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What would it take for Russia to be #1?


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#4561 Bader

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 06:36 AM

Howdy men,

I will sign the petition when I get my new e-mail address in a couple of days. But have sent it on to a socialist friend who has many contacts.
You might realise DonQ that even politicians may be opposed to it because it is the thin edge of the wedge that shows that economic democracy in local initiatives can address social needs
(eg building the clinic) which means that the State isnt mother and father.
The free market has failed so badly that there are million sof people who can follow this example and of course many businesses that have closed because of financial reasons only-
the lions water well conditions apply racket.

Zanon is voting with the feet, competition rather than confrontation, but note the confrontation starts with the establishments using the Courts and the Police who are there for everyone not just those who have the big bucks.
Zanon is social credit in practice, the members make the decisions and share the increment of association (profits of shared effort)


I would suggets that Woj has discovered the origin of the racket
and the secret of duping people by money tricks came through a secret society, so the pillars of society ruled as the elite.
Notice in Ur that borrowing was only for emergency whereas today the economy is based on borrowed money as a daily practice not an emergency so the increment of association is stolen just as a mafia protection racket.
Notice that when people have to pay taxes they are more likely to have to borrow, so one can imagine that a temple tax and a growing lending business could become a closely related racket.
This is no doubt related to why Jesus overturned the money-changers tables at the temple and drove them out.

Zanon is a glimpse of what people can do when they are free from financial and political rackets. The world could be a very different place if people would wake up out of state education,
political and media propoganda.
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#4562 woj1@cyberonic.

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 09:04 AM

Originally posted by donquijote

Workers at the Zanon ceramic tile factory -- an inspiring,
worker-run factory in Argentina -- have asked us to gather
international support to prevent their eviction.



Zanon in Argentina Wire and Cable Factory in Ozarowu/ Warsow.

This well prospering Wire and Cable Factory was privatized and closed. Company was only bought to remove competition and to get primary real estate.

Workers tried to stop the process of the removing equipment from the factory and were badly bitten by security. :D

Police didn
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#4563 woj1@cyberonic.

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 09:31 AM

Originally posted by donquijote
Democracy is not possible when the media and the
> so-called free press are controlled by a tiny wealthy corporate elite.
> > We are told that we in the West live in democracies just because we
> are allowed to elect political representatives - which just happen to
> never do the things that are in our interest. We are told that we life
> in democracies because the press is free to print whatever they like -
> as long as it does not hurt the interests of corporate advertisers. We
> are told that the US is bringing democracy to Iraq, because there will
> be elections soon - just as long as those elected representatives
> don't demand the end of the occupation.
>
. A good place to start would be
> idea that Iraq is democratic just because there are
> elections (Saddam held elections too, remember, and he got 99% of the
> votes cos he was the only candidate, just like the Bush/Kerry twins
> who were the only candidate and received 99% of the votes.)




Don
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#4564 woj1@cyberonic.

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 09:55 AM

Originally posted by Bader



...the secret of duping people by money tricks came through a secret society, so the pillars of society ruled as the elite.
Notice in Ur that borrowing was only for emergency whereas today the economy is based on borrowed money as a daily practice not an emergency so the increment of association is stolen just as a mafia protection racket.
Notice that when people have to pay taxes they are more likely to have to borrow, so one can imagine that a temple tax and a growing lending business could become a closely related racket.
This is no doubt related to why Jesus overturned the money-changers tables at the temple and drove them out.


If economy pushes society in epoch 2000 BC is it progressive movement ?

Second Millennium Ur may have been an early hothouse of capitalistic enterprize, but what of the borrowers mired in debt?

The government may actually have preferred them this way.
A study by the economist M. Darling of the rural economy of the Punjab in modern times suggests a disturbing thing about human nature -- people work harder and produce more when they are in debt.
Darling found that crop yields for farmers in debt typically exceeded yields from unencumbered farmers.
Farmers in the Punjab may have faced foreclosure, but for the ancient inhabitant of Ur, the motivation was even greater.
Debtors were often forced to sell themselves into slavery.

It is difficult to escape the conclusion that, while the first loan contracts and the legal system that enforced them may have been good for the Mesopotamian economy, they made life miserable for the working man and woman.
If lending began, in Ur times, short-term debt was a tool used to extract taxes from the population, and to increase the productivity of temple lands.
It is almost as though the government had found a way to extract the residual "goodwill" from the economy, by allowing individuals to shift financial obligations into the future.
Lending in ancient Ur was mostly for emergency purposes -- where the government created the emergency!
Nothing to add? Maybe 9/11?
some from http://viking.som.ya...apter1.htm#debt
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#4565 donquijote

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 02:02 PM

'When the Arabs hear the term "democracy," they hear a code word for "We want a stable environment for oil."'

Jesus, I wonder why they are so stubborn in resisting democracy...;)

'After years of trying to install democracy in the 1930s and 1940s, Maj. John Glubb, the British officer who organized the Arab Legion, complained bitterly in a letter to Whitehall: We "imagined that we had bestowed on the Iraqis all these blessings of democracy. ...Nothing could be more undemocratic than the result. A handful of politicians obtained possession of the machinery of government, and all the elections were rigged ... In this process they all became very rich."

In the post-World War II decades, the West tried to hang onto its oil lifeline in the Middle East by using the best diplomats, corporate surrogates and militaries. That only fueled the cycle of insurrection and now world terrorism from a people who resent our presence and exploitation of their resources and who have always understood better than anyone exactly why we are there. The Arabs have come to believe that all talk of democratic values is just a shibboleth of the infidel.'



Nothing to gain from vote in Iraq
Results will reflect longtime divisions
Sunday, December 5, 2004

Elections in Iraq are a lose-lose proposition.

President Bush insists that the elections must go on as scheduled on Jan. 30, and the administration announced last week that U.S. troop strength in Iraq will be increased to 150,000 in an attempt to safeguard the election process.

But 15 Sunni political parties and two leading Kurdish parties have banded together to ask Iraq's interim government to postpone voting. They contend the continuing violence and insurgency imperil a vote or make it impossible.

That point was driven home just days ago when a grenade was tossed into a school with a note warning school administrators not to allow their buildings to be used as polling places.

Candidates have been threatened with death, voters have been told to stay in their homes on election day. The Association of Muslim Scholars, Iraq's highest Sunni religious authority, has demanded that all Sunnis boycott the electoral process.

But the Shiites are adamant that elections proceed as planned. Their supreme religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has decreed that voting is not merely an act of citizenship but the highest religious obligation.

"All citizens, male and female, who are eligible to vote, " said Sistani, "must make sure that their names are properly registered on the electoral register."

