Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Live Happens (H.L. Mencken)

A lot of people don't like H.L. Mencken all that much.

I suppose the first criticism to be leveled at Mencken is that he's a good for nuthin'. He does not seem to like or get along with anyone, and, he is not a champion of the left.

But, when life happens, H.L. is there to record it while other writers tell us what they wish had happened.

He reports on the life the philosophers missed.
The same day as well I bought a book by a respected feminist, Audre Lorde one of whose other volumes I already had encountered in my little life. The first essay here (both books discovered through browsing the "critical essays" section of a nice store at Chicago and Franklin) was on her visit to Russia. This is in 1976. She calls the piece "Trip to Russia," which is dry and generic and just fine with me. What I have gotten out of it (what I have taken away so far as I don't really excel at reading a dense word count - I read what I needed, OK?) is Russia is somewhat different from New York City. That's all.
     The rest is just detailing and various observations. From all of which my impression (or, I suppose, "take-away") is that sometimes Russia differs from N.Y.C. and sometimes it doesn't.

The Organization of the Nation, in Capitalistic Conditions

From the webpage:

I/O psychology has its roots in the late 19th century movement to study and measure human capabilities and motives. Some early psychologists, noting the practical nature of psychological research, sought to apply the findings to business problems.
(Back to real time): Why would leading figures suddenly in the late 19th century feel the need to "study and measure" that? It is because they suddenly find themselves with people to manage.
It is, according to my unique understandings of capitalism, because what the word "economics" actually implies is the management of large groups of persons. In earlier periods of history, under different forms of social organization, Europeans were not faced with this. There were different forms of social organization that  did not imply this kind of large-scale population management.
     I think this is true. I am simultaneously aware that the so-called "conservative" persons of the time would not have liked to admit this. Put more strongly: they couldn't. This is a little difficult to explain here, since there are a variety of ways of seeing the light on this topic, but at any rate the "conservative" philosophical tendency - simply put - could not admit to this or be witness publicly to this. So, the interesting thing is: that's the story of economics (the study thereof). They really needed a different version of the facts, and they set out to create one. This is how, over time -- i.e. until the present enlightened age -- the science of economics was "managed." This is a conflict concerning the actual nature of capitalism vs. what persons were able to admit.

Let's observe actual capitalists. Here, I mean the producers, no not the Broadway play that was so funny, nor the film that was made, but "the owners." This includes a large number of persons with conservative views of course. And of course you see them clearly maintaining a divide between themselves and their employees. After all, this ain't socialism. My Dad was like that, though, and he was a liberal, so forget about the "conservative" thing. This is a very common attitude, though, on the part of owners, i.e. the owners of the means of production.

But: the facts are different and capitalism begins creating a social unit -- society, nation, group -- that consists not just a small class at the top, appended to which is a large, unknown herd at the bottom. That doesn't exist. What the truth is is (how you do a "double is" without invoking a Egypt. goddess is Greek to me and really quite frustrating) that a new society is being formed. While the gulf between owners and workers in the work setting is pretty much inviolable, the persons doing the work are certainly not utterly removed from the society in general. There is a social unit that is being created. But that goes against the grain of what conservatives want to see, and while they have no power to change reality, they can and do change the way we think about it (ideology). As far as the actual (or material) society, as opposed to the society's superstructure ideology, this is a new, emerging society that contains, simply, all the members of the society (now bourgeois/capitalist). That kind of social cohesion is already occurring, under capitalism itself, so, my formulation: "capitalism is social."
    No surprise then, that capitalism makes its big move at just the same time that democracy does (as Jos. A. Schumpeter pointed out long time ago).

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Novermber 20, 2011

     It certainly seems to be the case that only giving money for things is an inadequate social method for any human group. We are only getting things done by giving somebody money, but to depend only on this method certainly seems to have limitations. Is this not pretty clear? You cannot say this way of solving the basic problem of how to live is perfect or complete, can you? You cannot just use the "payment method." You cannot just employ money or use the "money method." There is something inadequate about it. Certainly?
     Or are we to believe that just forking over money, or paying somebody for something we need, for everything we get, or every service we need, or every project we have to complete in life is an adequate way? An adequate method to effect the complete project of life's existence? Does anybody actually say that? Does the Austrian/Hayek set of ideas say that? If so, is there any debate on this?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

is it possible? That, Um... Phonies do Better in the so-called REAL WORLD?

