Saturday, March 31, 2012

Adrienne Rich

A facebook page just told me that A. Rich has passed.

A deep, complex poet, not particularly to my taste. At the same time, somehow I have read a little bit of her. I happen to have just recently read a short book of a lecture she gave somewhere ( That, too. So I have some idea who she "is."
So to speak.

Now if you click that link there is a synopsis of it. And you have also a section of readers' comments. The following snippet was published in both of those places, the comments and the synopsis of the book, and it is a quote from that book:

"I hope never to idealize poetry it (...) has suffered enough from that. Poetry is not a healing lotion, an emotional massage, a kind of linguistic aromatherapy. Neither is it a blueprint, nor an instruction manual, nor a billboard."

You won't find that snippet in the New York Times article, though, that was published upon news of her dying. The man they selected to write the goodbye article in question is --- you could not make this up --- an author whose book, mentioned at the bottom of said article, (in "Books") is entitled, "The Beautiful and the Pointless." 

(Not exactly the guy I would have chosen too write on Adrienne Rich)

In fact, that also brings around the economics point that in my theory of economics one prime characteristic of the way capitalism works (a primary and therefore inevitable/omnipresent characteristic) is there is always the hybridity, the combination, of garbage and integrity. These two are combined in the society.

Hey, I Get it (you quote Malcom McDowell and Clark Gable in the same post)

Hey, I get it now: theory of the "bloggie." It is supposed to be sort of a real time flash posting according to how one's thoughts are in the moment, as they come to you. So it is rather non-like my own posts, which are sometimes my attempts at composed essays, which would be on (what?)----a separate "essays" sub-section? If I knew what the freakin' hell I was doin"? Well, there are a few things to say here. I don't see a place for such a section on what Google has so kindly provided my on this blog. I am Asperger's-autistic. And, quite frankly, I don't give a fuck Miriam, or whomever it was in that movie, and yes, I know I am supposed to quote clark gable on that and say "damn," but quite frankly Miriam or whomever it is... I don't give a Damn.
     But all you "fans" if I have any should be glad. I finally got what blogging is. So good of you to stick with me for so long until you can rejoice about that. All my "followers," I mean. So let us proceed with da "real time" blogging scenario oh my brothers and only friends:

   Compared to other places, US/America (that's my original name for the country) offers a situation of shall we say enhanced opportunity. Which is why denizens of the other societies/countries of the world seem to be comin' here fer a couple eons or so.
    The answer now comes directly. It had something to do with American capitalism. First, the newly formed U. S. or whatever they called it had to slightly revise itself and it did so, I think it was in 1787. The new constitutional basis gave a large group of persons much better access to the tools of desire.
    OK: tools of business. Americans thus had an easier time of it when they attempted to go into, Well --- business. This remains a kind of open secret. You can probably start a business yourself, but you probably need to start one yourself to get it. At any rate, starting one's own business became easier in the U.S., than say, Germany. This is a major factor in everything that came later. You could probably start your own business in Germany only it was not so easy. And that is what "worked," for America.
    Since the earlier "Confederation" phase and later on as well the American project was a project based on high ideals. This history of high ideals made a smooth transition to implementation of what was, and even still is, a somewhat odd notion: that of allowing the basic run of the species --- no doubt with still a certain bias towards only letting "good people" in --- to shoot up their own businesses.

Well, that is what happens when I try to be spontaneous --- so I hope you got what you wished for.

(updated, yup, on May 27th, just for kicks)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Capitalism, Public or Private?

By definition, technology should accomplish a task by using technical processes, methods, specialization or knowledge. These techniques are ever-evolving so it is no wonder that as they evolve so too will the institutions, things, and methods in which a technology is used.” (Burt Blanchard, “Perspectives”, vol. 1, no. 1, Roosevelt U., Communications Dept.)

Capitalism is “technical” in many ways but it is nevertheless social. Advances in trade are basically mechanical or technical advances, and not social ones. But these technical advances also brought social changes in their wake. That is the part of economics we overlook, the social part. One rare instance of a person actually noticing that capitalism creates social transformation, rather than "alienation" or individualism, is the paper by John de Emilio (It is called "Capitalism and Gay Identity," and he tells me it is from the early eighties). We mistakenly believe capitalism to be “private.” Instead of characterizing capitalism in that fashion, we could just as well say it is public, and just as well say, therefore, that it is social. The ideology needs to be uprooted.

Persons that have a lot of money can do a lot of things. This is one of the perks coming out of the system of capitalism. The question that we must ask is that of how they get it (or, to put it historically, how they got it). Money became as important as it did only because it creates a society ----- because there was a social structure underlying all of this. It is therefore the case that we do not, and never, did get money through individualism. We did not get our capitalistic wealth, nor any benefits of this capitalistic system, through "self-interest," and this alleged self-interested quest after money was in fact just another social activity like all the others. What we are thus faced with is the matter, not only of capitalism, but of ideology.

In the early stages of capitalism, because it was the selfish and greedy types who wanted to get their hands on that money, or on this new technology of trade, including, as the quote mentions, "...processes, methods, specialization," etc., any notions of human social cooperation had to be supressed. Over time, this emerged as the body of "right-wing thought."

March 26, 2012

The world changes of course, and in recent times there has been a change towards a superficial appearance of peaceableness, harmony. This is to say  that the outward, apparent world has (seemingly) become peaceful. It "has" become harmonious.  It is also "connected" through markets. This apparent peace and harmony is superficial. There is an interest in cooperation but I do not think that there is a change in the underlying reality that governs our lives on this planet.
     Socio-economic developments have created an interest in social cooperation, on a superficial level. Alas, but this is only appearance. Has there has been change or has there been only the appearance of a more cooperative tendency? On the one hand, social cooperation is the idea here, while on the other hand it is also only a superficial idea even as we pursue it actively.