Shiite mosques are bedecked with voting banners, especially in holy cities such as Najaf and Kufa. Sistani rebuffed the recent Sunni-Kurd request for a delay, saying the question was "not even up for discussion."

Arab Sunnis and Kurds, who together make up 40 percent of the population, are on an electoral collision course with the majority Shiites, who comprise 60 percent of the population. The dynamics of this looming election showdown embody the same ethnic torrents that have plagued Iraq for centuries.

Minority Sunnis and majority Shias have massacred and oppressed each other in Iraq since the 7th century, taking time off to do the same for the country's Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Jews, Kurds and other minorities. In the last half of the 20th century, the upper hand was seized by Sunni Ba'athist strongmen. Saddam Hussein was the most recent.

The concept of one-man one-vote, in which election results will almost certainly parallel the size of the various religious groups, guarantees that the Shiite majority will regain control of the nation, settling old scores, disenfranchising everyone else and creating the conditions for another civil war.

More than that, free elections -- anathema in most of the Middle East -- are viewed by the joint domestic and pan-Arab insurgency as just another device of foreign occupation.

Hence, if election plans proceed, they will become the latest lightning rod for insurgency and terrorism, replacing reconstruction efforts, the oil infrastructure and police stations as the target du jour.

The assumption or seizure of central authority in Iraq has never included a truly representative government accepted by the warring tribal factions.

As a consequence, even if the election takes place, even if the Shiites deliver a statistical majority for the turnout, the Sunnis and insurgents will reject them as illegitimate, plunging the populace into violence.

Indeed, the Islamic Army, among the most organized of the several insurgent groups, has announced that no election can take place in Iraq as long as infidel forces continue to occupy Iraq. Its leaders promise to target all Iraqis or foreigners who participate in the election or recognize the results.

Another volatile possibility is that majority Shiite rule will propel the nation not toward Western-style democracy but toward Iranian-style theocracy. Shiite Iran and the dominant Shiite holy cities such as Najaf have been joined at the hip and heart for centuries.

Citizens from both countries freely pass across the border and in many ways function co-jointly in all matters religious, spiritual and social.

Should a Shiite-controlled Iraq legislate itself into an Iranian-style theocracy or even consider a pan-Islamic confederacy, the ramifications are towering. Such binational unions in the Islamic Middle East have been common since World War II.

In 1958, Iraq itself united with Jordan in the short-lived Arab Union, and Egypt and Syria created the ill-fated United Arab Republic.

The people of Iraq have never wanted Western-style democracy or elections.

They know their history, too. In 1920, the nations of the Middle East were created where no nations had previously existed by Western oil imperialism and the League of Nations solely to validate under international law the post- World War I joint oil monopolies France and England had created.

Pro-western monarchs and other rulers were installed to sign on the dotted line, legitimizing cheap Western oil monopolies.

At the same time, the Western capitals spurned the Arab national movement.

When the Arabs hear the term "democracy," they hear a code word for "We want a stable environment for oil."

After years of trying to install democracy in the 1930s and 1940s, Maj. John Glubb, the British officer who organized the Arab Legion, complained bitterly in a letter to Whitehall: We "imagined that we had bestowed on the Iraqis all these blessings of democracy. ...Nothing could be more undemocratic than the result. A handful of politicians obtained possession of the machinery of government, and all the elections were rigged ... In this process they all became very rich."

In the post-World War II decades, the West tried to hang onto its oil lifeline in the Middle East by using the best diplomats, corporate surrogates and militaries. That only fueled the cycle of insurrection and now world terrorism from a people who resent our presence and exploitation of their resources and who have always understood better than anyone exactly why we are there. The Arabs have come to believe that all talk of democratic values is just a shibboleth of the infidel.

Iraq, the so-called cradle of civilization, has a 7,000-year head start on the United States and Britain. If Iraqis wanted a pluralistic democracy, they could have created one without a permission slip from Washington or London. Elections do not make democracies. Democracies make elections.

***

Edwin Black is the author of "IBM and the Holocaust." This article is adapted from his new book, "Banking on Baghdad: Inside Iraq's 7,000-Year History of War, Profit, and Conflict" (Wiley).
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#4566 donquijote

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 05:10 PM

Howdy Bader, I haven't even read it, but it must be interesting. First it's Chomsky, and second it's about Anarchism, which we talked about before. My viewpoint? A name is just a name...but some should be avoided...;)

[Aside from the odd confusion of Stirner with libertarian
capitalists, this interview gives a lot of good thoughts to
chew on.--DC]

ZNet | Vision & Strategy
Anarchism Interview
by Noam Chomsky and Ziga Vodovnik
December 06, 2004
July 14, 2004 in Cambridge, MA.

Ziga Vodovnik: When somebody declares himself as an
anarchist, he basically tells very little about his
inspirations and aspirations -- about the question of means
and ends. This only confirms an old truth that we can not
define anarchism as self-sufficient dot, but rather as a
mosaic composed of many different dots or political views
(and aspirations) -- green, feminist, pacifist, etc. This
question of means and ends is part of a fascination of
anarchism in theory but sometimes part of frustration in
practice. Do you think that this diversity makes anarchism
ineffective and an inconsequential body of ideas, or rather
makes anarchism universally adaptable?

Noam Chomsky: Anarchism is a very broad category; it means a
lot of different things to different people. The main
strains of anarchism have been very concerned with means.
They have often tended to try to follow the idea that
Bakunin expressed, that you should build the seeds of the
future society within the existing one, and have been very
extensively involved in educational work, organizing and
forming collectives, small collectives and larger ones, and
other kinds of organizations. There are other groups that
call themselves anarchist, who are also mostly concerned
about means -- so, what kind of demonstrations should we
carry out, what sort of direct actions are appropriate and
so on and so forth. I don't think it is possible to ask
whether it is effective or not. There are different ways of
proceeding, effective in different circumstances. And there
is no unified anarchist movement that has a position to talk
about. There are just many conflicting strains that often
disagree quite sharply. There have never been many
anarchists, as far as I know, who object to carrying out
what they call reformist measures within existing society --
like improving women's rights, worker's health, . . . There
are other anarchists whose positions are primitivist, who
want to eliminate technology and return to the soil . . .

ZV: In theoretical political science we can analytically
identify two main conceptions of anarchism -- a so-called
collective anarchism with Bakunin, Kropotkin and Makhno as
main figures and which is limited to Europe, and on another
hand so called individualistic anarchism which is limited to
US. Do you agree with this theoretical separation, and in
this perspective, where do you see the historical beginnings
(origins) of anarchism in the U.S.

