Thursday, August 23, 2012

German Economic Hubris

[This was saved on the blog website as an unpublished draft.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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, July 28, 2012

July 28, 2012 11:00PM

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

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

July 28, 2012

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

July 27, 2012 (2nd posting)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lady Gail and Lady Bird

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

                                            Book Review - Gail Collins

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

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

     Arrogant life kills normal life... ...

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

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

Friday, July 27, 2012

CNN Deletes You, You Don't Delete It

How many persons who write for the CNN blog have integrity? Only a few persons who write have integrity, so I doubt very much if I believe in the CNN blog. Mainstream media is no place where integrity hangs its hat. Integrity certainly gets no boost merely from an association with media. It's laughable,and we know better than that.
     We have an open society. That's true. We have an open society, and a society associated with
"freedom." Not all societies are like that. The capitalist ones are. In the countries that developed during the industrial and capitalistic revolution we get this, so bully for us. And the tradition got pretty well established. I too exist within this basic social milieu or environment, because it's social. Within that, I am basically 'encouraged', maybe even 'supposed to', as a citizen, add my "comment" onto a previously-badly written story by the one Alan Sloan, a regular columnist at CNN. His background. He used to be with "Newsweek" -- so, he's a professional. I suppose, and now hacking ('hacking' - get it? Like "hack writer"?) [pause for twiddling of thumbs] and coughing up spitum or spitunias [I made this up] for CNN ---- a public opinion-maker. If you want to call it that. Or maybe we know better...
     Most people don't have a clue about what to think. So they rely on persons like him. (Unless they know better) The idea is that it is for all of us in the society to see and respond to in some fashion.
     So far, so good. Let us count our blessings. We have got publishing; We have got a free speech society; Freedom has been established [insert trumpet flourish] -- Somehow [insert Louis Armstrong jazz version]. I think it was established through the history of industrialization and capitalism, or you might say it was by people in three-cornered hats, if you like the idealist version. But, also, CNN has "standards." Now wait one cotton pickin' second here. Actually, I meant "standards" in a sarcastic way. Maybe you did not pick that one up.
     I am too subtle and nuanced I guess. I am struggling to express something here, which is that since all they have to do is have control, that sort of cancels everything out. And I wonder what kind of monkey sits there, in a booth at CNN reviewing reader "comments," according to a "policy" sheet. I would like to hear the confessional: "I was a censor, at CNN h.q." So the point is this is not really "freedom." One flip of a tiny toggle switch -- free speech deleted. Your little fantasy is of commenting on CNN's coverage is over.

     Oh give me a break. Don't comment on CNN blog. All you are doing is buying into it. That is not the free speech society. That is it's cancellation. So, what we have to see is that there are just as many persons who want to cancel that way of life as protect that way of life --- the free speech way of life or open society. Being in the media world, or the business world (where this writer hangs out: in the section that financial and business entity/corporation CNN cleverly calls "MONEY") does not in any way enhance the presence or strength of free speech. Every time you get free speech you also get it's violation. There is no real strength for freedom of speech -- it is just kind of a coincidence.
     And every time they tell you that they will give you the opportunity to speak, their hand is on the controls.
     The hell of it is: They can "delete" at will.   

(See "Comment" for "Business Morality," trending towards the end of yesterday's postings)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Andrew Revkin, Naomi Klein, Dot Earth

Naomi Klein recommends  

"a profound interrogation of the ideology that currently governs our economy."
Good for you, Naomi, and I'm right there with you.

Business Morality

" If the managers think there's money to be made by expanding and improving a business that they've bought, they will try to expand and improve it. If they think they can make more money by loading additional debt onto the company and sucking out the proceeds in dividends and fees, they'll load and suck. If they think there's more money to be made by firing all the U.S. employees and moving operations to China, they'll do so in a heartbeat. They're neither moral nor immoral when it comes to U.S. jobs and U.S. society. They're amoral—they don't care one way or the other, as long as what they're doing isn't illegal. "

This is the kind of fluff you expect to get under the CNN flagship, but people are never amoral, they are moral beings. They can be moral or they can be immoral. but that's all. Capitalism is made of people. Persons cannot be amoral. There is no such spot on the toggle. Grow up. Find yourself, you fool. The above genius quote is sourced on CNN and found to be written by one A. Sloan. It is