    The developments of the last century or century and a half created market society. Should we observe the long term, we see this "peaceableness" effect: core capitalist society (in Europe, in the big towns, in the university cultures) develops an appearance of peace and harmony and these developments have fostered a real interest in this kind of thing, or a kind of hunger for it, which is to say an interest or an appetite for our peaceful coexistence with the others, other persons. This is harmony, at least a harmony in feeling. Tone. There is a trend. What is a "trend?"
     In fact, today’s capitalist world, in its core areas, looks more harmonious than ever. The only question is the one involving underlying realities. Has peace and cooperation actually entered in any deep way into the human mind?

    Is reality a sitcom...Is reality a sitcom in which everyone treats everyone great? Yes! – Hey! – it is! Very much so!

     This is the reality we have all created for ourselves.

    Our economy is basically strong. Since we do not have  mass poverty we remain free from some kind of mass social unrest, so, we are able or empowered to enjoy a certain level of peace and harmony.
     But the Hutus did not suddenly start massacring the Tutsi because they developed social unrest as if out of nowhere. Poverty and food problems helped. To what extent are "we " so different? Only the outer conditions differ!
    Try seeing your neighbors or the next five persons who walk by – as total psychopaths.
    How did you do? It probably isn’t that difficult.

     Therefore this is the case: socio-economic developments have created an impasse. We "love" each other more than ever.
     But, under the surface we hate one another just as much, too.

Capitalists and workers

Marcuse’s response, in a letter of August 24, 1960, includes explicit reference to a convergence of “interests” between capitalists and workers in “advanced industrial society.”

this from

Well I can't say I disagree with these words: the interests of workers and "capitalists" (in quotes because I decided some time ago that everyone in a capitalistic society should be called a capitalist but I also know the other way to use the term) are not really all that much different. The problem is the bankers, the speculators, and the runaway financial mechanism, and all of the persons who do not actually work for a living.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Why There Are Skyscrapers

The capitalist system has worked magnificently. Just look at the skyscrapers. Donald Trump has built one that is quite high. Every unit has to be paid for; the top floor is for sale for 30 million dollars, unfurnished. I hear you get quite a view. Look how many millionaires, and skyscrapers there are. What a magnificent system. It's a working system, but every square inch has to be paid for. Without money you are nothing. The entire thing hinges, now as ever, on how many dollars are connected with the individual. To make more dollars you spend the ones you already have, and the money circulates. The total volume of dollars increases: that is why there are skyscrapers.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

IN the morning

                                         IN the Morning

In the morning just after awakening it is perfectly possible that maybe I could notice that large portions of our lives are subaltern - completely off any linguistic map. Of course: I am using language to say this.But that’s exactly why it is so tenuous of a project, why it only occurs for a moment after awakening. 
     There are, obviously, alternative versions of reality. In the morning I am going to be transitioning, from one state, the hallucinations of sleep (politely referred to as dreams), into another state that is boring and physical, that is more mundane and handy. The waking state is physical, tangible and predictable. In this existence social codes that are carefully followed can land a person in a “job”---if you're not careful. And this provides your daily butter or money or other lubricant. I guess that means "money," in short. But in the morning, for just a moment, or even maybe you can extend it for a few minutes, you can see at least a little of the “other side,” where language doesn't go and where there would be many sides you could digress into----but usually you do not.
    But it can be done; you can see a different world, you can see another earth. (Not to plagiarize Echart Tolle or anything)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Work in Progress (Economics)

     If we look at what is presently being said about capitalism, if we look at the current discourse, there is a discussion often about “private ownership,” often ownership of “the means of production," or, alternatively, of "the means of production, distribution and exchange."     {footnote}
      These kinds of statements are completely normal. They're perfectly ordinary, common. It no longer resonates to me, however. In consequence I need to look it up in order to remind myself, and refresh myself about what the so-called normal in the matter of "private ownership." I cannot keep those statements in my head because my theory does not agree anymore.
     In the so-called "normal" that which is “privately owned” is usually “resources.” Actually, the notion of resources that are privately owned is hard to convincingly assert. Let's take banks. What is "privately owned" exactly? Not the money, right? As so it goes, the more one examines.
     My ideas have thrown the whole normative structure into controversy/perplexity----and in fact we will find that a great untruth is being propagated here. Capitalism associated merely with individualism (or private ownership) does not exist. Although some say this, that does not make it true. I can confidently assert that it is a false understanding, and, thus, I have come to understand that it is wrong to characterise capitalism as individualism. To make that characterization seems to me to make a necessary as well as an exclusive connection between capitalism and private ownership.
     But it isn't true, and this is why I think  that there is a great untruth that has been propagated here. Once we have understood this, there is the question of why this would have happened. It is such a glaring mistake. It is such a great misapplication of human understanding to the human world. We must understand why this is; what is happening; why is this? Why is there such an untruth extant?
     Regardless, there is in fact the extensive literature, which is embedded into the society (the U.S.), and which is therefore "ideological," and that associates capitalism and individualism and implies that, in thinking about capitalism, we should necessarily and only connect it to individualism, and, therefore, this also implies that there are no social elements there! The result is that every day we are using the wrong set of ideas. At the same time, this wrong understanding is now completely established; it is second-nature to all of us. So, again, we have these two issues before us, namely the fact of what happened and the appropriateness of our asking why the sociality of capitalism would need to be denied in this manner.