The "persons" of  a primitive society engage in activities. What do the inhabitants of the primitive, primordial world spend their time doing? They interact with one another. The fact is that they interact, and this characteristic of humans has not changed at all. For my purpose, this is completely beyond dispute. There is a second thing we can add too: they forage, get food. They hunt and fish. They gather. They obtain their sustenance. They do those two things, getting sustenance and socializing. What we will see is that both are related to economics. In the current era, in our times, in our society, in our system (we usually call that system "capitalism") as well, persons do those two things. They, too, find food, and they live and interact and do things in a social way. Or haven't you noticed? Maybe that is a simplified version of what persons do but we have limited space for exegesis on a blog. I am  trying to get you to admit that these two exist. These are two person-doings that do exist. That's my point, and, both are economic.
     Next let us consider socialism. That was a failure. What did they do? They said "social" explicitly, as in, e.g., "social" -ism. Not a good idea. When you say "social" explicitly somehow it doesn't work. Oooooops....sorry. I must have been reading the wrong text. I must have said the wrong thing. But whether I said it or not it is social. People don't like when you say "social" too much. So, I intend to say it all the time. Whatever we claim human doings and human life really is, it is really social. And since humans are social, what we need to ask is why upfront social-ism fails. That is one. Second one, a related question: why is the resultant system or default system that of "capitalism"? Why capitalism? Why is it capitalism that is - for now anyway, not after we destroy ourselves, but for now - the way to go? Why capitalism pre-eminent instead of socialism?
     But before getting ahead of myself I want to revisit the matter of why I felt I needed to put the word "persons" in quote marks. In the beginning of this compact exegesis on what human beings do in the primitive and modern world I had a moment wherein I felt I needed to put "persons" in quote marks. For some reason I didn't know which word to use so I settled on surrounding my word of choice with quote marks. I don't think Strunk and White recommend that but I did it. So what. Let's think about that.
     OK I'm done thinking about it and I guess it just goes to show how social persons are and it doesn't matter what you say. We do not need to iterate social, and we cannot find the way around it. (Even as I write, the pop music soundtrack is that "silence is everything", which is to say that is the song at the bar of clever signage, "INTERNET," where I am now. It's next to the "Kickstand" expresso bar, by the way. This is what we call "social" life in our society.) Even without what I could I guess call "iteration," the sociality is implicit. The usual word choices I cycle through at those writers' moments are "persons," "people," and "individuals." The other side of it is still sociality. You don't even have to say it, but if we are not allowed in this system to say "sociality," we cannot say much of anything else either. That's how I figured this thing out counter-intuitively. It seems to me that one may say "sociality" or not. Our typical convention is "not." Whether you say it or not it is there. Sociality is there --- basic, implicit. Do we not like to admit it or what is our problem? Maybe we do have a problem admitting it. Maybe it is just our way of using language, our cultural set-up. Either way, what I am saying that it is clearly the case that primitive persons are social. Modern as well and if you want to deny that you can go screw yourself. Even if you do not iterate it, humans are social. You may iterate or not...it oesn't matter.

     Then there is a question. Why does capitalism do better when it is stupid? And the meaning of that is: why would capitalism make the point of talking up "the individual"? When everyone is social? Why does capitalism, or capitalism's theorists and apologists and interested intellectuals, ---why do they want to flip it? Why do they only revert to the reverse side? I could also ask where Luther and Calvin come from. Yes, indeed, to wit: whence cometh this idea, this notion to talk up "the individual"? (Even if we do not talk up or talk about Calvin so much, we still take up where he left off, don't we? Dont we take after these proto-individualists? Isn't their ethos is alive and well? Protestants are just all over the place, you know, and theirs is the dominant language, the language that we are forced to employ, in order to keep our jobs, as it is the language of business. Luther and Calvin are gone yet somehow they remain --- at at least their concepts do.)
     Everything we produce in capitalism as products of trade, or commodities, is a social object. Commodities transfer between persons. They are produced by one person, and then transferred. We say they are "bought and sold." But that is social, however you look at it. There is not anything we buy that is not social.

     Life is a tangled web of social intereaction, within which people proclaim for something called individualism.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Google Search Result: [useless phonies]


What can we generalize regarding the "conservative" mentality? There is a synonym of "conservative," the "right;" ... of course ... they are called the right... Now, "right" in Spanish is: "derecho." And derecho means "upright" or it means "correct and proper." Then maybe "left" would be a sort of zig-zag or improper. Something like that.

Well, something like that does seem to be the case, and "We are always right no matter what we do" is the kind of subjective truth-statement I would associate with the mentality of the "right" sort here in America. Those few that still exist on the intellectual level and that are playing out this atrocity were brought up by my google-search today They are here at the National Review:

And who needs a smug asshole who thinks he is always right? Here there are plenty:


...and also a "lefty"      (Norman: 11/15/11 16:52)  He says he subscribes, to NR. He represents the lefty

who wants to associate with the right, and that would be on-line on the "Corner." (the NR copy: "the first Corner post was written on Wednesday, January 23, 2002, at 11:27 p.m. by Jonah Goldberg", bla bla bla bla bla)

But anyway what can we generalize? About the "right." I'll say this: All resources - like language resources - of the society are open to them. They could be well-educated folks. And they will take all they need; they cling to all the prestige they can get. All they need to do is rearrange their own priviledges: those components of language, or those units of logic. Make a nice story. Make it so the United States is always right. Until you succeed in killing the country, and possibly this is what they want.