July 16, 2012: 8:00 AM ET

P.S. Amorality in economics is a trope I have seen used twice. It was used by both George Soros and by JKG. Soros, I would say, has obvious reasons for taking this route. He trades everyday in a world that is pretty context-free, or pretty free from moral considerations. So, he needs to justify that. I think his is a pretty moral person, I mean Carnegie built libraries and what not. So, sure, Soros is moral, but what about this financial spectrum he flies so high in? (High-flying finance, the "third" level of Braudel's "Material Civilization," as well as, I think, the third volume of a trilogy Braudel must have had a lot of fun writing!) I do not believe that we should say that his financial trading-floor (or trading airplane) acts are amoral. The actor can only be either moral of immoral. I think the wording is fooling all of us. We could very see it like this. And this is how I do see it: he is a person, not a machine. He is a moral being. When he goes into the market and trades stocks and bonds or whatever, he does not suddenly become a fictitious "amoral" person. There are no "amoral" persons. He has a legal and moral responsibility for what he does in life. The idea is that one's economic/trading activities are an exception. I do not agree.
     0K, so...maybe what Soros was saying in the piece of writing I am referring to, which I read some time ago, is that those particular acts of trading that he was doing do not have much of a moral component to them. That may be, and the act may be amoral but the person is not the act. The other one I read who said capitalism is "amoral" was J. K. Galbraith. Again, I don't agree with the idea that capitalism, or some part of it, is a separate zone that should be entitled "amoral." Bain Capital was buying and selling companies, right? With employees, right? If these kinds of activities are "amoral," then we really need to call the regulators in immediately. Someone has to be  responsible for adjudicating this system. There is, in general, what is called our responsibility for actions, and this moral context is a culture, a human world. Capitalism was not developed in a vacuum, it was developed out of just this human, cultural, moral context. The morality was there ---- otherwise capitalism could not function as a reality in the human and social world. So, capitalism is not an abstraction, although I think the business class would like to reduce it to that, extracting the "real life," because, as Jeff Skilling said, "humans gum up the works." So isn't that brilliant, Jeffery got rid of the pesky humans, and found himself quite rich indeed. So I say that rather than there being any space of any significance at all where the term "amoral" describes the activity, all humans are responsible for all actions. Period. And you do not gild and polish your amoral compartment, not in the mind or on the blog or the CNN media network or anywhere. In Bain's case, there is more likelihood of real consequences, since it is real companies with real employees in them that are being bought and sold. And Romney was a robot when he was with them? What is he now? Is he still amoral, or does the person morph into something else? When? Why? No. I say Romney was a moral being all along and he needs to take responsibility, and that means not through his business buddy at the CNN network who places the concept of an amoral business sector in Romney's mouth. That is being a shill for business which is what Sloan is. Allen Sloan's suggestion is that this not at all yucky, it merely "feels yucky to non–financial types" [my emphasis] (which he follows up with "—and to some financial types as well").
     What I am reading into it is that the whole human race is full of immorality and corruption. Naturally, so is capitalism. That is Allen Sloan's point, that since all of it is corrupt anyways, Bain should not be singled out in such a moral arena as a political campaign. He asks: What is the reason for making a special case of Bain? Allan sees these corrupt businessmen all the time, and he says it's not corrupt, it's actually OK. 
     But buying out businesses? It does have a moral component to it, since it is human behavior. This particular not exempt and neither are any other human actions, whatsoever.
     There should be no such concept of an amoral function in business. I think it is wrong. What needs to be fixed is the whole economic system. We have to get our mind around that. Maybe Mr. Sloan won't get his mind around it though.

Aphorisms About Capitalism and Sociality

It has to be socially embedded.
     Capitalism won't work if it doesn't occur in a social context.
Capitalism belongs to the society. It is social.
     Therefore, most of our thinking on capitalism is wrong.

The capitalism is in decay; it getting worse, not better.
     We need to distinguish socially healthy from socially degenerate capitalism.

Today's "capitalism" is not really capitalism. It is dying.
     We need to think about what real f.m. capitalism would be.

     A decaying capitalist corpse-like thing does not have its integrated social quality is a recipe for disaster.
     Nor does it have the older agrarian culture backing it up (and acting as an alternative place to go).

Capitalism is not a 7-11, nor is it a stock exchange. It is a social system, and therefore the Wall St.Journal version is not the real capitalism. As that version is found in the "Opinion" section, the comment does not mean to disparage their coverage of the news, which is decent.

A "socially embedded" capitalism, as the phrase occurs above, is a capitalism that exists in a social and cultural context. This kind of linkage in itself would be a good subject for study. The phenomenon, of course, developed naturally. But it cannot continue to develop naturally, and the case must be made that now is the time for intervention. Even though no one in either the D or Rep parties are making that case, this is my finding as a private economics scholar.

Part Two of 'A Human Science' (Economics Is About Humans)

So, what happens, is that we take the human side out of it. That is fine. In Buddhist philosophy, there is a human side and a 'pure' side. But the situation is different with "economics."  We are already putting ourselves into a category, a subject field, called that. When you call it "economics," the saber is taking its first cut (Or: the word "economics" is the first stroke of rhetoric), and it's a humanistic cut.
     Economics is fundamentally human;
     What they are doing is applying numbers to it.

Do Taxes Slow Down the Economy?

Semantically, the word "tax" means a lowering of efficiency. In other words, when we tax a person, we are taking some of their energy, as when we do a lot of work or exercise, at which time we claim that we are "taxed" or feel "taxed." It also mean things like when you "do your taxes." In April.
     These are the two main definitions of the word according to what the dictionary tells us. We say "I feel taxed," which means tired, or, "I am being taxed" meaning that the state exacts taxes from persons' income.
     Those are the two. Combining them, a tax would mean something that takes from you or slows you down when you are trying to get somewhere or make some money.

     That is why conservatives say that a tax would slow down the economy.

     That sets up the argument. Now, which is correct? Are taxes good or bad? There are multiple sides to everything.  The system that causes so much suffering in the world, and that is destroying the planet, is called "capitalism." At the same time, capitalism is the most successful thing in the world.

     The question: Do taxes slow down economy, as the conservatives say, or are they good because the government needs those taxes?

     Second question: Do Texans slow down the economy?

Economics is about humans, not the wealth illusion

Learnedness is an industry. Within a certain, limited "capitalist view" it must be that, if we have 100,000 scholars, that would be a growth industry; and 110,000? -that must be even better.
     How would questions of quality come into it? What if all are less than perfect scholars? They do not have to know anything at all, from such a point of view, if the schools continue to receive money. If what matters, in this view, is the quantity of  money. If what matters is only that someone will pay money. Assuming there is a product at all. Do the additional 10,000 scholars improve the product? If there is one? Who really cares? From a certain, limited view the only thing that needs to happen is for funds to change hands, But rejoice, our goal can be me in exciting ways. The goal of money, or "income stream," is met if students pay money for courses. But it is also met when endowment money comes in from (well-meaning) (rich) alumni, persons of quality who think their money will improve quality of education. Finally, inputs of incomes are attenuated (aggrandized, grabbed, attained...) when government scholarships input money in for the purpose of sending young persons to school to learn. It's so much fun you do not even care if they learn anymore. Of course we do need to reassure our donors. That we are "Ivy League."
     Everything is backwards! If you said that learning will lead to more persons making more money? OK. But aren't we also implying that the money leads to (more) persons learning?
    In that case - what does "learning" - or "learnedness" - mean? It's just words, you see. It is just the name of the industry doing the money-making. The inflow of money does not seem to insure the quality of the learning or learnedness. So, what was the whole point? Learnedness is an industry, I said. Right, but in a world where the quality is sinking even as the quantity of commodities, money, and idiocy is rising touchstone is money. You just need the live bodies as an excuse to keep your badass college endowed with money.
     The show must go on, so, yes, in all practicality you'll need some bodies there. That too. You need the biological forms, walking zombie-like across the Potemkin Village University of the USA.
     Is this the "economics of education"? The "privatization" of (or "economics" of) education? Ah but it is not economics because it is not education, and because there is no wisdom. The reality is that economics implies human welfare. But we don't get it, we never got that. If there are no human beings, only homo sapiens animals, or only zombies or walking corpses....Well, is that "Economics"? In reality? In the real sense? Or "Madness"? Or "Horror"? Or is it all just "Words"? Or will mathematics save us from words? And finally attain meaning? I doubt it. But, of course, I am not a mathematician. Maybe they have a beautiful language, all their own. What can math accomplish?