     Whatever the reasons (for these equations that connect capitalism to the private and not to the public),  though, we can still reveal now that the idea is wrong. Once exposed, how indeed can the ever-so-common assertion that capitalism is necessarily connected to the private sphere and only to the private sphere stand? We can look more closely into this.
     It is astonishing that this idea have been allowed to pervade intellectual life if, after all, human beings live in society? No one can say that society is not social. But to say that capitalism is not social is fine and dandy. I am not saying capitalism does not have its well-known individualistic elements. Of course capitalism has those elements, whether we call it "private" or "individualistic," etc. And we can find them. Let clarify that. There is private property, which would be property owned strictly by some individual. Of course this the fact. But it is not the sole fact. It is fine with me if you say that that is a feature of the world we inhabit; it is. Again, each person usually has a sum of money and it is probably in a bank or in some other financial institution. But a ssoon as you explore a little you find the social element. In the case of banks, it would be lent out or invested somehow by that bank, not simply held by the indivual person, unless it is held as cash in a safe. Capitalism is not some sort of hyper-individualism and the sin of individualism here, what should be condemned or rejected, is not some sort of individualism as a reality, but rather it is a philosophical sin, a great theoretical mistake.

     Even in the preceding paragraphs all sorts of social themes can be found or “unpacked.” To say  that capitalism is “individual” or that it is strictly private is simply ludicrous. So, why are we still doing it?And, why did we ever do it? In the sense of reality as opposed to publicity, capitalism has many social elements.  Curious, then, that we deny these.
(from an ongoing writing project: questions to

gOOD Air, Bad aIR

This piece begins with assertations of pollution from a community activist web thingie (OK, 'site,' OK?):
The Crawford and Fisk coal-fired power plants are the two largest single sources of deadly particulate–forming air pollution in Chicago and contribute to the region’s violations of federal particulate pollution health standards.    (from... Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization- it was formed in 2004 to “make Pilsen a healthier place to live,” i.e. to fight pollution and stuff, in their neighborhood. They are currently celebrating their victory which is that the plants are going to close. They just have to wait another year or two for the company to pull it down. That, to repeat, is considered a victory.)

Here's my script of it:

The owners of the coal-burning generator near Pilsen may have been told,
“Sir, there is a problem side to this enterprise of yours.”
Perhaps the owners of the coal-burning plants might respond with:
“Just give us a few more years. We’ll close them down by 2014.”  
And so it goes.


Position Statement (A Poem)

These elites
have privileges
They think
they can do whatever they want
and they do;
they held humanity
hostage in the
period before
capitalism helped to develop some portion
of true
Their power -
their knowledge -
and status -
beckons them
to come, to take
their place again
in the order of


He wants to
   reinstate the
        privileges of
              the whole pack of them
and he wants
to do again
what they did before
    that's why - I'm opposed to

Monday, March 19, 2012

Oh No! Forbes, Again!! (Theory of the Business Class)

This guy is is a columnist for Forbes, who is described.
Charles Kadlec, Contributor
I cover economic/political issues with liberty as my polar star
Having liberty as your polar start is I suppose a focus point that is the excuse for not needing to employ reason. Or focus anywhere else.
Here we have the example of the weird, psychotic businessman-type post:

Notice, it is from July, 2011 and he is STILL saying climate change is fake. In fact we don't really know who or what is fake, so we'd better pay attention to just ourselves, and our own morality. That would be good advice, but, alas, some of the businessmen are psychotic. In the post Kadlec makes a conspiracy theory, even as it is supposed to be about one, about there being a conspiracy theory. Somebody else's of course. There may indeed be something fake in the world. That is possible of course. There may be a fake thing or two in  the world. Charles Kadlec. That's sarcasm, OK? I'm sure he's a perfectly nice man and he gets boners just like I do and everybody else does except for women, the poor dears.
     But psychosis is not something you can fake. The content of Forbes, whom I have commented on once before, in February post ('Say's Law') seems similar in content to the editorial identity of, say, the WSJ. It is definitely psychopathology, and this is a window into the business psychosis now afflicting America. They're psychopathological.
     I said it again to reiterate. I may be a little crazy sometimes but these kinds of columns in Forbes are valuable. For they are the best illustration of what I think is true which is that the businessman nowadays is all about gradually creating a group, a social class, a psychotic one.

Woooo! Better take a break. Two blogs already to day.

Everyone Is Becoming the Same

Everybody is "conditioned." What everybody and their uncle is becoming is what some Buddhist scholars call "conditioned." We get incoming info----every moment of the day (less so at night). But do we truly see it? This information is in the form of sights, sounds, etc. What we get is processed according to our social experience, or our long lived in social conditions.
     Alternatively we might suggest that there could be a more dispassionate appreciation of the world. This would be "as it is" instead of "conditioned." Americans in particular are conditioned. How? By what? First of all by a nice society. So that's why I say that everyone is conditioned: they don't see it as it is, but they do see it in terms of all of the social ties that exist under their particular society. They have a lived experience in that society. That means they have ideas, they have ideas of a society they live in since they are conditioned by the experiences. They certainly filter and select their experiences. So, they see a nice, friendly world. This is the social world American capitalism built. They fail to understand that there is another, darker side.
     I know the middle-class. They are my people, where I am coming from. Well, OK, it's been a while. But I tend to have accurate insights into those persons. I know them fantastically well, even if I have moved on and I no longer directly believe in it!
     But it is true that we believe in things and we believe in a society because we live in one and our capitalistic experience is, for at least some of us, and particularly in the middle-class, social. Americans think in terms of a society. That is what they live in. They are conditioned by the social life. They are going around seeing a beautiful green world. They live in a society. This fact appears to have been repressed in the public literature, repressed in a culture which says we should believe only in a "self."
     Humans always live in social systems. A particular soc. system may have been ongoing. For how long? Well, in our case, we could draw the line at around 1800, I suppose, or better, around 1815. We could understand such a soc. system as stretching back, at any rate, for, Well----about two centuries, I guess. In terms of modernity we could say we have one system now and that it has been ongoing for centuries (well, OK -- almost two of them, I suppose).
     For lack of a better word, call it capitalism.

     For them, for the Americans, it looks like a nice world---a beautiful world. It's a beautiful, green world.
     But capitalism (ideally) gives us the opportunity to choose.

     There can be contending opinions. There can be outsiders. There can, finally, be persons who are outside the market altogether. They, too, are important.