NC: The individualistic anarchism that you are talking
about, Stirner and others, is one of the roots of -- among
other things -- the so-called "libertarian" movement in the
US. This means dedication to free market capitalism, and has
no connection with the rest of the international anarchist
movement. In the European tradition, anarchists commonly
called themselves libertarian socialists, in a very
different sense of the term "libertarian." As far as I can
see, the workers' movements, which didn't call themselves
anarchist, were closer to the main strain of European
anarchism than many of the people in the US who called
themselves anarchists. If we go back to the labor activism
from the early days of the industrial revolution, to the
working class press in 1850s, and so on, it's got a real
anarchist strain to it. They never heard of European
anarchism, never heard of Marx, or anything like that. It
was spontaneous. They took for granted wage labor is little
different from slavery, that workers should own the mills,
that the industrial system is destroying individual
initiative, culture, and so on, that they have to struggle
against the what they called "the new spirit of the age" in
the 1850s: "Gain Wealth, Forgetting all but Self." Sounds
rather familiar. And the same is true of other popular
movements -- let's take the New Left movements. Some strains
related themselves to traditional collectivist anarchism,
which always regarded itself as a branch of socialism. But
US and to some extent British libertarianism is quite a
different thing and different development, in fact has no
objection to tyranny as long as it is private tyranny. That
is radically different from other forms of anarchism.

ZV: Where in a long and rich history of people's struggles
in the US do you see the main inspiration of contemporary
anarchism in the U.S.? What is your opinion about the
Transcendentalism as an inspiration in this perspective?

NC: Maybe you'll discover something in your research on this
topic, but my feeling is that the Transcendentalist
movement, which was mostly intellectuals, may have had some
influence on individualist anarchism, but didn't connect, to
my knowledge, in any significant fashion with the working
class popular movements, which much more resemble the
anarchism of Bakunin, Kropotkin, the Spanish revolutionaries
and others.

ZV: Most of the creative energy for radical politics -- for
the new movement of movements or so-called anti-capitalist,
even anti-globalization movement, is nowadays coming from
anarchism, but only few of the people involved in the
movement actually call themselves "anarchists". Where do you
see the main reason for this?

NC: I think it has always been true. Most activists, people
in human rights struggles, women's struggles, labor
struggles, and so on, didn't call themselves anarchists,
they didn't draw from any knowledge or understanding of
anarchist tradition. Maybe in the US they heard of Emma
Goldman, but they just developed out of their needs,
concerns, instincts, natural commitments. I don't think we
have to work very hard to bring ordinary people in the US,
who never heard of authentic anarchism, to help them come to
the kind of understanding that young women from the farms
and workers from the urban slums had from 1850s, also on
their own. In the mid 19th century when the workers in the
mills, in Lowell and in Salem, were developing a very lively
and active working class culture, I doubt that they knew
anything about the Transcendentalists, who were right from
the same neighborhood and about the same period.

to be continued...
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#4567 donquijote

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 05:17 PM

ZV: Ordinary people often confuse anarchism with chaos and
violence, and do not know that anarchism (an archos) doesn't
mean life or state of things without rules, but rather a
highly organized social order, life without a ruler,
"principe". Is pejorative usage of the word anarchism maybe
a direct consequence of the fact that the idea that people
could be free was and is extremely frightening to those in
power?

NC: There has been an element within the anarchist movement
that has been concerned with "propaganda by the deed," often
with violence, and it is quite natural that power centers
seize on it in an effort to undermine any attempt for
independence and freedom, by identifying it with violence.
But that is not true just for anarchism. Even democracy is
feared. It is so deep-seated that people can't even see it.
If we take a look at the Boston Globe on July 4th -- July 4
is of course Independence Day, praising independence,
freedom and democracy -- we find that they had an article on
George Bush's attempt to get some support in Europe, to mend
fences after the conflict. They interviewed the foreign
policy director of the "libertarian" Cato Institute, asking
why Europeans are critical of the US. He said something like
this: The problem is that Germany and France have weak
governments, and if they go against the will of the
population, they have to pay a political cost. This is the
libertarian Cato Institute talking. The fear of democracy
and hatred of it is so profound that nobody even notices it.
In fact the whole fury about Old Europe and New Europe last
year was very dramatic, particularly the fact that the
criterion for membership in one or the other was somehow not
noticed. The criterion was extremely sharp. If the
government took the same position as the overwhelming
majority of the population, it was bad: "Old Europe -- bad
guys." If the government followed orders from Crawford,
Texas and overruled an even larger majority of the
population, then it was the hope of the future and
democracy: Berlusconi, Aznar, and other noble figures. This
was pretty uniform across the spectrum, just taken for
granted. The lesson was: if you have a very strong
government you don't have to pay a political cost if you
overrule the population. That's admirable. That's what
governments are for -- to overrule the population and work
for the rich and powerful. It is so deep-seated that it
wasn't even seen.

ZV: What your opinion about the "dilemma" of means --
revolution versus social and cultural evolution?

NC: I don't really see it as a dilemma. It makes sense, in
any system of domination and control, to try to change it as
far as possible within the limits that the system permits.
If you run up against limits that are impassable barriers,
then it may be that the only way to proceed is conflict,
struggle and revolutionary change. But there is no need for
revolutionary change to work for improving safety and health
regulations in factories, for example, because you can bring
about these changes through parliamentary means. So you try
to push it as far as you can. People often do not even
recognize the existence of systems of oppression and
domination. They have to try to struggle to gain their
rights within the systems in which they live before they
even perceive that there is repression. Take a look at the
women's movement. One of the first steps in the development
of the women's movement was so-called "consciousness raising
efforts". Try to get women to perceive that it is not the
natural state of the world for them to be dominated and
controlled. My grandmother couldn't join the women's
movement, since she didn't feel any oppression, in some
sense. That's just the way life was, like the sun rises in
the morning. Until people can realize that it is not like
the sun rising, that it can be changed, that you don't have
to follow orders, that you don't have to be beaten, until
people can perceive that there is something wrong with that,
until that is overcome, you can't go on. And one of the ways
to do that is to try to press reforms within the existing
systems of repression, and sooner or later you find that you
will have to change them.

ZV: Do you think that the change should be achieved through
institutionalized (party) politics, or rather through other
means such as disobedience, building parallel frameworks,
alternative media, etc?