     Economics is human, only human. The term "economics" must imply a "social science." It is so, even in the academic registers and catalogs. We have forgotten about that. We chase money. Today we chase Money, and we shall go completely insane tomorrow!!!!!! Such "economics," such fraud.

     Economics is a human science. (Oh, but that's so 19th century!)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Armchair Radicals Prefer the Internet

I visited the Bill Moyers web. Posted there is a fifty-minute interview with Chris Hedges.
We spend our time watching radicals on the internet instead of being radical.

Let's see if Chris has a channel. I have now checked, and I can report that the answer is: No. As far as I know, there is No Chris Hedges web, it's a negative, capital "N." Just Bill Moyers web. Capital "B" capital "M." This is where you really need the Theodor Adorno "negative" dialectic. Oh, those crazy Europeans...

Why do I need to be a radical? I'll just let Bill Moyers do it for me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

They Smoke Cigars / They Drive Big Cars

In almost every case, when you investigate a conservative their logic falls apart. They all belong to the same small clique. They have all been instructed in professional writers' techniques. There is a context problem, a lack of connection to the real world.  They smoke cigars. 
    The conservative writers in this small clique are clay tigers and paper pigeons. The center cannot hold. They're full of shit. Now this guy wrote a good article    -well, I mean, he had me going, didn't he?     -so it must be a good article      -so, then I looked at his entire presence on all his web links, his Twitter feed, and his main news website, in an effort to get the spread out version. In other words, I looked at all the links to the man in order to sort of splay him out, to spread him out, to get the spread, to see the way he was presented, in the context of the web. 
    And you know I just don't believe it. Something is making me suspicious here. My instincts are usually good about these things.
        This individual's Batman article is great ... but it just doesn't cohere with the rest of it.
        It's phony. They all are. Now that's kind of a mean thing to say, and that is my mean side, to be sure but more important than whether I am the only mean, nasty man in the world or not there is a reason for saying these things about the conservatives and their activities.

Legendary Guitar Maker (Fender)

"The legendary guitar maker, whose iconic Stratocasters and Telecasters have long been associated with rock royalty such as Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, filed for an initial public offering in March. The offer, set at 10.7 million shares at $13 to $15 a share, was expected to raise about $150 million for the company and its biggest shareholder, San Francisco-based private equity firm Weston Presidio."

Everything in the world is business, then. Apparently, that includes rock-and-roll. I thought rock-and-roll was sacrosanct somehow, but I am old school, not up to speed. I didn't know yet that: Without businessmen how would you strum a guitar?
     You can't. You needed an initial public offering at $13 to $15 a share. Those old records in your collection are just an illusion. You need money, these days, for anything: health care, music, etc.
     Did you ever suspect that that is what rock and roll is about? That is what it depended on? That everything is bundled into the same program? And I think that's called "free market"?
     And if this harmonious (ha ha) initial public offering should fail, we'll have to stimulate economic growth by giving away free money. But make sure you only give that free money to the rich bankers (and then secondarily the big corporations like GM and Chrysler, who will use it to make America greater). You don't want the music to stop, do you? Then there won't be any money and that means eventually no electricity.
    With no electric power in the wall your power chords won't work either, and then there will be only folk music, which means acoustic instruments. That kind of music does not require outside power sources or the electricity that depends on the business community and their screamin' green guitar solos.

Generally, you look around on the internet and everything is one big obsession on the theme of money. It's disgusting, disgusting. This is what this world has come to.

But, just when you thought all the news from was bad? -----no, there's just a glimmer of light because it turns out that Bain Capital is heavily invested in Guitar Center, Fender and Guitar Center are linked, somehow and...
     And... the good news is: "...Guitar Center has been losing money every year since, making it a nightmare investment for Bain Capital." It seems that Mitt Romney's associates didn't do so good, when they invested in 'Rock' music. They lost money, so ...THAT'S good, right?
     Ah, something that makes me feel good finally.

Costs of... ... ..

Here is where it is good to do a rhetorical analysis.

"The Government Accountability Office attempted to put a number on the costs of the debt limit disaster last year. They really only looked at the increased cost of borrowing, not necessarily the cost to the larger economy, which was real, at least if you go by economic indicators like jobs and GDP growth. But just on borrowing costs alone, the number went well above $1 billion..."

That's a liberal blog. So I might be expected to feel at home, since I have often felt fairly close to such views.

The term "real" comes up here, within this excerpt from the liberal blog, but I think the whole quote is about what's real. I do not see any distinction. It is about the "real economy" (a term that is used by amongst others George Soros, in contrast to "unreal," signifying the financial sector). But I think the economy consists of both of two: the above-board economy with its ideas of what is "real" and also another  thing. That is to say, all the hidden aspects. What do I mean, "hidden"?