     The U. S. is not run by the Taliban. No one rams any one opinion down everyone's throat.

     All of this is part of this system of choice, which is, today, alas, endangered, even though everyone today goes around thinking it is a nice, friendly world. There are insiders and outsiders within it, producers and consumers. And: choice. There are also workers and employers. Sometimes choice is difficult and you need to fight for unions. But for all of that time, there was always choice. But choice is being lost. And that is why I think the capitalist system is endangered, with everyone becoming the same.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Market for All of Us

I see a big concrete building; it is the board of trade. At one time, something like the Chicago Board of Trade may have had some function. Has to do with a market. Within the market, much variety. And there are many buyers, so that's variety as well. There are many buyers in respect of, or abuse of, the market. Savvy traders come from near& far...up high, on the outer wall: bas relief engravings of Mesopotamians holding their product --- sheaves of grain, maybe wheat or something, something that someone harvested --- in their hands. They hold the products in hand, up on that wall.
     The persons that "placed" the bas-relief, on that wall, of that architectural monolith on the other hand seem to have been reaching far back into history. And I think, as I walk to the university,  that they want to say that trade has been forever and it always shall remain and never need be questioned. By this reckoning, trade failure is not a concept worthy of consideration at all.
     But  there's nothing absolute, and even volcanos go extinct.

     There are diamonds, violets. And there are violent working class persons guffawing, trading slaps on back not sheaves of wheat.
      Working class persons have a way of relating to size. Size is variable --- not controlled by money.

      They use the phrase "a big one." And everybody in the working class wants "a big one."

Rules and Standards (But Not For All Time)

     There are certain rules and standards and methods of human interaction. 

     You can never get exactly what you want so it must be that capitalism somehow enabled the West to have a tolerably workable system, and, for a certain period of time, there was a system where persons could get some of what they want and need.
     I am not saying that everyone benefited, or it wasn't in some cases pretty horrible, or that it did not cause more problems than help for some persons. But, for a small group of persons, there was a sort of window of opportunity there. It was a limited engagement run, from which thinking humans could have built processes and methods, by which the already-developed methods of capitalism could move towards a system that became saner over time. But, apparently that isn't what we wanted. It could have become a bit better through persons truly looking for ways to improve the society and its set of social institutions. But, instead, we got all tied up in this nonsense. Karl Rove once made a speech where he specifically said "do not worry about Process."

Now, the current kind of capitalism has reached an illogical impasse

Nasty, Mean , Sloppy Persons

Nasty, mean, sloppy people are taking over America. They are grabbing door knowbs and shaking them.

Sloppiness is in style is aggression, and killing Afghan civilians

     It's always a struggle to get people to behave as good as possible.
                                                                            -we're losing the battle

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Another Day On Michigan Ave.

Economics has influenced Americans' morals, easy money making their behavior crude. This is unfortunate. The usual attitude is: if you give me free, then I will take extra portion. OK? Please? May I? Also known as: gimme gimme gimme

I have been in Starbucks, I admit this.

And I have used the toilet in this place, which will henceforth remain nameless unless it is called by its code name, "Estonian Café"

I have been "à la toilette," as they say in France -- there is no "occupied" sign on the outside  (I don't know why; maybe it seems radical for them; nobody can think of something that complicated), when somebody wants in, the competing hominids simple grab the handle roughly. It is abusive and horrible! A breach of manners and a direct contradiction with that very same elegant atmosphere the Eastonian Cafe tries so hard to project. It is sad, and it makes you want to cry.

I have had the experience more than once that some asshole who thinks he has an actual right to to use the same washroom as me just comes up to the door and just grabs the handle impatiently, and with terrible immediacy. It's bad. It is not distinguished behavior. This is bullshit; and, what is this country coming to?

I have written a poem for this occasion that is a short version of Alexander Pope's "Rape of the Lock."

 Give me more
"Give me more," they say:
 And then they shake the handle
 of the door

(this is a shorter version of "Rape of the Lock," which originally referred to a lock of hair, but he never knew what would happen, in the ensuing 150 years or so after his day. Alexander Pope is really pretty great. He saw the problem with fame, way before Entertainment! T. V. He knew the way fame and notoriety screws up a guy's life. The story is always the same: surviving western civilization is near impossible. Certainly, Pope would agree with me about that. The problems in the U.S. today, of course Pope never heard of. It didn't exist at that time; he was certainly a most gentle and non-crude gentleman.)

Civic Center

IT'S ST. PATTY'S DAY. In the HEART of the LOOP THE WATER FOUNTAINS AT CLARK and Washington streets are an ugly opaque sickly green. I mean the water itself is shooting up as a horrid opaque green, embarrassing the Picasso.

please insert fountain here:} / { / / } / {

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cute Glossy Cover, pt. 2

This morning I saw a picture of D. Jones (not the Beatle; I mean the) Monkee who just died. Davy Jone's picture on the cover is so cute that I have to agree. He was somebody important, but for the history of cuteness, not the history of music. Dylan and Bill Haley and Louis Armstrong are the ones who changed the face of music, or changed music's history and not D. J. ... Or... wait a minute! hold on! 
     It suddenly strikes me that maybe it is that the people of "People" (mag) are saying that Davey J. changed the face of music! He did not change music. He changed to face. Did you get that? The face. The face of the music not the music.

     OK it's still arrogant.


Blagoevich says he thinks, after all what he has gone through, that this is about humility maybe. He used the word "maybe." Twice, according to the newspaper caption quoting him word for word.
"You can never be humble enough," Blagoevich is reported to have said. (this from a newspaper caption I saw with this quote.) Just be humble.

Be humble, but, why the emphasis on not enough, i.e. "never...enough"?

