What would it take for Russia to be #1?
Posted 21 July 2003 - 01:23 AM
I thought it was an article, not a book.
Anyways something very clever...
Thanks. At the root of the problem is the intention of the lion to keep the homefront poor. I'll explain...
A caricature in the latest issue of 'World Press Review' (the best magazine around):
year 2002: a beggar carries a sign that goes: "Will work for food."
year 2003: same beggar carries a sign that goes: "Will *fight* for food.";)
Posted 21 July 2003 - 01:30 AM
denouncing the changing conditions of the poor is something that politicos have been doing for years. You're at least assured the vote of the poor.
It ain't good enough. Lamenting is one thing, acting is another. The US has tried dozens of prgrams over the years and to what end??? The same BS we had 40 years ago, wrapped nicely for your evening pleasure.
There are other systems around the world. Why won't the US start looking at them. They work very well for the locals, maybe they'd look equally good for us.
Switzerland's apprentiship program. After 4 years someone who finished high school four years before would have four years of schooling AND 4 years of ON THE JOB EXPERIENCE. What is it that employers always ask for??? Hmmm,, wait it's coming to me. You see it in EVERY FRIGGIN want ad.
After 4 years, you're paid during that time (a pauper's wage, okay, but it's something) and you get a diploma AND experience.
Sorry, 'nuff said.
Posted 21 July 2003 - 02:14 AM
The lion wants to control the water well in a desert environment...
<Switzerland's apprentiship program. After 4 years someone who finished high school four years before would have four years of schooling AND 4 years of ON THE JOB EXPERIENCE. What is it that employers always ask for??? Hmmm,, wait it's coming to me. You see it in EVERY FRIGGIN want ad.
After 4 years, you're paid during that time (a pauper's wage, okay, but it's something) and you get a diploma AND experience.>
Nice, nice. In Switzerland they are teaching them how to fish; in America they give 'em a sardine...
Posted 21 July 2003 - 03:42 AM
Like what? I just said Canada was safer than America, and you blew up. Are you American?
Otherwise, Cervantes was a fool. Or maybe he realized that satire could be such a powerful weapon...
HOW CERVANTES WAS FOOLED
One day the Lie, which inhabits in the most unbelievable places such as the government and the pulpit, decided that such Don Quixote was a very dangerous enemy because many others could follow his example... This way in the famous occasion when the noble knight was about to attack the Bad Giants, the Lie revealed himself to Cervantes as windmills...
And that's how from then on more than one revolutionary was frustrated for fear of being called crazy...
Posted 21 July 2003 - 06:02 AM
This is like rapid fire debate! After a nice weekend in the countryside (in perfect scorching summer weather) back in the dreary office... To Creamy Goodness: very well reasoned points which I ought to answer better - I just feel bit reluctant to begin attempting to describe how I think our economic structures interact with the general culture. My intellectual resources are not enough for that complexity, but I would say in crude generalization that capitalism has functioned better when embedded in earlier, more traditional values, but its success has in turn weakened those values. So, I would think that American capitalism might very possibly fail if it continues to succeed... In American terms I would probably be on the left, but in many ways I see these values as being in the extreme middle with very few clear party political implications. In any case, main stream parties are more used by power than using it, so policies tend to be pragmatic responses to prevailing conditions - not mostly a bad thing, but never leading to any coherent program of rational progress. I don't have an inherent hatred of capitalism (only a cordial dislike - it's predecessors were worse, hopefully the successor will be better), and I actually welcome much of current American meddling in the world affairs (as we don't yet have a proper mechanism for that). I see a need for liberal democratic world order, even if it is corrupt to a degree - as the only practical alternative is jungle, but this doesn't make me close eyes to that corruption. I would say that any enlightened person in dark times would have to be pragmatic and choose least bad options - as the correct and the good is still beyond us. Hmm, very incoherently argued... Anyway, I just would make a distinction between what is desired and what is practical. We have to be pragmatic but should always remember how we are falling short of our ideals: this brutal world is not what we want, even if we mostly have to act on its terms.
Posted 21 July 2003 - 07:10 AM
This is quite a point in many ways. I would not put it very personally, but clearly as our societies are centered on generating growth and profit our political institutions are formed accordingly. The political structures must first accept this economic settlement and then debate about the margins, that is how the profit will be shared - and here the fight is basically between right and left liberals (of course the US Right is a bit weird as it includes also fundamentalist Christians who want to restrict personal freedoms but are ok with economic ones: in Europe many Christians seem to be quite the opposite...) In any case this sharing must be done in the way that does not hurt the free market structures so much that they can't deliver growth. This margin is quite narrow and in concequence Western mainstream politics are really very narrow, the debate is quite obsessively focused on details. So, my preliminary suggestion of social democracy is itself not a very radical counterpoint to market forces. It is in effect economically a capitalist solution with certain social and cultural safequards - but would it really control the beast? I have no idea - so far the signs are not very encouraging... But to put it very crudely, I would not trust ourselves to have both economic and political power concentrated in the same hands which any truly socialist program necessitates. We are not capable of such control and any attempt will only lead to tragedy.