The hidden aspects are all those things we don't see. When I look at a word like "cost," for example, it reminds me of these hidden aspects - something going on that we don't see. I don't think the language economists use makes much sense. And I think I can demonstrate that I am not delusional. Some of the economists are delusional, however. Believe me!
     Anyway, one way to illustrate how we miss the hidden aspects (and a lot of it is when we so pathetically tie our cart to language practices acting in the conformity of prevalent language practices and speech practices) is to ask what a "cost" is when humans are the ones that create money. It is a quite simple way of critiquing the above text excerpt. And not only did we create money at some time in the past, but Ellen Brown and others say banks actually create money, which is of course wrong. It is wrong morally. (A child could tell you that money cannot just be created by a bank! That is why they normally hide what Ellen and others have revealed.) And because it is so morally repugnant it must happen, naturally, in a mind-boggling, almost impossible-to-understand-way! But, apparently it is true. Banks do increase the amount of money. It's real. To be a little more clear, they loan out money they do not actually have. It is something like that. (Something like that, but at any rate I think it is true).

So - suddenly - a word like "cost" becomes more complex and we see that there is more hidden beneath the surface. Then what is a "cost," in capitalism? Let's look at this, okay? If I had a "cost" to build a company, and then it goes and makes profits, which these days takes only perhaps a few months, that is merely the "cost" of exchanging one sum of money for another, larger, amount, the later accounting for net income. That isn't what "cost" means in the English language. Maybe in some other language; but, not English. Why is that a "cost"? -when what it is the cost to make a profit? Why, oh why? Why is the initial outlay a "cost" followed by a profit? Semantically, it does not make sense. A cost is when it costs you something. The "cost" didn't cost anybody anything, it did the opposite (made a profit, that is to say). If a company loses money, OK, a cost. The smarter the businessman, they more the notion of "cost" is usurped. If he was really, really, savvy, he calculated his risks quite well, and if he calculated his risks quite well, there was no time when the monies invested were "costs." He went to the bank and borrowed it. Where are the "costs"? The collateral? Give me a break; the money was free. He got free money, and spent it. So, that was a "cost"?
     If the company makes money it should be called an investment. The upshot of all this is that there is no cost for an act of business that becomes a profit. You lost nothing, so it did not cost you. That is not what cost is, in language. That is not what you are doing. You are doing business. So, this meaning of "cost" is not the real, or semantically real, meaning of the word.
     And economists are not nearly smart enough to create some kind of alternative language. This is just one example, with regard to this one word, "cost." There are numerous other frauds to be exposed, even just regarding this one word!
     Now, here is the issue. You have been tricked. You have been intentionally tricked by these economists. And you'd better believe it. It has to be intentional. You cannot do that by accident. This should be an issue in the world. Why, of all places, the academic world is where they cannot handle the truth? Anyway, the point is this. We cannot really just use the words the way other people tell us to. Economics appears to me to be a false science. It is being foisted on you. You are being tricked. All of the collective knowledge of society is wrong on this one. The university system has dropped the ball. It's witchcraft (and I don't mean that in a good way).
     Before you get angry at me and call the police ask yourself whether there is still time to look at this or whether it is just too late.

    It all sounds very simple, though, when you do what society says, like a lapdog, like the "liberal" blogger at FDL who uses the accepted linguistic devices. This is what happens when you choose to stick with the rhetoric. That is what the FDL writer, and all writers on economics do, because there is no other language to use, when discussing economics. And we are stuck with the words that don't make sense. OMG! Now we come to "cost of borrowing"? But does it make sense. I am not sure it does. My instinct tells me that there is not any cost of borrowing. It does not exist. What the Ellen Brown people would say, as I understand it, is it just an adjustment of assets vs. debits.    

     At any rate I think we have resolved this bullshit involved in the word "costs." And there is only one way a single word could contain that much bullshit. This is called lying. That is the only word for it, it is an intentional deception that has been at work within the economics field. To these persons' total discredit, this field let it happen. That is a scandal. That is the scandal of my life, the result of all my investigations --- t is one result. There are others. This one I found out about and now I understand this --- I fully know.

I notice also that, in the above excerpt, this person who is writing compensates for the weakness of the term by differentiating between kinds. There are two kinds of costs. He tries to make a distinction between which costs are real and which are not. Many times, of course, we create reality by how we talk about things. So, he is allowing "rhetoric" to frame the conversation. The result that "the" conversation is now a neutral or synthetic creation and therefore not "his" conversation. (This understanding of the term 'rhetoric,' which is itself rhetoric of course, was accessed through my reading of McCloskey, 1992)

reference, below.
article quoted is David Dayen Tuesday July 24, 2012 8:15 am
website is

Monday, July 23, 2012

A New Period of Justice

The "Times" has a bombshell for all their greaders. (Greedy, fact-driven readers!) The Afghans are not slick enough to cover up their atrocities. That's the big story.
    Nixon bombed and killed hundreds of thousands when he was in power. Obama shoots people down with drones. Anyone killed in the drone attack is assumed to be combatant, this is to say after they are dead. But on the other hand that only applies to men, of course. It's only decent.
    Chomsky writes about top-secret government documents that he has obtained. He clearly explains: it is an open society, that's how he could get copies of these documents. Makes sense, huh? There are two documents in particular that he has that he writes about. He identifies them. There are letters and document numbers on them. There is the "extreme" position of Nitze (I think), but the other, the "liberal" document is also an extreme position, Kennan's. Both Nitze and Kennan hate what they call "Communism." But the word is senseless (it becomes rhetorically real for them; they invoke Communism).
    So, given that history, what exactly is the New York Times up to these day? Well, do not know. So, I had better finish reading the article in Monday's edition, front page, right hand column (col. 6). It would probably help to read the article, duh. I have it here, 'in hand,' as Heidegger says.  "...[E]ach uniformly punctured by a single bullet entry hole at the back."
    It turns out that "researchers" want to "hold accountable" the violence people, the harm-doers. 
    Their task is to stop these sorts of conflicts. The preparers of the study are the "Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission."
    There are thousands of people in Af (I mean in any society - in most societies) that could have done these things. But only a few that actually became leaders and carried out the slaughters. For their pluck and their individual initiative, for their and drive to be the best, we prosecute. But, that's the American way and the Afghans will need to get live with it. So... 
    We should just keep on ramping up the pressure until 2014 when we leave.