Next thing: when I proceed to check out of Walgreens and get my $20.00 bill, c.b. style, 
I now see the "People" displayed. "People" magazoo-ine features Davy Jones, a dead Monkee and what I thought it said was that: He changed the face of music. He changed the face of music?!! He changed the face of cuteness - it was really a great, beautiful picture - not the face of music.
     Why all the superlatives?
     Governor Blagoevitch is in consideration of the matter of humility, but even as he does so, he does not know a thing.

Who are these morons leading us? Americans who have "become somebody" --- always a dangerous thing for white persons --- may wind up as p.r. magnates. They may put out glossy covers of glossy mags once a month or once a week. Or, they may be what I have seen called "pols," those who run for office --- the most recent political figure who suddenly stopped wearing a tie. They are arrogant.

Character (Poem)

                                     Who's in Charge?

The Exec said Goodbye. Left. He “exited” the papers say.
What was the effect? Is Goldman a better place now?
They lost their one decent guy.

And Goldman is a worse place,
Not a better place.
It’s a loss of character.

Who is in charge now?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Daily Kos: post is by Rick Shreiner, who says, “I am unique, like everybody else.” My comments are not enclosed in quotes but R. Shreiner’s are. So, use the quote marks to verify that. Fonts are flawed on blogspot and difficult to work with (in my opinion).

A basic tenet of free-market capitalism, as practiced in the US, follows the Darwinian principle of "survival of the fittest."  Each economic entity, whether completely new, or some variation of an existing concept, must, like every additional species in our evolutionary chain, squeeze out competitors to assure their own survival.   

But, if that were the case you would be drummed out of some industries. In other cases, people just would not like you and you would not be a success. In the real world, this is already impossible. Certain persons may or may not say that capitalism is like this, but there is no such capitalism. Even if some of these persons claim they are only doing pure competition, nevertheless they are not. They usually get all kind of help and have all kinds of friends, which is why historical “capitalism” works in the first place.

Those that most successfully adapt to market demand tend to thrive   ”

Such a one is not adapting to market demand, he is adapting to his society.

Although few persons  “   would actually deny the value and importance of free market economies, almost every consumer should [would also] demand that pursuit of profit must maintain ethical standards beyond reproach.  ”

This is impossible. Beyond reproach? They won’t get that demand satisfied of course. (He is Swedish; “should” may read more like “would” here.) No one has that kind of control. What limits unethical behavior is only society. The society itself is the only thing that can limit that. This would happen in an informal “cultural” way. Unfortunately there is always corruption in the capitalistic system such as we have seen in the last two centuries. It needs to be minimized, but it is regulated in a more innate, cultural way, by the society itself, not by cops or something.

Again on the topic of corruption, or, this time faulty products for which the profit motive is to blame: “
consumers often have negligible influence    “

Society has to be the influence. No, consumers do not have much influence, in a narrow way, but the relationship is more system-wide.

He (the Kos author) makes capitalism the enemy. If so, who is the friend? It is government. So, that is a problem with the piece. It is unclear who is the friend or source of help or succor. The people? The gov.? Who, then? You have to locate capitalism a little differently----more within the fabric of the society itself.

Real Time Blog Entry

Watching the Wolff (Richard) video --- even without the sound --- there can be no possible doubt that
current capitalist arrangements have reached an illogical impasse. OK? For a system of this kind, there can be no basis anymore, because logical support has run out. Do you all want to die, or do you want to do something about it? What we need is reform. Apparently the human race is incapable of that. Radical alterations? They ought to be proposed. Without doubt the reforms we require would be a lot more wide-ranging than the alternatives we are offered on the same mainstream T. V. that tries to sell us product items or the boring farts in the mainstream press, and they would also be more wide-ranging than from the  choir of look-alike marginality economists trained in the great "standard" method of our university. Unfortunately, if I keep on going, I will have covered ninety per cent of the population. And it is a democratic country. Boy do we have a fucking problem.
At the beginning of this fine video presented by MediaEd, Mass. with the title, capitalism-hits-the-fan, the first thing we see is real wages (i.e. the numbers are adjusted, quantitatively, to offset the distorting effects of inflation) in the twentieth century going from about one dollar or less per hour in 1900, to six dollars per hour in 1980. But there is something kind of interesting, which is that, from 1980 to the present, this statistic, or level, or number, or whatever it is, is flat.
     Well, you can't keep growing forever, so wages are doing what they should do. This is my own idea of course, but I would say that the wages are doing OK. Capitalism puffed out a little bit or created wealth, and once the whole system or economy has puffed out, it can stop puffing. Any wealth gained, if it is truly a capitalist gain or solidly in the capitalistic phase of development, is gained only in reference to the population itself. This is a sort of "democratizing" aspect of modernity and capitalism.
     So, the workers made some gains. The benefit accrues to the entire population, at least in terms of wealth and comfort. But at some point this kind of growth of personal wealth has to stop, and that happened the way it should. The 1980 wage (I would have suggested maybe 1975 or 1976) stopped rising right about when it was appropriate. Mazel-Tov, capitalism, you done good. Have a pretzel. Any greater level of wealth for the general population would be undesirable. I will stand by that. Of course the King and Queen are a different story but the "average working man" is now doing OK in terms of the amount of money s/ he makes. Capitalist mission accomplished.
     Why do wages rise? They rise because employers are able to help others by paying theses wages, to others. Which in turn is because there is profit. Which in turn is because someone is buying the goods and services that are produced by the various producers and employers.
     Now there is something else: what economists call "productivity." I cannot hear the sound, so I am not "privileged" to hear what U. S. scholars say about this. "Productivity" is one more concept that economists have fabricated in their little conceptual (July 19th - rhetorical) workshops is all about, but the difference is interesting: it is that, on this same time axis, this statistic or whatever you call it does not act like the wages statistic does. At the 1980 point, this one keeps rising.
     Obviously, this means that the ability of the wealthy to keep making lots of dough keeps on going. While the ability to make money through labor merely stabilizes. The "economy" whatever that is has, they suggest, done better since 1980, with a spot of trouble here and there but basically everything is on track, according to for example President Bush, just a few months before the great 2007-8 financial crisis. (I heard him say that; I do not have the reference for it but at any rate I have heard them saying that all my life.) So, we say "the economy is fine" both when it is, and, when it is not. As long as the rich keep making the money. In the language of business, "profits are steady."
     So, profits were stable, and wages were stable. And there was a whole lot of activity, I might add. Money was being transacted, for the sake of "the economy" whatever that is.