Posted 21 July 2003 - 11:02 AM
published in 1983 by a gloucestershire gentleman by the name of
Eric de Mare.
The Bank of England was a deal between politicians and Amsterdam Bankers ( public sector and corporate, as rules today
= fascism, note, those who look for something from capitalism and communism for a way forward, its already arrived! )
The purpose was to usurp the power of the King who controlled
the coin of the realm and thus to some degree Parliament, since you can't do anything without money. The International Bankers now have this power. The bank lent the gov. money to be paid back through taxes. Get rid of the racket of creating money out of nothing greatly exceeding the tangible reserves and you get rid of taxes.
Chap 6: The Cancer of Debt
"He thought he saw a Banker's Clerk
Descending from the bus.
He looked again, and found it was
If this should stay to dine, he said,
There won't be be much for us."
- Lewis Caroll
"Money has always been hard to come by as rulers have so often known to their chagrin believing it to be, as did most of the subjects, a rare commodity (often gold) rather than a ticket system.
By making it's first loan to the Government, the Bank of England, initiated a National Debt and took the goldsmiths' confidence trick
a stage further on a bolder scale. According to its chief founder, William Paterson, a Scot who was rumoured to have been a pirate: "The Bank hath benefit of interest on all monies it creates out of nothing." Could not the King have created monies out of nothing without charging the nation any interest? By falling for the scheme he relinquished his sovereignty and that of all future monarchs and governments.
The Bank Charter Act of 1694, officially called the Tonnage Bill,
passed through the Commons without division. Paterson was frank about its sleight of hand for he wrote:
If the proprietors of the Bank can circulate their own foundation of twelve hundred thousand pounds without having more than two or three hundred thousand pounds lying dead at one time or another, this bank will be in effect as nine hundred thousand pounds or a million of fresh money brought into the nation.
The Bank Charetr Acts of 1819 and 1844 were to consolidate more firmly this centralised paper power of the Bank of England.
William (Ploughboy-to-Parliament) Cobbett (1762-1835) was among the few who denounced the ramp, protesting thus with characteristic vigour:
I set to work to read the Act of Parliament by which the Bank of England was created, and all the Acts about loans, and funds, and dividends, and paying off, and sinking funds, and I soon began to perceive that the fate of the kingdom must finally turn upon what should be done with regard to the accursed thing called the National Debt. I saw how it had beggared and degraged the country. The sum at first borrowed was a mere trifle. It deceived by its seeming insignificance. But it was far from being intended to stop at that trifle. The inventors knew full well what they were about. Their design was to mortgage, by
degrees, the whole country, all the lands, all the houses, and all the property, and even all the labour, to those who would lend their money to the state. The scheme, the crafty, the cunning,
the deep scheme, has from its ominous birth been breeding
usurers of every description, feeding and fattening on the vitals of the country, till it has produced what the world never saw before - starvation in the midst of abundance.
Now the National Debt, which is mainly owed to the commercial banks, began as " a mere trifle". It was a small loan from the Bank of England to the government of 1,2oo,ooo pounds. By the end of the Napolleonic Wars the National Debt had risen to 820 million pounds. By 1946 after two world wars it stood at more than 23,000 million pounds. In 1982 it has reached the staggering figure of 100 billion pounds.
.... The fearful may well ask: by what year will the total national income equal the interest due on the National Debt? "
A couple of pages on after covering the amalgamations of British banks into a Big Five he states:
Today nearly half the business of these big banks is, directly or indirectly, with the governent in proper Marxist fashion, and some 95% of their investments lies in British government gilt-edged securities."
(in otherwords guaranteed by taxes, which is why US cororations played a big part in the Soviet five year plans)
Posted 21 July 2003 - 07:02 PM
That ain't fare... We've been doing overtime on this!
<I don't have an inherent hatred of capitalism (only a cordial dislike - it's predecessors were worse, hopefully the successor will be better),>
My main trouble with it is its failure to react to the environmental crisis. Dozens of ideas are sitting there, but 19th century keeps going, even at the price of war, which threatens us all. Not a pretty picture indeed.