    Once again we marvel at the superior humanity of the international human rights experts.

    Not to mention, the U. S.

    The problem of course (and Chomsky already revealed all of this) is that when American presidents do this, they do not get punished. We are sacrosanct. The human rights investigators are prosecuting Afghans, not Americans. The Americans are still killing with impunity. (Which the N.Y.T. also revealed happened in Iraq, when they got their hands on some documents the Marines accidentally left behind.)
    These international activists and their U. S. supporters have nothing to lose. They have no generals to obey, no countries to defend. They are thus in a perfect position to pass judgement on others.
    If these same rights advocates were caught in a war and had to kill or be killed, which come to think of it would be just the position the human rights violators were in, it would be interesting to see their behavior. But they may never be caught in such a position. You know what I think? I think that is just the whole point. 
    They have power. They are pure. Their hands are clean.
    You committed the atrocity. I didn't. Gotchya! I'm the one with power.

    We are entering into a new period – a magical one – where human rights advocates tap rights violators on the head with magic wands, causing them to become "accounted for" and given justice.

Theory of Democracy (A Rare Political Post)

Assad wants to fight to the bloody end. Why do I oppose Assad? Because he kills people and he represents power. What other reason do I need? I always oppose the powerful, those who are not powerful are not a threat. The purpose of democracy is to reduce the possibility of any one faction getting total power.
     For hundreds of years, conflicts in that part of the world have resulted in the deaths of leaders and by his utter intransigence Assad is asking for a return to the behaviors of the past.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

All the Same Song?

The World always changes, doesn't it?
    The world of Nelson Algren's book called "City On the Make," which book I admire just sitting on the shelf, because I have not done a close reading, is one. It is the world of Chicago in the late fifties. The world of three or four hundred years ago is/was another and for that matter what I saw just yesterday is another. That is the world of the area around Damen and North. That is an area of Chicago, which is an ultra-hip, super-cool type area. All these world are so different, noted I. But we all have the same bodies, so if a primitive man of 50,000 years back took his leaves off he would see basically the same difference-sameness that I see when I look at my nakedness.
    Rene Dubos' book -- I wrote about it already -- see below -- makes a point. Our journey as a common, "human" one is a journey wherein we are the species where, unlike other animals, one is not confined to one spot. "Homos"  can change their home zones, can go all over, not be associated with any one "homeland," which is a word that originates with the brilliant George W. Bush of Connecticut, and Texas. So everything always changes. Or else it always stays the same. OK I know I said upon opening this flytrap that it always changes.
    But maybe we should change that, too, as it also always stays the same. Like the body of that man of 50,000 years back. Of course we are going to be "down" (trendy) with the latest news (styles) from our changing species and yet, this does not change the  fact that the matter of same and different always has the two sides of, Well --- same and different (only one of which is particularly trendy).
     There isn't really anything new under the sun.You have the same basic equipment physically that your ancestors did, 40,000 years ago, and hardly much different from say, Australopithecus 1 million years ago. Yet, the World always changes, don't it?


updated July 25th

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Creative Post About Not Being So Creative

You think according to how your culture wants you to think. Culture is a 'box' persons are in.  Everyone thinks "inside the box." They very rarely think outside of it.

"Step outside the box" "Criticize your culture" Oh yeah, baby. It's just rhetoric, baby.
These are profound sentiments, but harder to do than it is to say, and even when we say "outside the box," it doesn't mean much. We are  trapped in our culture, our box --- like, hmmmmm (let's find a nice one here guys) Um---ants in a glass ant display?

It is much harder to talk about "creativity" than to be creative.

Friday, July 20, 2012

econo theory update for June 18th post

The first paragraph of has been re-written. It got eleven visits, so I thought they should be informed. So could you please  tell them?

An Article in the Daily Mail

Here is something that a lot of persons should take an interest in reading, if you have the time -- an interesting article and I thought well-written.

Here is a small piece of it, although I have to say that I may get arrested. I'm serious. After all, I downloaded the word "hijab..." So? I must be either a terrorist or a bigot. One or the other.

...a woman wearing a hijab and a long black tunic [who] began unloading an overflowing trolley, one item at a time.
She says: 'I glanced over and thought, “This poor woman's going to be there for hours.” Her husband was standing closest to me, so I said to him, “Will you help her?”
'He said, “I've got the children.” I said, “Well, I can help her” and he replied, “What's it to you?”


The article itself has more, of course, and, it is from England. For that reason alone there is less manipulation and ideological baggage than the corresponding American article would have.

The last thing the man says above ("What's it to you?") marks this supposedly "Mediterranean" man as an "individualist," of a type who cannot see the connections that actually exist between various persons. They seem separated to him. But that is also his interpretation of the modern society he is in, or what the nature of a capitalist society is. This type of person really believes that the society is made up purely of individuals, and these individuals may be, in everyday life, unconnected. This is the way he sees, but, in a way,  there is some truth to it. One may look at things that way. These two persons, the man and his companion (or wife) saw no connection between this same woman, struggling to unload groceries and this other woman, who happened to be English, and who was standing nearby: "What's it to you?"
     Are there times when persons have no connection to one another? No. We are always connected. But, sometimes we do not know it. If we do not see our connection to others, then, when an offer to help comes, this act may appear senseless, it came across as a possible threat...

So, read it for your self. You don't want my "help," now, do you?