OK. Let's go back to the vid: one thing "worked" and another did not "work." The question is: what was working? As for the thing that was working, was it working in the sense that it was a good thing that was "working," or was a bad thing "working"? And: what was not working? The ability of the workers to make more money was not working. But that, as I have said, is acceptable. The ability of the wealthy persons in the society to make money was working.
     And still today, this part of capitalism "works." The stock market for example works for them, and just looking at this class of society gives further support that the rich are not going broke, not at all. So, one part is woring and one part is not working. The rich are not going broke. How could they? If you were rich, and had, say a million dollars, you could move in that society and get an investment advisor, etc. and even if you only made five per cent, that works quit well for you and you have a nice life, at $50,000 a year, and so forth. If you simply followed the trends, and let that advisor get you in on just a small part of the rise of amazon, or apple, or google (which really does not seem so difficult) you would make a lot more than that.
     This "productivity" thing is obviously not productivity. It is the fake ability of the rich to make more and more money. (That sound weird, but that's the way I think or the way it comes out of me.)

     Well, on that slightly dysfunctional note, I'll end this blog post as my time at the public library (reduced staff, bad service) is almost up.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Economics March 13 2012

note: this was edited on July 19th, 2012 A.D.No one forced me to do it. I did it on my own.

In my writing style observations often stem from personal experience. I may have an experience in a bookstore for example. I write about it. Here are some comments then, that are concerned with "personableness." Personableness in trade would be the relationship or personableness aspect of interaction with store personnel while shopping/buying. This is something I feel acutely, as an autistic person. The store is any store. Or any store similar, in some way, I don't know which, to the Barnes & Noble bookstore in downtown Chicago: the test example. This is considered, in my world, a serious piece of intellectuality that I am kindly previewing to you.

     I am not buying from a person. Not from the B&N associate, that's for sure, but additionally, I am not buying goods from any person named "B&N." What am I doing?     
     I am buying from capitalism. I know I am not buying the book from a clerk. "It's just our policy," says the sales associate...  "I only work here" is a good one, too. Or: "it's not my fault." Any of those will do. All this comes out of an experience I just had. Today. What it makes me think about is that we are not dealing with a person anymore when we shop. Were we ever?, I dunno. OK, then.
     Let's assume I am good and on some level, I want to be a moral person. Or let's assume that I "ought" to be moral. There are extensive arguments that we could use to support this approach, but there is little time to do all that. I don't have time.
     Regardless of whether the world I live in is a capitalistic one or not what is relevant here is that I am "supposed to" do good; I want to. Supposing I am nice, then, how is it that I actually do good? By what force, what cause, do I do good, moreover, in such a system as capitalism?
     We are good people, but we are in capitalism. If capitalism is to be a viable social form (an alternative word would be: viable society), there is a legitimate question here. Where would the morality aspect of living in that capitalist society come from?
     This is a legitimate inquiry: a person who is buying (I could have said "acting," although I caution that I am not saying, ala Hayek, that these are the same) is acting as a human being, or as a social being; in acting, he or she is actually buying from society, or she is acting within her society. This makes sense. The persons is acting within his/her society. The opposite is not indicated, though, and there is no reason to suggest that the buyer, when engaging in commerce, somehow acts outside of her other social acts. There is no reason to assume that somehow the specific act of buying things belongs to some separate category of action. Then, she is indeed acting as a social being when she acts within capitalism. We are human, and we shop.
     Therefore, it is completely reasonable to ask where the humanity is within capitalism. The people own capitalism. That is the real basis of it.

Why'd He Shoot? (part 3)

The N.Y.T. are on the scene getting the "news" story --- getting the story out. Today, I'm very proud of you bastards! Here is an old Af man with a beard, who lost 11 family members. Let's find out. Was he a Taliban? Was he a "sand nigger"? It is the beloved military, the "excellency" of which Obama evoked in his press statement immediately following the massacre. U. S. military. Are they the ones who had authority over  these kinds of persons, and excellently or magnificently allowed these kinds of persons to serve for three tours of duty in Iraq? Some of our military in Iraq retained their U. S. "street gang" affiliations even while in the service --- this is known.
     But of course it is kind of hard to control the military. Since they 'ave guns?
     Um----I tink that's why you need to control the military. I teenk so; yeah.

     That is not all that I have to say either. You control your military in a way that corresponds to the culture you have --- just like a sentence corresponds to grammatical --- not simply sustain these men in a "hard" or a maniacal lifestyle or military culture. You create a military that concurs with your home values.
     Our cultural values do not include blowing away women and children however.
     When the first servicemen arrived in Iraq, soon after they found there were terrorists in the neighborhood. Then the first thing they did is they pointed guns in people's faces randomly. I know these people, OK? I was raised in US/America. But that isn't how you do it. Wrong response, guys. If this happened in the U. S. (or in the northern, urban parts of it anyway) Americans can handle such a situation and develop around it. Or, in spite of it. And this is "cultural." We've all had these authoritarian teachers in school and so forth. I knew a right-winger for a little while. He described one law enforcement officer he'd encountered (he had been on himself, in fact: military police in Viet Nam) as being "badge heavy." I laughed. When you enter --- when you penetrate --- another person's country...   well you are encountering another culture. Yet the military, or the government, or whoever it is that is responsible, just do not seem to be able to handle this idea. So, what I am saying is that Americans are arrogant, I have seen it all my life, and when I read about this I get an immediate idea of the basic problem --- which none of our educated people seem to be able to articulate.
     So, it is left for Jack the Blogger, I guess.