NC: It is impossible to say anything general about it,
because it depends on circumstances. Sometimes one tactic is
right, sometimes another one. Talk of tactics sounds sort of
trivial, but it is not. Tactical choices are the ones that
have real human consequences. We can try to go beyond the
more general strategic choices -- speculatively and with
open minds -- but beyond that we descend into abstract
generalities. Tactics have to do with decisions about what
to do next, they have real human consequences. So for
example, let's take the upcoming Republican National
Convention. If a large group that calls itself anarchist
acts in such a way as to strengthen the systems of power and
antagonize the public, they will be harming their own cause.
If they can find actions that will get people to understand
why it makes sense to challenge systems of formal democracy
without substance, then they picked the right tactic. But
you cannot check or look in a textbook to find the answers.
It depends on careful evaluation of the situation that
exists, the state of public understanding, the likely
consequences of what we do, and so on.

ZV: The United States has a very long history of Utopism --
of different attempts towards alternative social orders.
Transcendentalism was also famous because its Brook Farm and
Fruitlands experiments. French thinker Proudhon once wrote
that: "Freedom is the mother, not the daughter of order."
Where do you see life after or beyond (nation) state?

NC: My feeling is that any interaction among human beings
that is more than personal -- meaning that takes
institutional forms of one kind or another -- in community,
or workplace, family, larger society, whatever it may be,
should be under direct control of its participants. So that
would mean workers' councils in industry, popular democracy
in communities, interaction between them, free associations
in larger groups, up to organization of international
society. You can spell out the details in many different
ways, and I don't really see a lot a point in it. And here I
disagree with some of my friends; I think spelling out in
extensive detail the form or future society goes beyond our
understanding. There surely will have to be plenty of
experimentation -- we don't know enough human beings and
societies, their needs and limitations. There is just too
much we don't know, so lots of alternatives should be tried.

ZV: On many occasions activist, intellectuals, students,
have asked you about your specific vision of anarchist
society and about your very detailed plan to get there. Once
you have answered "that we can not figure out what problems
are going to arise unless you experiment with them." Do you
also have a feeling that many left intellectuals are loosing
too much energy with their theoretical disputes about the
proper means and ends, to even start "experimenting" in
practice.

NC: Many people find this extremely important and find that
they cannot act as, let's say, organizers in their community
unless they have a detailed vision of the future that they
are going to try to achieve. OK, that's the way they
perceive the world and themselves. I would not presume to
tell them it's wrong, maybe it is right for them, but it is
not right for me. A lot of flowers have a right to bloom.
People do things in different ways.
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#4568 donquijote

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 05:18 PM

ZV: With the process of economic globalization getting
stronger day after day, many on the left are caught between
a dilemma -- either one can work to reinforce the
sovereignty of nation-states as a defensive barrier against
the control of foreign and global capital; or one can strive
towards a non-national alternative to the present form of
globalization and that is equally global. What's your
opinion about this riddle?

NC: As usual, I don't see it as a conflict. It makes perfect
sense to use the means that nation states provide in order
to resist exploitation, oppression, domination, violence and
so on, yet at the same time to try to override these means
by developing alternatives. There is no conflict. You should
use whatever methods are available to you. There is no
conflict between trying to overthrow the state and using the
means that are provided in a partially democratic society,
the means that have been developed through popular struggles
over centuries. You should use them and try to go beyond,
maybe destroy the institution. It is like the media. I am
perfectly happy to write columns that are syndicated by the
New York Times, which I do, and to write in Z Magazine. It
is no contradiction. In fact, let's take a look at this
place (MIT). It has been a very good place for me to work;
I've been able to do things I want to do. I have been here
for fifty years, and have never thought about leaving it.
But there are things about it that are hopelessly
illegitimate. For example, it is a core part of the
military-linked industrial economy. So you work within it
and try to change it.

ZV: Many oppose "democracy" since it is still a form of
tyranny -- tyranny of the majority. They object to the
notion of majority rule, noting that the views of the
majority do not always coincide with the morally right one.
Therefore we have an obligation to act according to the
dictates of his conscience, even if the latter goes against
majority opinion, the presiding leadership, or the laws of
the society. Do you agree with this notion?

NC: It is impossible to say. If you want to be a part of the
society, you have to accept the majority decisions within
it, in general, unless there is a very strong reason not to.
If I drive home tonight, and there is a red light, I will
stop, because that is a community decision. It doesn't
matter if it is 3 a.m. and I may be able to go through it
without being caught because nobody is around. If you are
part of the community, you accept behavioral patterns that
maybe you don't agree with. But there comes a point when
this is unacceptable, when you feel you have to act under
your own conscious choice and the decisions of the majority
are immoral. But again, anyone looking for a formula about
it is going be very disappointed. Sometimes you have to
decide in opposition to your friends. Sometimes that would
be legitimate, sometimes not. There simply are no formulas
for such things and cannot be. Human life is too complex,
with too many dimensions. If you want to act in violation of
community norms, you have to have pretty strong reasons. The
burden of proof is on you to show that you are right, not
just: "My conscience says so." That is not enough of a reason.

ZV: What is your opinion about so-called "scientific"
anarchism -- attempts to scientifically prove Bakunin's
assumption that human beings have instinct for freedom. That
we have not only a tendency towards freedom but also a
biological need. Something that you were so successful in
proving with universal grammar (language) . . .

NC: That is really a hope, it is not a scientific result. So
little is understood about human nature that you cannot draw
any serious conclusions. We can't even answer questions
about the nature of insects. We draw conclusions --
tentative ones -- through a combination of our intuitions,
hopes, some experiences. In that way we may draw the
conclusion that humans have an instinct for freedom. But we
should not pretend that it is derived from scientific
knowledge and understanding. It isn't and can't be. There is
no science of human beings and their interactions or even
simpler organisms that reaches anywhere near that far.

ZV: Last question. Henry David Thoreau opens his essay
"Civil Disobedience" with the following sentence: "That
government is the best that governs the least or doesn't
govern at all." History teaches us that our freedom, labor
rights, environmental standards have never been given to us
from the wealthy and influential few, but have always been
fought out by ordinary people -- with civil disobedience.
What should be in this respect our first steps toward
another, better world?

NC: There are many steps to achieve different ends. If we
take the immediate problems in the US, probably the main
domestic problem we face is the collapse of the health care
system, which is a very serious problem. People can't get
drugs, can't get medical care, costs are out of control, and
it is getting worse and worse. That is a major problem. And
that can be, in principle and I think in fact, dealt within
the framework of parliamentary institutions. In some recent
polls 80% of the population prefer much more reasonable
programs, some form of national health insurance, which
would be far cheaper and more efficient and would give them
the benefits they want. But the democratic system is so
corrupted that 80% of the population can't even put their
position on the electoral agenda. But that can be overcome.
Take Brazil, which has much higher barriers than here, but
the population was able to force through legislation which
made Brazil a leader in providing AIDS medication at a
fraction of the cost elsewhere and in violation of
international trade rules imposed by the US and other rich
countries. They did it. If Brazilian peasants can do it, we
can do it. Instituting a reasonable health care system is
one thing that should be done, and you can think of a
thousand others. There is no way of ranking them; there is
no first step. They should all be done. You can decide to be
engaged in this one or that one or some other one, wherever
your personal concerns, commitments and energy are. They are
all interactive, mutually supportive. I do things I think
are important, you do things you think are important, they
do what they think is important, they can all be means for
achieving more or less the same ends. They can assist one
another, achievements in one domain can assist those in
others. But who am I to say what the first step is?