Why (i.e. outside of the above devastating remarks) is this kind of idea or this kind of approach inadequate? It is because of problems. Problems either exist or they do not. That is what the right never seem to notice. As far as they are concerned, there aren't any. They are in a continuous pose, the continuous mid-question gesture that innocently asks: "what is a problem?" They've never seen one. They've never seen an injustice. Unless, of course, it is done to them which is a distinct thing, not the same as politics and society. I have encountered some progressive or radical writers saying something about combining "the personal and the political." I don't really know what those radicals mean, but it occurs to me that the right guys definitely are not doing. They are not understanding that distinction. Everything is personal. (Then again, that is all the assholes are doing: selfishly not getting the distinction, but nevertheless glomming them together, making everything personal, but then making others suffer the political consequences of their so-innocent blindness.)

They are just, merely, personal. Personal and that's all. Maybe that's why they are called "individualists."

As the world becomes a crazier and crazier place, they do not seem to be able to see anything. Maybe they are the ones who are crazy. I still like Paul Harvey, though.   http://jacksgreatblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/right-rightwrong-right.html

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Notification of Updated BlogPost

I updated this one

Random Thoughts of Tuesday Morning

'Merica - home of the foolish intellectuals

Who knows something?
Who is the one who really knows something?

Money --- that's what everyone wants          ...and capitalism is a system of getting money

The intellectuals in US/Am have not been all that good. The U. S. seems to be weak intellectually.
And the reason for that is that we have money. US/America is the main testimony in the world about how good capitalism is. Politically, we freed up our persons to go after the money. (This in around 1787). 

This now comes to haunt us. Is there any "smart" thing left to say about the GOP candidates for president of the United States? It is hard to say anything smart about what is dumb. I can be smart --- but I need a "subject," as the language puts it, in order to talk about something.

Hmmmm... that sounded intriguing, but there I go being smart again. I do not think that would impress any GOP candidate.

J.Z. is like a golden nugget coughed up out of the mouth or innards of a capitalist society --- and, as always I emphasize the word "society." Capitalism is something that happens to a society. To call capitalism "individual," or a "private ownership" system does not get into the meat of the social aspect. In fact we intentionally avoid that subject.

Now, what we see is the result. Now what do we have. In a word: J.Z.

Some Weird Sin (I mean, Topics)

The piece below is up high on google search: dallas, money. (dallasfed...) Something called "everyday economics" on the Dallas Fed site is going to have what scholars of the counterculture call "orthodox" or "mainstream" delusions. These are all the delusions concerning the nature of economics and capitalism. Such delusions have become institutionalized, and this occurs as a process, over time, and it can be traced through literary sources (like the 1919 Encyclopedia Brit). There seems to be a massive human project to come up with something that sounds good. These persons need something that "seems" to make sense - that is what they are looking for, appearances, not the truth. This is their lack of integrity. And these persons are like pressers in the laundry: they go over and over and over it. This is their pet project. You can observe it over history. The "capitalism" entry in the 1919 Encyclopedia Brittanica seems not at all to have been overtaken by these processes. In the ensuing history these phony intellectual figures devoted to "economics" have gone over and over this ideological cloth until they get a wrinkle-free cloth. That is the nature of the project. But this is not human sincerity. It is not intellectual integrity. But, as we said, that is not the project. The project is completely insane, psychotic.  It is a psychotic project. It is there to protect a few selfish persons. These kinds of psychotics have always been very prominent in Western history. Here is the original text, mentioned just above:

Everyday Economics
Money, Banking and Monetary Policy
Money, the banking system and monetary policy must work together smoothly for the economy to run well. Money makes it possible for people to exchange goods and services without having to rely on a system of bartering. Banking provides a means for savers to lend their money to borrowers and earn interest in the process, and it gives borrowers a place to go for loans. The aim of monetary policy is to ensure that there is sufficient money in the economy to keep it growing, but not so much that the economy overheats. When the economy overheats, the result is inflation. Inflation—too much money chasing too few goods—creates an inefficient price system. It also distorts decision-making, reduces productivity and lowers the economy's long-term rate of growth. This results in lower living standards for everyone.

First, notice how they tell the readers what "must" be the case. They have to dictate as the utter, final authorities. Actually, that is what "dictation" means, to the stenographer. ha ha ha. Anyways the next three sentences are pretty good. The whole thing will eventually revert to ideology, since that is their project. Of course. In fact, to do otherwise in this kind of psycho-culture or this cultural atmosphere is not so easy, so maybe it is good to start here. Sentence number six is interesting for this emergent slant. They could also have gone on to discuss productivity. Inflation is merely the quantity of an abstract: 100 units of money is not in the real sense different from 200 units of money. Money is an abstraction that is then divided into parts, this further division of an abstraction being the money-units, to which no real concept of size applies. On the day of the origination of money, whether the issuing authority issues one hundred dollars that are then broken up into ten thousand pennies, or issues ten thousand "dollars" that are then multiplied into units of one hundred "mega-dollars" amounts to the same thing. Get it? Obviously a unit of money is a convention, whatever the convention is. Someone thinks this up. All this is obvious of course. (But maybe not to these weirdos who has spent their entire lifetime in monetary delusions?)
     At this point the text could have mentioned increased productivity, instead of increased units of money, since the latter discussion gets a little bit. (Ah, NOW I get it. A weird discussion is exactly what these persons are all about. NOW I get it?)  So, instead of writing about a two, three or ten-fold increase in units of money out there, an interesting but conceptually problematic topic, they could have mentioned productivity and they could have done so directly instead of working it into the subsequent discussion. But first they choose to discuss money quantity. This is the weird topic, the topic of how an abstraction is measured. The quantity of money "chasing goods" is "inflation," so what they mention is money to goods: a ration. That's cute: "—too much money chasing too few goods—". My take is that they knew this would be a cute phrase, one that is known to catch the mind. So, a good publicity job. Good for you. That is what you are about. Instead of too much money, why not talk about too little? No, because that would not properly trick up the reader's little mind. So, my point was to point out that in this same period, as capitalism developed, and as a program of ideology developed alongside it (making us a dumber nation, a J. Z. Nation, which is in the next post), there was an increase in productivity of something like 200-fold.
     This is a major, major factor, which we are overlooking. A two-hundred fold increase in productivity means we are already rich, but we just aren't receiving it. All of that wealth is misdirected, wasted. It becomes fabulous wealth for the one per-cent, and arrogance --- for Texas State troopers and cops