references, for today's post, include the New York Times newspaper for this day. And the term "excellent" or "excellence" implied in the beginning of the piece references Obama's short statement released after the incident in Afghanistan occurred.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Middley Ages

_____ _ _ _     _ _  _

Persons living in the age of Empire, or afterwards, in the age of Middley (“Middle Ages”) or the age of the Monarchies or the Early Modern, or the age of the Republic, or the age of the “Democracy,” if you believe that (ha ha ha), necessarily relate to this HUGE structure. They need to relate to the behemoth.
If you are an Aztec Indian, or an Inca, or whatever it is, you certainly know “who” is behind you. In fact you know who is in front, who is on the side, and who is weighing you down with a crushing weight on your cabezcum. This is your empire or your kingdom or your oppressor or savior or your Christ or whatever you want to call it, and you sacrifice yourself to “him.”
The only persons who every get out of this trap are the anarchists—and they only get out philosophically, musician John Cage has once expressed.

from a book, by Simone de Beauvoir (1948) ; Also The Citadel Press, NY: 1964

(p. 154, "The Ethics of Ambiguity" by S. de Beauvoir) 

...Hegel, in his Phenomenology, has emphasized this inextricable confusion between objectivity and subjectivity. A man gives himself to a Cause only by making it his Cause; as he fulfills himself within it, it is also through him that it is expressed, and the will to power is not distinguished in such a case from generosity; when an individual or a party chooses to triumph, whatever the cost may be, it is their own triumph which they take for an end. If the fusion of the Commissar and the Yogi were realized, there would be a self-criticism in the man of action which would expose to him the ambiguity of his will, thus arresting the imperious drive of his subjectivity and, by the same token, contesting the unconditioned value of the goal. But the fact is that the politician follows the line of least resistance; it is easy to fall asleep over the unhappiness of others and to count it for very little; it is easier to throw a hundred men, ninety-seven of whom are innocent, into prison, than to discover the three culprits who are hidden among them; it is easier to kill a man than to keep a close watch on him; all politics makes use of the police, which officially flaunts its radical contempt for the individual and which loves violence for its own sake. The thing that goes by the name of political necessity is in part the laziness and brutality of the police. That is why it is incumbent upon ethics not to follow the line of least resistance; an act which is not destined, but rather quite freely consented to; it must make itself effective so that what was at first facility may become difficult. For want of internal criticism, this is the role that an opposition must take upon itself. There are two types of opposition. The first is a rejection of the very ends set up by a regime: it is the opposition of anti-fascism to fascism, of fascism to socialism. In the second type, the oppositionist accepts the objective goal but criticizes the subjective movement which aims at it; he may not even wish for a change of power, but he deems it necessary to bring into play a contestation which will make the subjective appear as such. Thereby he exacts a perpetual contestation of the means by the end and of the end by the means. He must be careful himself not to ruin, by the means  which he, the end he is aiming at, and above all not to poss into the service of the oppositionists of the first type.

Right-ist and Leftish (Part 2)

Here is our previous query. This reproduction comes direct from the past, via a method known as "cut and paste." It is from "part the first." Which was so brilliant that I had going to reproduce it here. I need time to breathe. OK, I'm OK now. I will write it out again (well, the computer helped):  
Is there any such a thing as mistreatment? Has anyone ever been mistreated --- for no reason? Has anyone who was just completely innocent, just standing there, ever actually been mistreated?  (Isn't that a brilliant question? You can also find it right here:

     So, what I figgered out (all on my own, no thanks to John Carleton) is this.
 To say someone was MIS treated, as if for NO REASON, is to say that things happen for no reason. Or to say that karma is not involved. On the other hand --- I always work dialectically --- the Buddhist sages say that "karma"---not to be confused with "harm ya" ---is definitely something that WE can intervene in. This is confirmed by that Theradavin website, the one I linked to in pt. the first. So, the answer would be that no OTHER person ever mistreated us. Our suffering did not come from outside. The mistreatment comes from our minds. And our karma.

     So, it's still pretty complicated. I think I'm getting warm but I do not feel I am on top of it yet. I still need help, so the query is still out there, there is the same call for Comments. If not, I'll keep working on it myself.   -thank you

Why'd He Shoot? pt. 2

Just in, some real gems from the BBC. I have packaged them for you in these {""} marks:

"The Pentagon said in a media briefing that the killings, in the early hours of Sunday, were "tragic" but insisted it was an isolated incident."
Oh. Where'd the New York newspaper's "long seething public outrage" go? The NY paper did not say it was "isolated." I guess NY and London must redact ideology differently. Hey, I think that the blokes in England are being nice to us!

"Officials have offered no explanation for the incident, but reports suggest the soldier might have been drunk..." I understand the Russians had that problem in Afghanistan, too.

I'll bet you just can't wait for more from the BBC:
"A Pentagon spokesman, George Little, described the killings as tragic and deplorable. They come on the heels of two other episodes which have undermined the military's reputation in Afghanistan - photos showing US Marines urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters, and the burning of Korans at the Bagram air base. Mr Little said it would be wrong to see the three incidents as part of any broader trend."
No broader trend. Funny how that reminds me of the words "isolated incident." I could be biased, however, since I have been know to read alternative newspapers like the "east village other." Which may be biasing me. Funny, too, how the NYT tries to tell the truth sometimes. But it is in a sort of a vanishing ink way and then afterwards you think maybe you have hallucinated it. It gets in but then it tends to "disappear" into some black hole right after you were pretty sure you did read something interesting. I already wrote about this once. I did not see anywhere on this BBC webpage any mention of what the N.Y.T. actually did mention, which is that there has been a longstanding gripe against London's buddies the U. S. military.

