality of my physical body, standing on the concrete, getting on the bus, is reduced from the moment I step onto the vehicle. (My body becomes less relevant, i.e. less “material.”) They don’t just let me on, I have to pay. Most will accept that. But then there is the further attempt to reduce the materiality of the situation, even beyond the step that is taken when money is used.
Stick plastic transit card into bus’s metal box; as there was not enough on the card the display prompts me to put in $1.50 additional. I have it. I have exact change so I put that in. The machine is not designed to take any additional money, like the 25¢ I am going to need later. At that point, at the station, there is another 25¢, to be put in at another, different machine. My thesis here is that at every point, materiality for some reason (such as human ignorance?) is attacked and assaulted, in order to be reduced to abstraction. Now at the present juncture I have access to the very physical train platform, to wait for the very physical choo-choo train. Let us observe this with precision. Once I have accepted the use of money -- not rejected its use, which would be rather strange -- that acceptance is the opening used to enact the strategy of everyone's continual reduction from materiality to abstraction, from a physical thing to a nothing -- a mere abstraction. We live in a material, physical world. We don't live in abstraction. The world is metal, concrete; a world of distance, of air, but a world of (the science of) physics. Money is an abstraction that must always be place in relationship with materiality.
Assuming that relationship as the starting point, here's the way stuff actually works in this world: take this necessary relationship between money and materiality and reduce only the materiality aspect. You can also note here that the very very right-wing, conservative economic views hold compatible views: that money, you see, is just like a language; and so it transfers materiality into speech like language does. Those persons argue like that; they say this translation is natural and automatic and flawless, hence you need no regulation of any kind. Money is the same as logic, as nature, or, as language. (See http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=11569 for, believe it or not, the left-wing version) But the reality is not like that. There are very specific actions that are being forced upon us: a plastic card is used, which is something like being forced to use an alternate currency, and now the machine is asking for an exact amount, and later another additional amount will requested (at that point I can actually added even more, if I had want to – not that that makes a difference but I am just trying to be accurate). Only then may I get physically onto the train and go to the exciting downtown (to what is supposedly an actual city with human culture).
The system we use -- the government -- acts in terms of taking my physical presence and reducing me. First it does so by requiring that I use money, then by requiring an abstraction readable only by technology – a plastic card (is that better? Worse? Who knows?) It is a plastic card instead of those bits of paper, the ones with numbers on them, or, a separate series of circle-shaped metal pieces denominated by units the value of which is 1/100 of the first kind of money, the paper. No more separate pieces of paper. Now we have one plastic card (I do not say that is “good” or “bad.” I don't know.) But there's more, always more: no more two qualities associated with the currency, i.e. feel of paper and metal. Also, on a more abstract level this time, there are no more two number series, one of which is 1/100 of the other. I think there were two numbers series before, because each was attached to a distinct material, paper or metal. There is now only one number series, using decimals to divide the infinitely ascending numbers on one side of “Mr. dot” from the other side, where the numbers are infinitely descending into littleness.
When one dies, this is a reduction of a physical entity into abstraction. What does our present way of using money do? Is there any difference?