French Restaurant Post

As for socialism dream on. It should have happened in France. Please understand my view, which is that it is a valid concept. There is the idea that you should have a sense of responsibility, like saying that there is another person next to you, and what you do will have an effect on him. Since what you do has an effect on other persons and not just on your wallet, perhaps the whole world should wake up together. The whole world should pay some attention to our mutual interdependence. The world should sit up and pay attention. All together now, pay attention to the effect that one thing or person has on another, or to the effect that a thing happening in one place has in another place. That isn't radicalism. It is only our common humanity and good sense and testifying to the truth of that there used to be socialists; even in the  U. S. A point (a point) not often understood.
    Some of those socialists were also boneheads, though, like persons who organize rallies by advertising that the rally is for "all good socialists and KKK members." (You don't hear about that one too much. So, I guess it's complicated: the left won't tell you the truth and the right won't tell you the truth. There's one problem right  there - or maybe those guys just do not know what the  truth is in the first place.)
    It is a valid concept. It has seemed so to many and this has gone on for a certain longish time. The concept is entertained especially in places like France, but, still, socialism never happened. No socialism.
    And so, dear readers, don't get your hopes up. You're going to be stuck with capitalism. You should get your head behind the concept, instead of being so darn "anti-capitalist," which has the advantage of being a bit easier. You should get your head behind the concept of capitalism before it's too late. You should think this through. Capitalism is your system. Stop saying you are an "anti-capitalist." It isn't smart.
     Then when you've figured this out, then let's defend it. There are those who cannot handle capitalism either. Some of us don't get that concept either. In other words, we cannot handle socialism, we cannot handle capitalism. Or, they have bad ideas about what to do after they are in that system. Like, they steal. They cheat. They love doing that stuff. It makes them feel powerful and virile. You have to understand what capitalism really is and stop them from doing it. Chris Hedges understands that a "tolerant" society is nevertheless within bounds when it is intolerant of those who are against tolerance. This makes sense, because a tolerant society would not exist if active opposition destroys that very element of tolerance. It needs to look out for persons actively against, or violating its principle, tolerance. Not everyone is able to be responsible enough to live in a tolerant society. They should not be free to attack capitalism, for example, by doing what we nevertheless seriously call "investing." Bashar Assad had a money manager, a man who was interviewed for the New York Times. The advisor had made successful investments on behalf of Syria. Some persons do not need to be a part of any society they are violating. Some are incompetent. How can you participate in business if you are unethical? Are you a "free" individual? I don't think so. There are too many such people and capitalism can be too easy nowadays. maybe you do not get how to do capitalism, or cannot handle it. Then, just because you find yourself within the social mileu, it doesn't mean you get to be treated like everybody else, and that you can just do whatever you want, and make easy money, and create crises everywhere. The problem is not that such persons are "capitalists," it is that they aren't acting right within capitalism. That is why you need regulation. They are not capitalists. They are persons who are not very smart.
    Capitalism doesn't owe them something. Capitalism is a system that, like any other, needs to have bounds or rules that it works within. As time goes on, it gets easier to scam your way through the society, the scam becomes more collective. Regulation would protect against that.
     A lot of people make easy money. I believe the advertisements that claim this can be done. So, some things need to be regulated. That is not competition, or frugality, or individual initiative. Give me a break. The system matures and it becomes too collectivist! It gets too easy for your little cheat squad to make money. That kind of money is not earned. It is quite ill-gotten. I would not call that capitalism. I would call "capitalism" something that makes a modicum of sense, or that is socially sustainable. These so-called "capitalists" are rushing to commit suicide, which they well do collectively as well. There are regulations you need. There are such rules and regulations that you need to put in place. And you need regulators to do that. And voters to vote for regulation. That is the correct capitalism, the correct policy.
    We need regulation because we need to defend capitalism. Let's do so collectively. (All you sharp conservatives may notice that I'm using the word "collectively" a lot.) 

    Socialism, then, is a concept, and that reminds me. A concept cafe just opened on Wells St. called La Fournette (you do not pronounce it phonetically). I thought it was OK. It claims it is, and may well be, based on the accents I heard during my visit, an "authentic," "actual" French bakery.
    Simultaneously, in the simulacrum I should say, I was reading this here novel by de Beauvior, Simone,  you see. She is good, I had previously quite enjoyed "Ethics of Ambiguity" (hard to find in a store), and there is also the novel, "Les Mandarins." It is "The Mandarins" in English, b. t. w. She writes about all her associated intellectuals friends of the French Left. Intellectuals of France – something that she knows a lot about, having been Nelson Algren's girlfriend. No. She is a really, really good author. I do not really read novels because I cannot absorb all of the social detail neurologically but I could tell she really was smart about writing it. A kind of real smarts there.
     The thesis here is that socialism didn't happen. Well, I think that is the point. I know there was a point somewhere, but getting back to the restaurant, the French apparently lack a concept for "rolls," which I noticed because as soon as I got in I order one, thinking: "it is a bakery. I don't know much about the menu yet, so I will get a roll." I think I made a mistake there. This mistake was I came in and asking for a "roll." Hey, I didn't know any better! Q: Bakery. A: Roll. No. I mean, Neu. Neuf?
    I knew it was a bakery so I asked for a roll. Crap. I had a glitch, man. I threw a bad pass, I had a "faux pas" OK. So, we, the Americans collectively, found no rolls. What they have are croissant, "brioche," et pretzel. 
 ... ...Oui!

For Barbara E. (Dark City)

There was a voice. It intoned: "There are a thousand stories in the Naked City." All of the stories apparently ended, though, when this dismal, dark show left the air.
    Although "Naked City" has been off the air for some time now it was a regular feature in reruns when I was living with my parents. Which was awhile ago. I am confident it was also a poor T. V. show. Why? Because I only remember the standard opening and if the thing was good, I figure I would remember an entire example of it from start to finish.
    Now that we have Ehrenreich's "Bright-Sided" perhaps we can better appreciate the show which had a  "dark" quality to it, and so, it demonstrates a dark, not a bright, approach to life city life. I would question why we do not see anything like "Naked City" any more. The show was about the dark side, as opposed to the bright side. Robert Bly talks a lot (the "little book of the shadow") about this as do any number of others. Now, you have as much right to look the dark side as she the capacity, power, or privilege (opportunity) to drive her merry little snow-sled into a bank of white peach fuzz (transl. people have as much right to look at the dark side as the bright side). 
    I would prefer it better if the dark side was a little easier to access (other than PORNO and violence, for example in movies), because, today, we are getting one-sided. 
    The dark side should be shown a little more than it is, it seems to me, but is that even natural? The dark side is not illuminated so it is harder to see. Yes, obviously it is. So I ask again why we exclude it. Is it automatically excluded, as an outcome of being harder to see? No, there's more to it. Then we wouldn't need to exclude it. It wouldn't be there anyway. Maybe, Barbara, we are not bright-sided - but one-sided.