p.s. b.t.w., when I use "courier" font to reproduce the imported textual material, that is to increase clarity, not decrease like the opposition wants to do.  -J.S.

Monday, November 14, 2011

What is a Stock Exchange or Similar "Exchange":

What is the "exchange"? Why is it an "exchange"?
It is where all of the traders meet.

I noticed two things about it. When I looked at this area of the city of Chicago I noticed:
It is where the financial and investment persons meet
and secondly: they all act like gentlemen.

They all act with good manners; they are going to show courtesy. But is everything actually "good"?
The answer is: No. It is a situation created for  the purpose of --- or a situation created to function in terms of --- ambiguity. So, ambiguity is a key concept of note.

It is not to be "bad." Rather it is to be ambiguous. You cannot tell if some corporation being traded on the exchange is brutalizing peasants in Bolivia, for example. The traders don't know and I don't know.

It is to be ambiguous; And, also, I notice they act like gentlemen. Those are two things that I noticed, and these acts of observation are all in relation to an original economic theory that I created out of an original epiphany-type experience I had about ten years ago. I would like to share this material with others.
     The theory is there; I developed this.

FT Martin Wolf column and MY comments

Will the eurozone survive? The leaders of France and Germany have now raised this question, for the case of Greece. If policymakers had understood two decades ago what they know now, they would never have launched the single currency. Only fear of the consequences of a break-up is now keeping it together. The question is whether that will be enough.

(FT is funny, the way they say things like that I should not cut and paste; instead, they say I should "use the link below." They should explain their philosophy on that, but they just order me around.

I will just include the link at the top of my piece. That should satisfy them. Since I am an outsider incapable of intuiting what I "should" immediately intuit about the culture --- or, just the FT culture?)

So: what is the question here? From my point of view as a private scholar of in the economics area, I would ask why a single currency would seem to do so much good for the U. S. but not far the EU? From my slight bit of reading I think that I am supposed to say "Eurozone." Maybe that is where the one kind of money applies. What was the point? Why not just change your money at the border like an incoming tourist?
     Making a one-currency system would correspond, in general, to reducing border issues, making more of a uniform society, or reducing ethnic difference. Difference in general would be reduced.
     In the in the capitalistic world, should there be one dominant country? Or should all of the countries be combined into one? These are the relevant questions. Here is another bad illegal "cut and paste" from FT the finicky English on-line magazine.
High quality global journalism requires investment. [interesting point] Please share this article with others [but only according to your instructions, only as YOU want me to. So...it is OK that I share, but the question lies in HOW I share? Only if I share the WAY they tell me to?] using the link below [exactly why, again? For the sake of high quality global reportage, or did you say for the sake of investing? Why then is my access to FT is free at all? Because it was part of the business model. You don't truly want to give me these free articles? Then why have you never asked me for a contribution? Surely I would have been so generous to you!!! Since I understand your point about journalism "requiring investment"?], do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1299d48c-0a01-11e1-85ca-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz1dWSoZsEF

(now seamlessly resume please): As Thomas Mayer of Deutsche Bank notes, (breathe):    “below the surface of the euro area’s public debt and banking crisis lies a balance-of-payments crisis caused by a misalignment of internal real exchange rates” This means (I think) that the individual countries in the Eurozone were never equalized after all. They were not, in fact, equalized into one society. The currencies were made equal but they were still separate cultures or countries. Which sounds kind of normal ---

They are societies that differ. Everyone is not equal. What is surprising about there being different human cultures and countries in the world? For most of time, the world has had this. Did capitalism totally obliterate that, making us all one? Does "globalization" continue the project of obliterating ethnicity? What kind of society was ancient Rome in which every "other" society was simply killed or exterminated culturally, so that we know only the names of the nations obliterated by  the Romans, and there were literally hundreds of such nations, not to mention continual rebellions like the two Spartacist revolts. And is this the type of society we are aspiring to now? Is it not the case that one of the characteristics of Europe, since the fall of the Roman epoch, is that of many individual countries, many of which do have their own recognizable culture? Europe has a variety of different countries in it, that is the case.