ZV: Do you go to the polls/ Do you vote?

NC: Sometimes. Again, it depends on whether there is a
choice worth making, whether the effect of voting is
significant enough so it is worth the time and effort. On
local issues I almost always vote. For example, there was
recently a referendum in the town where I live that overrode
ridiculous tax restrictions, and I voted on that. I thought
it is important for a town to have schools, fire stations,
libraries and so on and so forth. Usually the local
elections make some kind of difference, beyond that it is
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#4569 woj1@cyberonic.

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 07:31 PM

Originally posted by woj1@cyberonic.
If economy pushes society in epoch 2000 BC is it progressive movement ?

Second Millennium Ur may have been an early hothouse of capitalistic enterprize, but what of the borrowers mired in debt?

The government may actually have preferred them this way.
A study by the economist M. Darling of the rural economy of the Punjab in modern times suggests a disturbing thing about human nature -- people work harder and produce more when they are in debt.
Crop yields for farmers in debt typically exceeded yields from unencumbered farmers.
Farmers in the Punjab may have faced foreclosure, but for the ancient inhabitant of Ur, the motivation was even greater.
Debtors were often forced to sell themselves into slavery.

It is difficult to escape the conclusion that, while the first loan contracts and the legal system that enforced them may have been good for the Mesopotamian economy, they made life miserable for the working man and woman.
If lending began, in Ur times, short-term debt was a tool used to extract taxes from the population, and to increase the productivity of temple lands.
Lending in ancient Ur was mostly for emergency purposes -- where the government created the emergency!
http://viking.som.ya...apter1.htm#debt


The Carthaginians were notorious in antiquity for the intensity of their religious beliefs, which they retained to the end of their independence.
The chief deity was Baal Hammon, Chief goddess of Carthage, the equivalent of Astarte.
She first appeared around the 5th century BC. Though she seems to have had some connection with the heavens, she was also a mother goddess and symbol of fertility. Archaeological evidence suggests that children, probably firstborn, were sacrificed both to her and to Baal Hammon.
Astarte was goddess of the ancient Middle East and chief deity of the Mediterranean seaports of Tyre, Sidon, and Elath.
Her Akkadian counterpart was Ishtar. She is often mentioned in the Bible under the name Ashtaroth; Solomon is said to have worshipped the goddess,
Gedesha was a class of sacred prostitutes found throughout the ancient Middle East and associated especially with the worship of the fertility goddess Astarte.
Prostitutes, who often played an important part in official temple worship, could be either male or female. The early Israelites adopted Canaanite rites of sacred prostitution, and despite the denunciations of Israelite prophets, the practice continued until the reforms of Josiah in the 7th century BC.

Chemosh, ancient West Semitic deity, revered by the Moabites as their supreme god. Little is known about Chemosh; although King Solomon of Israel built a sanctuary to him east of Jerusalem (1 Kings 11:7), the shrine was later demolished by King Josiah (2 Kings 23:13). The goddess Astarte was probably the cult partner of Chemosh http://www.britannic...4&go_button.y=5

In my opinion it is not surprise that in environment where taxes , debts, interest rate and capitalism was born , in temples also were
adopted rites of sacred prostitution.
Fit and match. :)
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#4570 donquijote

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 03:24 AM

The greatest show on Earth: the new clowns of the democratic circus.:confused:

The pro-democracy mob butts into Ukraine voting
By Patrick J. Buchanan

In the 1940s, as Stalinists were seizing Czechoslovakia, ex-OSS agents were running bags of money to Italy and France to ensure that the communists were defeated in national elections.

In the 1950s, using a rent-a-mob, the CIA effected the ouster of an anti-American regime in Iran and the overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala. In the 1980s, after Solidarity was crushed by Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, Ronald Reagan secretly aided the Polish resistance.

Many of us applauded these Cold War means, as we believed that the ends -- security of the West and survival of freedom -- justified them.

But when news broke that South Africa was maneuvering to buy the Washington Star in the 1980s, our capital was ablaze with indignation. How dare they seek to corrupt American media! In the 1990s, when China was caught funneling cash to the Clinton campaign, we were full of righteous rage.

Given this history, several question arise. Are we today using Cold War tactics in a post-Cold War era? Are we guilty of the same gross interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine -- trying to fix their election -- that we would consider outrageous and criminal if done to us?

Are we Americans hypocrites of global democracy?

Consider what we have apparently been up to in Ukraine.

According to the Guardian and other sources, the National Endowment for Democracy, USAID, Freedom House, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and George Soros' Open Society Institute all pumped money or sent agents into Kiev to defeat the government-backed Victor Yanukovych and elect Victor Yushchenko as president. Allegedly in on the scheme is the supposedly objective and neutral Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The Guardian's Jonathan Steele describes how we put the fix in:

``Yushchenko got the Western nod, and floods of money poured in to groups which support him, ranging from the youth organization, Pora, to various opposition Web sites. More provocatively, the U.S. and other Western embassies paid for exit polls.''

Those polls showed Yushchenko winning by 11 points, demoralizing the opposition and convincing most Ukrainians he was the next president.

But on Election Day, Yushchenko, like John Kerry, lost.

Into the streets came scores of thousands of demonstrators, howling fraud and demanding that Yushchenko be inaugurated. Engaging in civil disobedience, and backed by the West, the crowds intimidated parliament, President Leonid Kuchma and the judiciary into declaring the election invalid.

John Laughland writes in the Guardian of the double standard our media employ: ``Enormous rallies have been held in Kiev in support of the prime minister, Victor Yanukovych, but they are not shown on our TV screen.''

Laughland is saying the Yushchenko demonstrations may be as phony as that U.S.-Albanian war in the film ``Wag the Dog.''

If the United States has indeed been interfering in Ukraine to swing the election of a president who will tilt to NATO, against Moscow, we are, as Steele writes, ``playing with fire.''

``Not only is the country geographically and culturally divided -- a recipe for partition or even civil war -- it is also an important neighbor of Russia.''