Here us one thing that may flesh things out a little more, from conservative ricochet
Here, the blogger, who appears to be a professional writer, says, of Batman, that the art had more reality for him: "the darkened alleys of that crime-ridden city felt true..." Superman is, it seems, too "bright"? Batman "darker." Huh?

Black History Month and Commerce

I wrote this months ago–it's most complicated. Most persons are not going to be interested in this. It is so complicated. The subjects are so complicated -- not to mention "taboo/sensitive." I had put it aside. But I came back. I always do. Here it is, then, it's culture studies.
     I entered the book store zone. And, the first thing that I saw on entering the Book sTore ZOne was the Black BOOK Store Zone: a display of Afro-powered black books. The meaning of this display of books? That “February be Black History month”, so every item on that display is black. Items suitable for the display table have a direct connection to “black.” This is clear.
     Everything black is represented; it goes from the criminal, i.e. the man who has a “hellhound on my trail,” to a Southern Cooking book, that one's by the Neelys. (Now Paula Deen wrote the intro to it, but I guess that doesn’t count. The book is still black.)

    Overall, it’s a very white society; (Isn’t it?) Then the fantasy of shopping or the fantasy called "having a lot of fun reading books" must be a fantasy that we are having in a white society – a white fantasy.  What does it mean to announce a policy of equality, towards blacks, in a White Fantasia?

     It is  an “interior” kind of equality.

     Now, “equality” was announced some 45 years ago when we were all “converted” by M.L.K. jr., and the display itself re-“announces” the policy already initiated 45 years ago.
     Does this acceptance of black books (or we could say their prominent display) mean that there is equality; or, that the bookstore is promoting equality?

     If it is a intent to promote equality in an interior fashion, then for the store's display department to create a museum-like piece displaying a profound equality, of African, black Americans and white Americans means that one has created an interior world. Do the act (or the store, or the manager, or the display's creative artist, or the act or policy itself) want to act “as if” there is equality, i.e. as an interior fantasy, or do these persons actually want to promote something in real life? It is a tricky question, since the store display is, after all, a real thing, in a store, that reflects certain cultural and commercial facts. What is the significance of the word “promote,” or "announce"? Are they promoting an exterior idea, a fact, a material reality, or an interior idea? Do they want to promote it in an interior fashion or in the world, meaning the real world? What is the meaning of promoting an interior “reality,” a fantasy?

     I’ll tell you what it means. It means subjectivity. 

     No one can judge another’s interior dimension. 

     The equality is mostly interior.

Query About Rhetoric

What is normal and what is rhetoric? Normal speech is not rhetoric. It is "raw sense data and first-order predicate logic." (p, 19) But if you look closely at normal speech you find rhetorical elements. In any written text of any complexity, examples of which are scientific or economics texts, which texts are trying to get across complex ideas rhetoric, or skill with language comes into the picture. McCloskey is essentially making the suggestion, "why not focus on rhetoric?" But I have a criticism, since I think that if the project is to look only at rhetoric you will lose all hope for the seriousness that needs to be present. But the interesting thing is – that it is possible to get such a good book this way. For, it is rather edifying, to be sure. But when McCloskey triumphantly says, and I am paraphrasing, "look, we cannot divide the rhetorical from the normal speech anymore," she is noting her own device. And, therefore according to her, normal speech ought to just go away? Why?
     Concerning some comments I made to her, wherein I am talking about "reality", she says, in her letter to me, from July 07, that "there's no Real beyond what we humans can talk about." What is truly impressive is her demonstration that reality is hard to find in one particular example, which is economics writing, and that the entirety of economics writing can be considered fictional and yet not lose its power. But my  response is this: if we want to talk about the Real (she uses the capital as a device), we can. We can devote a whole book to the art of rhetoric, or we can devote our minds, if not our pens, to the Real. And it is our minds, not our pens that are truly important. McCloskey's 1992 book on rhetoric in economics, then, is merely the exercise showing how valid the former is [what I meant was not by comparison but as a stand-alone]. The Bible, for example, could be called mere rhetoric, and that is what irreligious people think it is. Others, however, believe there is something more to it.
     The end result of what she did was to lull herself or to condition herself by her own rhetoric. So it all depends merely on how seriously you want to take "The Rhetoric of Economics." Which is exactly the same as saying that it depends upon whether or not you choose to believe that [book, that] particular exercise in "Rhetoric." So, to say "rhetoric is all there is" is to totally miss the point that she is simply using the case of rhetoric, the example, (and a double example, of course, with economics being invoked, too) which is the  essence of her project. The limit of the project is precisely that one needs to turn one's back on the normal, and the result is that one ends up reducing everything to rhetoric. That is her project. Now you've created a wonderful world where everything is rhetoric. But you are willingly stuck there.

How, then can we put rhetoric in its place, or put it where it belongs, without getting obsessed on it? This is simply asking what the real (or normal) meaning of the word is. I would tackle that, rhetorically no doubt, by saying that rhetoric is an element in speech that can by varied, the adjustments and varieties of which are not for the purpose of making speech more moral. If I alter my style, or change my rhetorical style, I am not doing that to increase the goodness or morality of my speech. That is why we can say, "it is only rhetoric." Goodness, morality, and normalcy are precisely what are missing from rhetoric.