     So: the idea of free trade is that all these individual countries should become more equal. This is implied by the idea of capitalism itself. Come to Papa and buy Papa's product and become Papa. Now you can feel it. You can just feel and intuit: there is a limit to that. At some point persons have to say "you can't boss me around any more." And that is what big business is scared of. What the "off Wall St." protesters are saying. Or Off Broadway? Whatever it was. Im not always a stickler for details, as you readers know.
     Capitalism, of course, thrives when all the members of a given society participate. For the developmental period of capitalism), capitalism could not have been limited to, for example, just one class. It needs to include everybody.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Value of Capitalism as a Form of Human Social Organization

Capitalism provides a workable structure for human life --- for workable life and comfort.
There is also an important thing to note about that.
It does so indirectly.

                     It doesn't know what it is doing.

How To Pick A Candidate

Here is just something typical I ran up against on the w.e.b. (wonderful entertaining bottomlessness.)

Katrina Trinko reports on Bachmann's Iowa operation and finds it to be a lot less exciting to be around since its heyday -- which pretty much lasted a few hours on the day of the Iowa Straw Poll. Now Iowa is buzzing about Rick Perry and Herman Cain. But while "the frontrunner trappings are gone," Bachmann remains confident:
-via Huff Post

This is an example of the way the media covers elections today. When people talk this way they are not talking about the candidates or their capabilities to govern well, but rather about the media coverage of that --- indirectly covering the candidates. I am sorry I do not totally understand this.
     But I guess it must make some kind of sense. Or, it is just the best we can do.
     So, if I want to pick a candidate I need to go through what Neal Stephenson calls a "mediated experience." ........[see his book: In The Beginning Was The Command Line, described on Wikipedia: an essay on operating systems including the histories of and relationships between DOS, Windows, Linux, and BeOS from both cultural and technical viewpoints and focusing especially on the development of the Graphical User Interface, was published in book form in 2000][http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neal_Stephenson]........
      I am required as a citizen to view or listen to advertisements for the candidates? And that is the only information I am able to get? Since the media coverage is just the same kind of thing.  I can't get real information about the candidates I am to vote on unless I go back to the direct sources in defiance of Huff Post? What would be a direct source of information on Cain or other candidates? How many persons would make the effort to obtain it? Is there some alternative to doing that? Do advertisements and media style accounts of elections make it easier to chose a candidate? If they do not, aren't media businesses actually our enemies? And what is the distinction between advertising and information?
     Whose responsibility is it to see to it that the public gets actual information? A few librarians? No matter what I do our system of selecting candidates and voting on them just does not make sense to me. What does it mean that the voting process, supposedly a component of democratic process if not the heart of it, is dominated by advertising? What?
     I'm still confused. Help!, I yelp!

Friday, November 11, 2011

The modern West as seen by a third-World cosmopolitan web user

Not doing much so far today...

Apprehend then these thoughts as if
They are thoughts that a third-Wrld person
is thinking. He is thinking
About the first world persons
(I do that; I think as if I am other persons a lot)....

they're all in the high life
They're all in the good life --

if you were from a third-World country, you would have an active choice.
This would be of whether to identify with your poor neighbors, or on  the other hand
you could join face-book and identify with a "style," that being the style, as you see it,
of Western life. The Western persons appear as a choice. Western style capitalistic society
would appear to a third-World persons in the context of choice. He thinks of it as the choice
to stay where he is or to join an exciting new world.

If you want to think more about it you could compare that to the life situation of a first world person ...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Economics Views, for Nov. 09, 2011

Life---existence and viability---the functional viability of the society itself: this depends on social factors. Society depends, of course, on factors that are social. That being the case, it depends on factors that are informal rather than formal. The informal factors we are discussing are not things enshrined in law. They are informal, and social. These factors can also be called cultural factors; the fact is, you can also call it ethnic. In any human society that we know about, life depends, for its viability and comfort if not its very existence, on social factors; they are therefore crucial parts of our analysis. This is what our world depends on. What is crucial for us is economics, because, in our particular society, we have this. Economics, then, is something that seems quite mysterious but there is nevertheless something that we call "economics" and therefore there are "economic aspects" of how our lives are. And that is important. So "it's the economy stupid."
     The economy, then, is a crucial factor in our lives. This foundation or basis of economics is not found on Wall St., however. It is not found in "models," as used by academics, and it doesn't depend on these academics' mathematics. Nor are these crucial factors in any way touched on, "explained" by, some crisscrossing lines they devised that "explain," or "mean" something, or "stand for" something they might call supply and demand. It's all bullshit. It's all concepts and representation. You cannot just substitute one concept for another and get something.