Our most critical relationship is with the world's other great nuclear power, Russia, a nation suffering depopulation, loss of empire, breakup of its country and a terror war. That relationship is far more important to us than who rules in Kiev.

For us to imperil it by using our perfected technique of the ``post-modern coup'' -- as we did in Serbia and Georgia and failed to do in Belarus -- to elect American vassals in Russia's back yard, even in former Soviet republics, is an act of imperial arrogance and blind stupidity.

Congress should investigate the National Endowment for Democracy and any organization that used clandestine cash or agents to fix the Ukrainian election. The U.S. media, meanwhile, appear to have gone into the tank for global democracy, as they did for war in Iraq.

PATRICK J. BUCHANAN is a syndicated columnist.
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#4571 woj1@cyberonic.

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 08:55 AM

Originally posted by donquijote
The greatest show on Earth: the new clowns of the democratic circus.:confused:

In the 1950s, using a rent-a-mob, the CIA effected the ouster of an anti-American regime in Iran and the overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala. In the 1980s, after Solidarity was crushed by Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, Ronald Reagan secretly aided the Polish resistance.

Are we guilty of the same gross interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine -- trying to fix their election --?

Are we Americans hypocrites of global democracy?

Consider what we have apparently been up to in Ukraine.

According to the Guardian and other sources, the National Endowment for Democracy, USAID, Freedom House, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and George Soros' Open Society Institute all pumped money or sent agents into Kiev to defeat the government-backed Victor Yanukovych and elect Victor Yushchenko as president. Allegedly in on the scheme is the supposedly objective and neutral Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The Guardian's Jonathan Steele describes how we put the fix in:

More provocatively, the U.S. and other Western embassies paid for exit polls.''

Engaging in civil disobedience, and backed by the West, the crowds intimidated parliament, President Leonid Kuchma and the judiciary into declaring the election invalid.

Enormous rallies have been held in Kiev in support of the prime minister, Victor Yanukovych, but they are not shown on our TV screen.''

Laughland is saying the Yushchenko demonstrations may be as phony as that U.S.-Albanian war in the film ``Wag the Dog.''



The ``post-modern coup'' -- as we did in Serbia and Georgia and failed to do in Belarus -- to elect American vassals in Russia's back yard, even in former Soviet republics, is an act of imperial arrogance .
[/B]


It is nothing about democracy only it is about getting on Ukrainian highway to Caspian oil and free military resources through NATO .
.Mrs Juszczenko is US citizen and Juszczenko two boys are born in US and they are US citizens.

Mrs Juszczenko is Soros employee.
So call - movement for democracy is just simply post-modern coup'' and US attempt to set US controlled government in Ukraine. I, even it would happened on Dec 26. see black horizon.
BTW. Referendum in Hungry for Hungarian citizenship leaving abroad the Hungry, has failed.
It means, that the main step to control Hungary directly from US is diminished. Laszlo work doesn
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#4572 Bader

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 10:05 AM

Howdy men,

Compliments of the season to you too Woj and you DonQ while we are at it.

"If economy pushes society in epoch 2000 is it progressive movement?"
In a word NO. No economy should push, it should serve. But since the beginning of pushing - making people work harder because of debt- in UR, we have seen it go from private and individual debt to national debt, that wasnt big enough, we have gone from gold because that isnt plentiful enough, now its whole
blocks of economies (global regions) and printing money against the next generation to be born, and trying to capture world resources before the money system collapses because there is insuficient behind it.

Capitalisn/industrial revolution has been driven by debt, you pay for todays borrowing out of tomorrows income. If the income isnt pushed up then with the deduction of the repayment one has less to live on/operate business on. So naturally there is a push for growth so you dont go backwards. The growth is driven by a financial (abstraction) not a matter of natural world functions
that primative man lived- meeting his daily needs.
The planet/environment took a pounding in the process- also artificially driven not by natural need but to meet an abtract push-demand.
Yes it was good for the Mesopetamia economy, that is those who ran the games, but made life miserable for the workers, the exploited.

"debtors were often forced to sell themselves into slavery"'

Scripture says the borrower is slave to the lender. We have talked about people working overtime for nothing just to avoid being laid off. JUst the man went to work once to keep his family
now the family is the slave, the wife goes out to work and the children get jobs as soon as they can, eg paper rounds etc.

I noticed the legal system grew as the games to exploit grew, to
protect the schemers games and protect them from losses. Littleprotection for anyone else. Life hasnt changed that much has it.
Basically life hasnt changed that much in thousands of years. Even the occultic side is reviving.

Chompsky and the Anarchist: was a little educational and he sees the need for many diferent attempts at developing better social-economic models to learn from. We agree on that DonQ.
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#4573 woj1@cyberonic.

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 10:27 AM

Soros painted an ominous picture of America's future in his book ``The Bubble of American Supremacy.'' Judging by how the U.S. seemed all but ignored by leaders attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or Asean, summit..
When the U.S. did come up, it was often in a negative light. What if the dollar crashes? When will the U.S. stop living beyond its means? Will the mess in Iraq ever get sorted out? Might the Bush administration invade North Korea? How will the Federal Reserve's interest rate increases affect Asia?
Pushing the U.S. to the sidelines was China, and the talk was of how craftily it is forging economic ties in Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa. China seems to be spreading its tentacles everywhere, taking advantage of a U.S. distracted by war, terrorism and internal squabbles.
The idea that China is destined to eclipse the U.S. someday is hardly new. Yet events in Vientiane left the impression the role reversal may happen sooner than most dared to think.
Lee Supports U.S.
So is the U.S. economy becoming old hat in Asia? No, according to, Lee Kuan Yew, of Singapore.
``America is the most dynamic economy in the world,'' Lee said in Bangkok.
The U.S. is having difficulty competing globally? ``I'm completely of the contrary view,'' Lee said.
China's economy very much a work in progress, the U.S. economy wins top billing.
Economic Shift
Again, Lee's ; An economic shift ``from the Atlantic to the Pacific'' in 20 years; bet against the U.S. economy may regret it.
The 81-year-old Lee was known for taking pro-U.S. stances when he was Singapore's prime minister from 1959 to 1990, Lee's comments aren't about currying favor; they toss a dose of sobriety at investors' infatuation with all things China. ????
Remember that just 20 years ago, Japan was supposed to eclipse the U.S. and rule the world. These days, it's grappling with deflation, an aging population and modest growth. It's not a bad thing to have a sober observer or two point out that things may not turn out as the herd expects.
Lee could easily be wrong, too. It's bad enough that the U.S. is building up ever-growing amounts of debt; signals are that the record U.S. budget deficit will continue expanding.
The U.S.'s debt situation -- ex Minister Mahathir Mohamad of Maynard
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#4574 donquijote

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 01:10 PM

Originally posted by Bader
Howdy men,

Compliments of the season to you too Woj and you DonQ while we are at it.