Maybe the NYT reporter was drunk.
Either that --- or white people lie.
No other way to say it mates.
Here's the words that come after "the soldier might have been drunk:" maybe drunk OR "...had suffered a nervous breakdown." Oh, I see, maties, it was the nerves. We have that phrase too, though. "Nervous Breakdown." He certainly may have had a nervous breakdown. So , methinks, That Answers That.
Well. That may well be. He may have had some drinks that night, or a bad case of the "nerverszzz," as we call it here, stateside.

Finally, remember that president Obama said this particular man was a particular man and not typical, or a typical man. He was, Obama, said, not representative. He was non-representatory of all of our excellent men and women. That was just the perfect time for Obama to emphasize, in sight of the world, that our soldiers are so excellent. I cannot get over the inappropriateness of that. It would bring up visions of shiny brass buttons and stuff like that. There are 16 people who will never hear Obama's important and presidential statement about how that guy was non-representative. Is it possible that he thinks of himself as reciting a statement that Afghans cannot read, or no one would ever translate it into Dari or Persian for them? I am getting a "nerves" attack myself, I think, from all  this stuff.

     And I am losing it. In fact I'm getting all emotional. Not a good sign. Not good at all.

Why'd he shoot? (Full Story Needed)

The full headline, in smaller script than is usual for newspapers, as I saw it peering into the newsbox this morning on the street:     

U. S. official call for calm, warn of potential reprisals, after soldier allegedly kills civilians in Afghanistan; Karzai demands account.  "

So far I have looked a few places for comments. Not surprisingly, I have not seen any published comments from a persons who thinks like an ordinary person. The people of this "democracy" get as usual no word from a regular sort of person, who, nevertheless, incredibly, may see what is happening here a lot more clearly than say CNN or NYT. Maybe I should scratch around a little more to get an idea. I'll check and see if anybody gets what is quite obvious to me------- and what certainly a few of us must get.
So, what's the result? First, I read the main story about it in the NYT on-line. The reporter from the Times writes: "long seething public outrage has been growing explosive..."  This is an observation of something "other," or far off, reported in deference to neutrality, observation. Neutrality, of course, is the main pose of  U. S. journalism, but what about understanding what is going in their own back yards? That "Long seething public outrage has been growing explosive here,..." [followed by a recounting of only the recent incidents, which makes it sound ungrammatical, since two recents events, the book burning event and the desecration of Afghan corpses event bring to mind not "long" seething public outrage but only recent outrage] is like a neutral observation of somebody else, some other, or someone else's country, an exogenous territory, but why not understand yourself before you understand or comment on someone else, out "there"?
    If U. S. persons have no understanding of themselves---if the newspaper writers cannot report on the nature of their own society, ...what then?

Here's a little more apocrapha. Obama says:
“This incident is tragic and shocking, and does not represent the exceptional character of our military and the respect that the United States has for the people of Afghanistan,” Mr. Obama said in a statement.

As to my grammatical quibblings I checked again and noticed that the article mentions in the next sentence yet another recent event involving the U.S. killing what are called "civilians." Let's have a look:
Long seething public outrage has been growing explosive here, spurred by the apparently inadvertent Koran burning by American personnel last month and an earlier video showing American Marines urinating on dead militants. Adding to the problem, the massacre occurred two days after an episode in Kapisa Province, in eastern Afghanistan, in which NATO helicopters apparently hunting Taliban insurgents instead fired on civilians, killing four and wounding three others, Afghan officials said ..."

My objections seem to me to hold. Given that a newspaper provides explanations, there is no explanation of "long" seething public outrage, just of more recent outrages. Is the reporter telling the full story? The reporter fulfills his or her duty to provide the news by flatly stating that there are "long seething" feelings of public outrage but there is no explanation of what the "public outrage" or the outrage or ill feelings or whatever they are are about --- in any specifically "long" sense. How long has the U. S. been in Af? Ten years? Does "long" mean all ten?

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Times They Are A Changin'

"And suddenly, I looked at the bull. He had this innocence that all animals have in their eyes, and he looked at me with this pleading. It was like a cry for justice, deep down inside of me. I describe it as being like a prayer - because if one confesses, it is hoped, that one is forgiven. I felt like the worst shit on earth."
"This photo shows the collapse of Torrero Alvaro Munera, as he realized in the middle of the [originaltypo] his last fight... the injustice to the animal. From that day forward he became an opponent of bullfights" 
According to some, bullfighting is wonderful catharsis. I think the idea here is that it reflects brutal reality back on the spectator, who gets it, views it, and gets a profound effect of some kind. Well guess what. 
     That shit ain't workin' no more. 
     If even the bull knows that the times they are a changin' maybe it is time for the       
               politicians to get it too.
                  No more wars!

The State of the Congress and of the Constitution

 Here is what major blog "Politico" says about (the U.S.) Congress:

"They don’t make national policy anymore."
and -- "They can’t earmark money for communities" (back home).

A few lines further down there is a quote from one Dan Boren, a representative in said legislative body: “If you go through all the things you have to do to get elected and you feel at the end of the day, you’re not pushing the ball forward, it’s time to go do something else,”

Finally, here is Conn. Senator Leiberman on how one gets to Congress, and why you would want to in the first place. Leiberman asks: “Why would you spend all the time raising money, run for office and go through the nastiness that’s part of a general modern political campaign to come here and be involved in gridlock? They come here to get something done.”

Both are making the same point.

As I remember it, from high school, the U.S. government, according to the Constitution, is supposed to have three branches. It seems like the Congress is a weakening branch, though, and I am not so dang sure about that ol' Soopreem Court of ours, which is supposedly the third branch.

What does this say about the state of the U.S. and the world?

The three-branch thing was supposed to protect against anyone getting too much power. So, no one part of government gets a power that cannot be checked by another branch, in some shape or form.