     Yet for our way of life, or our social form, "economics" is important. That is one thing that is clear. Therefore what I say is that economics is social, not mathematical. The economists are therefore mistaken, because their "default mode" automatically reverts to math. (Which they believe "stands for" something.) Certainly it is true, and I think worth observing, that people make money based on mathematics. That kind of thing happens, stock trading formulas and that kind of thing --- just what is not crucial to economics. (or is it? kind of a delicate matter to juggle in the mind after all. very post-modern and all)

     Our society depends upon economics, as we have noted. Economics does not depend upon Wall St., however.  Then Wall St. is not the crucial factor, not for the health of the economy, but maybe for the death of the economy, or for making a disease of it... It is not the crucial factor in what makes the capitalistic economy or way of life exist. Capitalism depends upon social factors. The math, or the Wall St. ideology, or those kinds of concerns --- they do not explain it.

     The concerns of economics departments are definitely ideological, although the ideology is hidden (this is the nature of what is called "ideology"). The concerns of Wall St., as with the concerns of other components of economic ideology, do not explain the health, or the life, of capitalism. And capitalism is in fact the basic principle of the world. And, of course, it follows (a possible word substitution here could be "it is not surprising") that none of these institutions provide an explanation of capitalism.

     So, in capitalism, a phenomenon which has never been explained... (If you want to get close, go to the "capitalism" entry in the 1919 Brittanica, which is on-line --- sorry, I mean 1911 --- http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/   ...  look at the "capitalism" entry. Here, what is said about "capitalism," which had "already become controversial," ((exact quote: "so highly controversial a question as to require here more detailed examination."))

     That content has not yet been altered by the ideologists.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Protester Strategy in Chi

the protesters now are beginning to say things like "move your money" away from some bank or other. I wonder which one you should move it to.
also, there is a man these days who cuts a kind of a cute figure standing in front of the Bank of America storefront that is just down the block from Jackson and LaSalle -- those illustriously named streets -- with a sign: bankrupt bank of america. Completely innocuous act. Nice hand-lettering.
But there is something very interesting that I did not really catch at first: something interesting about this act. He is pointing his sign into the bank, through the big windows (where dangerous men with no sense of humor stare back at him). His sign points the opposite way.

OK, so --- what if everyone "moves their money"? That would set off the same problem we had in 2008; the chain of banking would be defeated. Banking would break down, because no one would trust each other. It is I think very difficult to divide good banks from bad, in practice. B of A was one of the "too big to fail banks," wasn't it? The reason these few banks were t.b.t.f. was this breakdown of the interbanking "community" or economic/financial network.

That's why the government (under Paulson, I think it was), skittish, licked the banks' behinds until the economy stood up again (all the while sternly iterating "you must take the funds").

Anyways, the problem is that the economy would collapse, which is what the protesters would get if they boycotted particular banks, should they actually succeed. The end result would be the collapse of the entire economic/financial structure itself. Certainly that would be their end result.

I just want to tell you guys about this. That is what you would be playing with. Do you want that? It isn't a bad strategy: allow/help the whole  thing to collapse. But, you would need a reform program alongside the project to destroy, or destroy program. Wouldn't you need both?

And you would create just a wee bit of animosity. Now the other side would have their excuse, to be mean and cruel. The question is: after collapsing the economy would you have the program and ability to put the thing back together? Remember "all the king's men."


Monday, November 7, 2011

L a w a n d ...Appearance p t 2

Democracy in America is a funny thing, you know?  When you begin to consider the behavior of prosecutors, and that of the "law enforcement officers," you begin to wonder whether the population of our society is rational enough to exercise the vote, even.

     It makes you wonder about progress. What is democracy? What is progress?
     American democracy seem just the latest in a long series of crooked nails banged into that plank of wood I described in the previous post.
                                       (see the previous post in this series)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Law, and Rational Appearances

Prosecutors make verbal arguments before the court, arguments that supposedly are rational. This is part of their attempt to convince their own people --- that being their fellow men and women, and that being their fellow rational beings --- that so-and-so is guilty, of some offense. Foucault has talked about this, which is the subject of law, or the "juridical" or something like that, as I recall. In the book called "Truth and Power" he begins a survey of this stuff from early on in European history, with Germanic tribes who had just arrived to occupy former areas of the Roman Empire. and, in this period, the early medieval, is an account he gives of the quirky of German tribal laws. There isn't always all that much reason involved. For example, for one of these tribes, when twelve persons from your own clan say that you are not culpable you are thereby cleared. You become "innocent" ---- now you are free, and not "guilty" (yeah, I know: "accused") anymore.

    What is always necessary and indispensable in any case is the conceit of rationality, the appearance. Think about it: what persons are always concerned about would be the appearances. That's what they are always found to be doing. They are always concerned about their appearance. This is universal. Everyone wants to look good.
    The first persons in society who are going to disrespect rationality (while wearing nice clean outfits, you know what I mean?) are the prosecutors (next up are law enforcement officers, for they too always "explain" things to the offender, like why he is a shitty human being, or why he needs to be put to jail).