Chompsky and the Anarchist: was a little educational and he sees the need for many diferent attempts at developing better social-economic models to learn from. We agree on that DonQ.



Best wishes too! I hope our ideas come to fruition in 2005.:cool:

Well, he would agree with us. Economic Democracy, providing options, water well over water dam, be and let be...:)

NC: Many people find this extremely important and find that
they cannot act as, let's say, organizers in their community
unless they have a detailed vision of the future that they
are going to try to achieve. OK, that's the way they
perceive the world and themselves. I would not presume to
tell them it's wrong, maybe it is right for them, but it is
not right for me. A lot of flowers have a right to bloom.
People do things in different ways.
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#4575 donquijote

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 03:12 PM

http://engforum.prav...threadid=108738
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#4576 Bader

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 08:43 AM

Hey DonQ you get bitten by a hyena?

Congradulations of the good feed-back on the poll thread.
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#4577 donquijote

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 02:34 PM

Originally posted by Bader
Hey DonQ you get bitten by a hyena?

Congradulations of the good feed-back on the poll thread.



Thanks, I know. They want us to support unconditionally some cause as if that was the only thing that goes wrong in this world. They don't want to hear but their own story. "It's a fight between lions," the little animals say. We must remain fully rational people. Whatever solution that is not global is really irrelevant because the jungle remains.

Hey, Bader, another lion slayer here...

Hello Isidoro
>You are truly a military general in the making. You preface your letter with "friendly world"
but the rest of it reads like a military strategy. Your whole outlook is that of someone who is the victim. Does it comfort you in some way? What if you found out this evil-doing enemy out there were people just like you and me?<

Oh, I have my own theories about STRATEGIES, and they happen to coincide with you. Not military at all, but very much aimed at TAMING A LION out there. Sure we are not perfect (and something roars inside us), but we got at least four main things that distinguish us from the HUNGRY MONOPOLISTIC LION: WE WANT JUSTICE, WE THINK 'LESS IS MORE,' WE WANT CHANGES and WE ENCOURAGE COMPETITION.

These four things make us different, and I say the lion is pretty much isolated in his ways. Certainly the little animals are not pleased with this state of affairs where they are the victims everyday. But can we do? Well, STOP FEEDING THE LION for one. It is us who ultimately keep the lion strong by feeding him. And when we cry against the war in Iraq but then burn gas in an SUV, it's pure contradiction. So RIDING BICYCLES IS A GOOD STARTING STRATEGY not to feed the lion. And there are many, all the way down to a general strike...

>Did you ever hear the _expression "you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar"? You are only going to attract more people who feel like victims with your kind of talk. There is no doubt about it, we are not the victims anymore. You are living in an illusion, from the Latin 'ludere', meaning a play. We are all living like that. Why not create one that we like? one that works for all of us?<

Sure, now let's talk about solutions. There are many, rather than one. You can call it HAVING OPTIONS, or ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY. If you go to my website, you will find many solutions there as well as many solutions from Economic Democracy, our sister organization. We can discuss those later.

>The problem with thinking: We will create a world that's better, just as soon as we depose these tyrants that are in power right now-- is that the tyrant is you! You and me and all the rest of us. We have a system that doesn't work. Instead of fighting that system, we need to withdraw our energy from it. We need to create a different system. This begins with the story. I'm saying there is no lion. Not in the way you mean it. If there is a lion he only lives because we give him that power.<

Sure, the best anti-lion institution is the COOPERATIVE: There's no politician, no bureaucrat, no boss. But since we are not all going to go for it, the lion outside can be tamed by competition as well as by full participation of the little animals in the democratic process. The best insurance against the lion is COMPETITION.

>It's like our money system. It's absolutely worthless paper. We have got a system right now that puts the control of most of the resources into the hands of just a few people. Those resources are not actually in the hands of the few, it only seems this way because of the power we give them. We recognize "the dollar" as something of value. Do you know that with the fractional reserve banking system we have right now that if a mere 1% of the people took out all their money from the banks, the system would totally collapse? It's not that those resources would totally disappear, just the illusory control of them. Most of those resources are the labor of the people, yours and mine.<

Right, the lion creates scarcity in an arbitrary standard: it could be money, it could be salt. And then the little animals must fight and thank the lion for a having limited access to it. Well, again, in the kibbutz styles cooperative, you can have the great life (bicycles and all) with NO money, zero, nothing, nada...

>I agree with you that we need to change the system but we won't get anywhere by railing against some mythological foe that doesn't really exist. War begets war. I think you underestimate the power of your words. Your predominant mental attitude determines how you will see the world. A nation of people who think of themselves as either victims or beneficiaries of this system perpetuate the system just the same. If we want to create something better we absolutely must stop perpetuating war.<

Not war in the conventional sense, just the war of ideas if they put up resistance. Sure enough they could welcome new ideas and say, "Hey, what nice ideas you got there. Let's do them." No, they say, "I'm not interested, it's not within the priorities," so we must conclude there's some kind of beast out there clinging to chaos and jungle. Let's build bike lanes? No way. Let's build bullet trains? Nah. Let's go war? Sure...

>If you absolutely must feel oppressed and victimized in your lion myth, why don't you finish the story? Write an ending that we can all be happy with. Make it plausible. Make the heroes and their way to victory as believable as the lions power. Otherwise, what is the point?<

Oh, in the language of satire you often express the opposite of what you actually mean. "And they lived happily ever after," give me a brake, the little animals are running for their lives all the time--if not doing the wars of the lion.

OK, here's a happy ending story, if and only if, we all got together...

THE KING WHO RULED NOTHING
The King Who Ruled Nothing is a whimsical parable about a cruel king who ended up a lonely pauper when his subjects stopped obeying his commands.

"The men think?" screamed the King. "What do I care what the men think? The men do not rule this kingdom?I do. Hang the men who will not fight."

http://www.fragments...ff/theking.html
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#4578 Bader

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 06:15 AM

You would be very pleased making that contact DonQ.