Now, I know I used the idea of the "normal" to open the present rhetorical exercise. There can be two types, it seems to me, of normal. Normal is either merely bone dry, "the rock is hard," "I am thirsty," OR normal speech contains an effort to help, to be moral. I do not directly use rhetorical effects in order to increase the good my speech does. If we think about this, we see it is true. Moral speech tends to bypass rhetoric. If I have to work with rhetoric for the sole purpose of helping or communication, it gets messy. The sincerity is lost. The other persons cannot know whether I am really trying to help or not. It is all over. Rhetorical speech is not direct aid, it is something more strategic.

To talk only of rhetoric is to leave something out. I felt McCloskey's work was most interesting – an
exercise in what happens when we focus only on the rhetoric. I thank her for that.

The work cited, as "p. 19," was the book called "The Rhetoric of E....." by Deirdre.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Economic Theory for July, 2012

Even if it is the case that the world is full of corruption and violence, nevertheless it is the case that there is somewhere on some level society. There has to be something that we may legitimately call the "society.” I had to put that in quotes there. Why? I think that this is because such language has been purged. Our culture has rejected discussion of society in favor of the promotion at all costs of individualism. The word “individualism” is in fact rather vague. Now individualism is a good thing, I am not against it. But if “individualist” or “individualism” is fine and dandy, that in no way implies that there is no society; the two exist together, we have just arbitrarily decided against using one of them. In becoming a writer, I at first tried to comply with this dictate; a member of a language group, or a culture, does not have that kind of freedom of choice. You do not get a second choice about which language you are going to use. So, in order to be agood member of my language group, I tried a number of constructions. For example, I tried “population unit.” I liked "culture entity," too. Somehow in the end none of it worked. I just violated my society and thus I returned to “society,” which I now use, and you get that in all my work, a term that cannot by me be avoided. I directly use a word not usually used in practical English language. I am just so radical.
     And the society does exist. Everyone knows that. We are not saying it does not exist, but we aren't supposed to talk about it. In US/America, we do not like to say so. Maybe you don't even notice what you are doing, but you are doing it. "Society" is for ivory tower scholars, and vernacular, but not practical, meaningful use. That the culture wants to leave this unspoken is an everyday fact. What I have to add here, something I would like to say, is that this repression of “society” — as a word — as one part of US/America — is one reason for our national success. Yea, society. Yea, denial-of-society.
     Denial of “society” — the word, the concept, the thing, or whatever (they are all so similar), comes under my discussion of “ideology,” which term I use more or less like Althusser, or Chomsky. And I think it blends into “culture,” I think it includes even cultural components like streets signs, and advertising, and, even, architecture. Ideologically, Americans rejected the notion of “society.” This then helped capitalism to flourish. 
     And yes, capitalism is social. The idea was that we wouldn't talk about it. There is therefore the existence of such a thing as the denial of a society as something that we should ever talk about. As soon as we did that, capitalism flourished. It flourished precisely because it is social. It is OK to be social, necessary in fact. It is just not OK to talk about it. Amazing America.

At some point in time, then, in the interest of simple honesty, shouldn't we start talking about it? It would appear that someone (David B.?) could attempt to bring to light the truth that society exists. Perhaps at some point it will be possible to wrap up this whole business up, to clear the decks. In any case, it is probably important to start the discussion neither too early, nor too late. I cannot know for sure if I am doing this at the right time. I think I am late, though. But this is the time that it is most convenient for me to begin the process of the attempt to introduce the concept.

We live in a society, but we have agreed not to talk about that. That's the pact of America, a part of the recipe that creates America again every day.
     So let's start talking about society. Unless America can allow a little tolerance of persons who have the feeling of human sociality, I do not think we can go forward.
     We will be no better in the end, than the Taliban or the Nazis.

Meet the Republicans

The world contains two types of persons. The first type of person are persons who have differences and talk with one another about them. And, the second type are the persons who refuse to. These persons refuse to talk to those others whom they have differences with. Those are the two types

July 19th 2012 Economic Theory

     The meaning of “economics” is “society.” One word implies the other.

     The word “economics” implies “society;” or, the word “economics” should imply the word “society.”

     Normally, the word “economics” should imply society. But it doesn't. Something is wrong.

     Interestingly, there may be writers or members of the chattering class who are violently opposed to what is being suggested. But there is a reason for that: in the process of the development of American culture, possibly beginning prior to the American Revolution, the word “society” was expunged from American English. And it was replaced with economics. 
     Here is where all the usual ways of practicing economics unfold. Here is where all the variants of "neo-Classical" economics are most strongly exemplified --- and any other, related or similar projections of economics lore. Behind all of this is a very specific social project --- do not talk about society! As a result, these variants of economics concern themselves with mathematical ways of explaining behavior --- but it is still social behavior that is at issue. Although this is true, and economic behavior -- i.e. capitalism -- is social behavior, economics-as-we-know-it has a simple job. It must work against that fact, in the context of the suppression of that fact. Economics is nothing more than a project to rhetorically bury the knowledge that humans beings are social, by reducing our interpretation of human behavior to one economic, freakonomic model. Consider what this means for a moment. The forward progress of humanity forced humanity to manifest falseness in economic knowledge. That's the price of progress.

Recently, Brooks came out with his book, "the social animal.” This is a restoration of the neglected subject of human sociality or society. He seems to be writing about how we live in a society. Or, how we interact. I don't think it matters whether you call it social animal, or social human. The two just come off a little differently. (It is just that "social animal" looks cooler in quotation marks. According to another "social" writer, Dubos, human means social. These are the variants.) So, finally, we have to turn to the matter of society. It is a no-brainer that a society does exist. And it does not matter whether you like to use the word "society," or, not. You can say "life in general," but you mean living with others of your species.

But we also have something called "economics" and we can see that capitalism spreads out through entire societies, and all use money equally, with less rigid class distinctions. There is no doubt then: capitalism is social. And the American culture, in order the better to become the capitalistic success story that it was until a few years ago, represses that. The most successful capitalist society side-steps all matters of human sociality. Right. We are all just "rugged individuals," if you believe the mainstream literature.