    Well, two black guys have now been freed on DNA evidence (not human reason) after something like maybe 18 or 20 years of imprisonment. Their alleged crime (now traced, by DNA, not human reason, to another guy, him being already in prison for rape or something) --- which strangely enough they "confessed"? to --- showing yet another side of quirky human nature --- was something like rape or murder (I think murder but Ah'm gettin' confused. Dear me).
    In this particular case, the prosecutors actually backed off, and requested their presiding judge to "vacate." Whatever that means. Good for you, fellows. "Pretty Vacant." (I wonder what the Sex Pistols have to do with this?)
     We try to make rational sense but words are pretty inexact. That is why writing is such an art; and, also, a craft. A craftsman (there is a somewhat relevant Richard Sennett book out there) has all kinds of little decisions to make, in the course of creating a similar object to others.
    So many times we see men and women try to "nail" something down, in rational argument. But Foucault's excursions show us something like a long plank of wood that has a series of crooked nails jammed in.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Wibberly Book Series

There was a man named Wibberly, Leonard Wibberly–and he wrote "The Mouse That Roared." "The Mouse on Wall Street" is the third installment, the third book in the series. They are listed inside the front cover of "The Mouse on Wall Street."

Like the other two installments, "The Mouse on Wall Street" concerns the world's–or Europe's?–smallest nation (On page the fourth the official word is: "one of the smallest sovereign states in the world"; "being only five miles long"), which means we are talking about the Duchy of Grand Fenwick --- that's the Mouse, you see --- it's near France, you see --- one of the smallest states in the world, and here in his third installment in the "Mouse" series --- apparently, if they are all like this one, they are witty little excursions relative to life as Wibberly sees it in 1969 or thereabouts --- and quite a bit better than any book you'll see today I might add --- the little bitty Duchy receives a windfall of riches, from investing, and via the Wall Street investment world or crowd. The origin of the windfall lies in a rather improbable series of events that are quite beyond the scope of this review. But at any rate the citizens of Grand Fenwick (i.e. white people) suddenly find themselves with a lot of addition moolah-boolah. (Mazel Tov.) This is in addition to their normative economy which is wine, a Pinot wine it is, and wool it is. You see, that is the whole economy, two products–but suddenly they have a lot more to contend with in the form of a large inflow of Wall St. money, large amounts of what Daniel Korten thinks of as the abstraction of money. There is some sort investing going on that is covered in a previous book in the series, something which I don't know about --- because, I don't really read all that much, ok? The strange thing here is that all the extra money does not help. That is sort of like the point. The point of the book or what the book's economic theories hinge on; what the humor (and it is considerable, but stops short of "side-splitting," which is "naked," by David Sedaris last week–a book that almost did me physical laugh-damage in my lungs or my sides or something) consists of: the joke that the influx of money is bad, not good. Ha ha ha. Well, let's pick up on page 58, a speech in which the bartender speaks to the Prime Minister (there is a Prime Minister, as well as a Princess who comes compleat with consort). The first P.M. was deposed by the labor or union man, Bentner, who is the new P.M. Anyways, he has created an alliance with the old P.M.–but, despite this successful alliance with the two political parties– the new PM Bentner has become depressed by the recent events in the Duchy, and he wanders off in a sort of daze, ending up in the taproom. He tries to have a glass of wine: it's the local wine, Pinot Grand Fenwick.
     And because of the country's disastrous money mistake or money troubles, the wine now costs more! And darts aren't free anymore, either. Here's what the bartender has to say:

     "I'm getting sick of the mention of money," he said. That's all that people talk about here these days. You know what all that money did, to my way of thinking? It killed interest in life. There's been many an evening here when I've listened with pleasure, while serving my customers, to three hours of good talk of shearing, wood carving, archery, gardening and--yes, treating colic in babies. It's been a treat to be among my fellow human beings. I'm not a very religious man, Mr. Bentner, but listening to talk like that, kindly and good humored, I couldn't doubt for a moment but that God Himself was right here listening with me and enjoying it just as much as me.
     And now look what's happened! The talk is money, money, money. How much is there going to be? What's going to be done with it? Who will get what? Who owes what to who? How much will go in taxes? It makes you sick. It's killed living, in my view--killed it stone dead. It's replaced it with something that isn't worth having at all.

-a lovely book,
I dare say

Post-Toasty, Crispy Candidates for President

As to my blog posts: there are good ideas. As to the writing style and all, I am always trying to get that better. I'll keep trying to get the writing to pop better for ya, OK? By nature I'm an artist not a big researcher, nor am I a data-miner. Nor am I a member of the Village People for  that matter. Although I have nothing against "Them People." This one, b.t.w., concerns the topic of "politics" on the Republican side and the mystique of Village Obama.
    On the Republican side we see some quick fader. Fresh contender comes, fades. We get always the same thing. A Republican may manifest himself as a quick leader but they are like mushrooms that pop up overnight and then fade given enough time. Which means, I guess, that Cain would become white. Of course, Palin was different because she had a fade time of over a year. Yeah, but she popped so early. You know?