What I got out of it is the importance of visualising/conceptionalising ones own desired reality. This is the same as re-educating ones mind after throwing out the trash put there by the system.
The establishment has the vision and we are trained to look to the leaders the system creates. We arent supposed ton have a vision, if we do usually we cant afford it (under the present systems). People were doing things long before money got to the top.
Future reality begins in the mind that has a light switched on.
It s an economy of scale. If a few people can create a win-win
cooperative with no lion then a nation can create a new economic-society.
Be interesting to see what further he has on money. It is pointless saying money is worthless paper. Everyone is flat out not getting enough of it and if he doesnt want his share he should give it to his neighbour who knows it is worth something because he will see his neighbour will suddenly have something he couldnt afford previously. He might then ask his neighbour, hey how did you manage to get your new "thing" and the neighbour will say, "oh we got it with all that useless money paper you gave us, maybe you should reconsider, but if you do change your mind perhaps you can wait until me and my wife come back from our trip to France".
Next time he buys tickets to the movies he might consider the
value of the ticket- a mere snippet of cheap paper that probably cost a couple of cents, and then scew it up and go home instead of going in and watching the movie.
If he wants to have gold coins he should order some from
a minter, they will be happy to swap, thats their business to collect as many useless bits of paper as they can.
It the paper is useless no one would be paying tax on it.
If you want people to smile at you when they see the likes of this on your pamphete and say you can give me all your money as
well if you like, Ill help you get rid of it, dont be surprised.
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#4579 donquijote

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 11:47 AM

Originally posted by Bader
If you want people to smile at you when they see the likes of this on your pamphete and say you can give me all your money as
well if you like, Ill help you get rid of it, dont be surprised.



Howdy Bader
Some people put a bill on one side of their flyer so to bite people into accepting it.

It would be interesting to see how the lion will bite people in a coop that has no use for money, because they got it all. The lion will lose control over their lives and they'll truly own their water well...;)
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#4580 donquijote

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Posted 11 December 2004 - 12:47 PM

Howdy Bader
A tamed lion would help the cooperatives. Perhaps a Ministry of Cooperatives is in order. But what's going now? The hungry lion uses every trick or force if need be to crush the aspirations of the little animals. He's trying to prevent the construction of the water well at any cost...;)

Argentina: factories without bosses or state support
By Marcela Valente

Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov. 29 (IPS) -- "We have gas
masks, slingshots, and stones to defend ourselves," said an
employee at a worker-run tile factory in Argentina that is
facing the threat of being shut down, because local
authorities want the machinery seized to collect on a debt
left unpaid by the former owners.

The case of Fasinpat (Fabrica Sin Patrones or Factory
Without Bosses) illustrates the total lack of state support
for workers who have refused to sit back and watch the
factories where they worked for decades deteriorate into
huge rundown warehouses with broken windows and rusty
machinery peering out from the weeds of a ghost town.

The phenomenon of bankrupt companies being taken over and
reopened by their employees began to emerge in Argentina in
the second half of the 1990s, but really took off in the
wake of the late 2001 economic meltdown.

"We represent 170 companies that maintain jobs for more than
10,000 people," Eduardo Murúa, the president of the National
Movement of Recuperated Companies, told IPS.

In late 2001, the financial system collapsed after capital
flight left Argentina, Latin America's number three economy,
with virtually no foreign currency. Factories stopped
producing due to the lack of imported components and parts
and the severe contraction of the domestic market.

Over the next two years, more than half of the population of
37 million slid into poverty, and unemployment climbed above
the 20 percent mark.

Against that dismal backdrop, and despite the growing
magnitude of the movement through which workers have been
salvaging companies and jobs, state support has only been
seen in isolated measures, and there is no comprehensive
public policy towards the sector, said Murúa.

In some districts, the workers running factories that were
abandoned by their owners have successfully pressed for
statutes and laws, passed by city councils and provincial
legislatures, that have enabled them to run the companies
legally.

And in other cases, like Fasinpat in the southern Argentine
province of Neuquén, authorities have even taken action
against the workers.

Up to 2001, the factory was known as Zanón, a leader in the
tile industry. But due to poor management, the firm's debt
piled up to more than $100 million owed to the provincial
government, state-owned banks, and the World Bank, and in
2001 the owners decided to close the factory down.

But 260 of the employees refused to let the company
collapse, and continued producing tiles, at 20 percent of
the factory-s capacity. Shortly afterwards, when the volume
of tiles produced had doubled and exporting part of the
output began to look like a possibility, the workers called
in another 220 former employees.

However, the right-wing provincial government of Governor
Jorge Sobisch launched an offensive against the factory,
taking legal action to demand repayment of more than three
million dollars in debt contracted by Zanón with the
provincial government.

According to the latest legal ruling, the debt is to be
covered by selling off the machinery with which the workers
are manufacturing tiles.

The legal battle has led to five attempts to evict the
workers from the plant. But the 480 workers and their
families, with the support of several thousand local
residents, have blocked every eviction attempt.

In a telephone conversation with IPS, Alejandro López, the
secretary of the Fasinpat workers union, said that for three
years the workers have been asking the judge handling the
case to expropriate the factory on behalf of the state.

Unlike other "recuperated" companies that turn into
cooperatives, Fasinpat wants the factory to be nationalized,
and run by the workers.

But because the workers realize that a solution of this kind
could take time, they would agree to become a cooperative
temporarily.

"We have discussed it in assembly," said López. "We are
prepared to defend the factory any way we can. We have
purchased gas masks, and have slingshots and stones. We have
also reinforced the number of guards posted round-the-clock
at the edges of the factory grounds, and we have organized a
phone network."

Murúa, meanwhile, told IPS about his meeting with President
Néstor Kirchner a month ago.

In the meeting, he pressed for the passage of a law that
would allow the state to expropriate and nationalize firms
that had gone under, in order to give the employees the
option of keeping the companies open.

Murúa also asked the center-left Kirchner for a one-time
subsidy payment equivalent to 5,000 dollars per job, which
would give the workers access to financing, since the legal
vacuum in which companies like Fasinpat are caught up makes
it impossible to secure bank loans.

"If we had that capital, we could bring in more employees,
and begin to export products," said Murúa, who pointed out
that all of the worker-managed companies have prospered.
"Sixty percent [of the firms] have taken on more personnel,
and in many cases the employees earn more than they did
before," he added.

According to Murúa, Kirchner regarded the creation of such a
fund as feasible, and ordered the Ministry of Social Action
to study the idea. However, the president saw the proposal
for new legislation on state expropriation of factories as a
much more complicated issue.

"We met 26 days ago. I am counting the days, to see if the
government comes through," said the head of the National
Movement of Recuperated Companies.

"This is not a passing phenomenon or merely a consequence of
the crisis," said Murúa. "The movement of worker-managed
businesses will continue to expand and become stronger, even
if the economy grows, because unfortunately there are many
small companies in trouble that will continue to go under."
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