     OK, so, anyway, we seem to get a new face every few weeks, even including a black face, and we wait--for the nomi closing. (The yshould do it more like the Academy Awards: "and the nominees are...") The denouement approaches. But as it does each quick mushroom fades. Pop-Tarts, you know, have to be eaten very quickly. They get cold. 
     Now, why the heck is that? Why do Pop-Tarts get cold? No. Why do conservatives come in the flavor of the week. Conservatives tend to like simple truths --- simple truths --- OK, "truthie" stuff. So maybe they are easy truths. maybe they have bad teeth, I don't know, but they fade quickly. But it's true: they like things that are quick and compact. It is as if they don't like to think too hard. The things they like do not require a lot of analysis. Ever notice that about them?
     I sure have, and I have noticed on my travels across the country that the guys just tend to like quick, simple things. Somehow, that's the way they are. Hey. They don't do a lot of in depth analysis. I think this is true. They like obvious issues. Did I mention that? Frankly, they accept cliches and they like sound "bites." I don't understand how you can bite sound but for example I tend to analyze a lot. The conservatives of my acquaintance just analyze rather a bit less---I've noticed this and I have had some experience with these people. (Thank you, Lonnie! And Archie! And the rest o' ya! Love ya!)
     Ye tanother way to analyse it is that conservatives tend to assume that everything makes sense. The world (of course) makes sense. They need it to make sense also in a pretty simple way, such that the contingency here is that liberals are to blame. So that is all you need to be able to figure out. If you just got rid of the liberals everything would be hunky-dory or something? Think about it. What I write rings true. Whereas the conservative type mentality thinks that everything makes simple sense or simply makes sense or makes sense in a simple way liberals tend to think that nothing makes sense. What would the world be doing making sense? Give me a break, everything absolutely has to be analyzed. Then maybe it makes sense, but you have to run your analysis or use a cookbook or something. Or it is that we haven't planned enough. We didn't use the complicated experts. Something like that. Who knows? But it all has to be analyzed, en perpetoo-um, or however you spell that, in Latin. Also, I tend to be that way, too, esp. when I get behind a freaking keyboard. Everything requires more tweaking. But at least I'm not selling out. No. I'm running out of money, instead.
     Anyway, maybe that is the case: conservatives like it simple and liberals like to analyze. I think a plausible theory do I have there. (So they have no depth, one is as superficial as the other, and they fade as soon as they emerge) Analyzing this theorem some more if a liberal gets a corn on her/his toe, she analyzes it. Other people cut it off.
     For liberals, nothing makes sense, that (duh) is why it needs to be analyzed. To conservatives, everything makes sense. That's what things do. They make sense. The world has to make sense, otherwise what kind of a world would it be? So, it makes sense by nature. (BUT: with the exception of the irrational, foreign persons, the liberals, the crazy element --- that is the exception to the rule that only goes to show that the real people, in Arizona, do make sense).
     It's all simple as pie you see. For them -- Republicans -- the liberals are fucking up the country and that's the end of our story. But, they wouldn't use the "f" word. Unless the liberals, whoever they are, absolutely force them to. Let's get rid of them. Let's "move on," to coin a phrase. And what do the conservo geniuses want to do? Invade somebody's country?
     OMG!!! Not that!!! Let's kill people! (Rush L: "the damn liberals won't let us kill people. Damn! Urggggggh! I jus' dunno...")
     (All of this is a golden opportunity for someone to simply make an effort to address these persons, the grassroots community that is low-income persons tending to be conservative, at the inevitable moment when they realize they need to find some new ideas, which they will realize, since they aren't that stupid. If is the liberals who are stupid because they don't see the opportunity.)

    Without being distracted, let's continue . For conservatives, everything has easy answers. Edward Teller was a man who liked "the Bomb," (but needed the bigger kind) back in the old days, when atomic warfare was a new concept. He was both an idiot and a scientist, which is certainly possible. You just need an H-bomb. Then everything will be fine?
     (I had of heard of this great scientific genius before; recently I encountered him again, in the Garry Wills book on atomic bomb matters, or atomic hot dogs, or whatever that book was about. Wills has since gone on to analyse Shakespearean drama and the literary portrayal of ancient Rome, certainly of equal relevance to the times).

     Without geting distracted....All you need is something simple. Ha ha ha. There's nothing a couple beers won't fix. Ha ha ha. Everything (is) guffaws. (insert: rich persons laughing.) Whatever it is, it is going to be simple. The owner of "The Men's Wearhouse" guarantees this. And when an overnight guest stayed at George H. W. Bush's house, she was sleepless, and she looked for a book to read, and in the whole downstairs of that Bush residence she only found one called "The Fart Book." (citation "disremembered," as the next Bush would put it --- but I did read it somewhere. I swear I did.)
     Now I'm not sayin' - Im not sayin - I am NOT sayin there ain't - or is - sumpthing WRONG with cutting to the point. You know? Or slicin' them there Gordian Knot or whatever. You all get to have whatever you want for breakfast, if that's what ya'all wanna do.
     I am not saying what works for Madison Avenue won't work for the country. But then again why should it? Why should a presidential candidate resemble a mushroom or something that just popped up overnight? I  don't know. If there is a reason for that maybe it's "the market"? Then regulate it.

     The final moment. That's the moment when your country meets its fate. That's the moment when the next president will come. At that time there needs to be a candidate out there that we know. Or that we are getting to know. OK, even getting to know just a tiny bit. And that one will be, you know, the paradoxical Barack O.