<and I actually welcome much of current American meddling in the world affairs (as we don't yet have a proper mechanism for that). I see a need for liberal democratic world order, even if it is corrupt to a degree - as the only practical alternative is jungle, but this doesn't make me close eyes to that corruption.>
The jungle will only breed more jungle and more bloodshed by pitting some lions against others. Meanwhile the little animals everywhere pay the consequences. If it was Europe setting up democratic institutions I would see a prettier picture. Scandinavia could certainly *lead be example*...
Posted 21 July 2003 - 07:11 PM
It would a step forward for humanity. Actualy a quantum leap...
<I have no idea - so far the signs are not very encouraging... But to put it very crudely, I would not trust ourselves to have both economic and political power concentrated in the same hands which any truly socialist program necessitates. We are not capable of such control and any attempt will only lead to tragedy.>
There's one "Cinderella" though that can make all the difference in the world: COOPERATIVES!
Educate, encourage the people to go into coops. They work in Denmark, Mondragon, Israel...
DEAR CO-OPERATIVE FRIENDS!
The co-operative organizations in Norway have the great privilege of hosting the ICA General Assembly in Oslo in September 2003. By doing so, we hope to make a contribution to the further development of the co-operative movement.
One of the main challenges for co-operative societies all over the world is to define the co-operative difference. One of the significant differences is the contribution co-operatives make to the building and development of democratic structures - locally and globally. Another difference is that the profit co-operatives make is shared democratically - based on participation in the business itself - not based on how much money you are putting into the business as a capitalist. Of course we do business. But we do it the democratic way! That's the reason for the slogan we have chosen for the ICA General Assembly in Oslo.
Posted 22 July 2003 - 12:32 AM
Good post. If I understood you right, you are of the opinion that striving for a utopian environment in and of itself is not harmful, as long as one doesn't lose sight of the end, the desired result.
I would agree with that. In fact, I can add personal fuel to the fire. I have limited experience in hippy communes, remember the sixties?, and my father was a member of The More House in Lafayette, California, from 1971 until his death in 1991. He often offered to help me as much as I wanted, as long as I joined his commune.
There have been quite a few stories to tell over the years, trust me. At their heyday they had purchased and entire block of houses (cul-de-sac) in Oakland, had a property in Rhonert Park, California, with several houses on it, as well as the main property in Lafayette.
At that location, they actually gave one of the houses to the children of all the families. There was adult supervision, but they basically let the children run wild amongst themselves. They even started a university, The More University. I once even saw the guy who invented EST at one of their seminars.
If you guys want to know what happens when several dozen families band together to live communaly, I'lll be more than happy to give you that one example. But understand, these were (are?) Californians for the most part, willing to experiment in all aspects of social and communal living.
For instance, they had an amateur boxing team
They had a fleet of limousines (okay, old ones from the 50s but, hey, one was previously owned by Lucille Ball!)
My father was the bartender at the student lounge of the university. (Go dad!!) That was one of the perks of visiting him.
Posted 22 July 2003 - 05:33 PM
Be careful of a heat stroke... Or did you have it before the last post?
If those communes were to show that "leftist utopias" don't work, it's clear that American-made, God-blessed utopias don't work either. There you have Jim Jones and David Koresh...
Yet the coops are a reality throughout the world, from the kibbutz to the Mondragon coops.
ICA's Organisational Structure: Specialised Bodies
International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and Service Producers' Co-operatives (CICOPA)
The International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and Service Producers' Co-operatives is a specialized organisation of the International Co-operative Alliance. This specialised organisation is generally known by its French acronym, CICOPA, an abbreviation of Comit? International des Coop?ratives de Production et de Services Industrielles et Artisanales. Its members are producers' co-operatives from different fields: construction, industrial production, general services, transport, intellectual skills, artisanal activities, health, social care, etc.
With the recent transformation of the world economy, this type of co-operative is no longer a marginal phenomenon. Numbers have increased in both industrialized and developing countries over recent years. CICOPA now has a membership of over 70 apex co-operative organisations from 57 countries. In 1975, CICOPA estimated that there were some 44,000 producers' co-operatives worldwide with six million individual members. This figure has increased significantly over the past 20 years to about 50 million members/workers including co-operative societies and other forms of associative enterprises such as those promoted by Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP) in the United States or by Industrial Common Ownership Movement Ltd., (ICOM) in the United Kingdom, and the Sociedades Anonimas Laborales (SAL) in Spain. The new impetus to the movement was given by privatisation of certain economies (e.g. China).
The main target of CICOPA is to foster the creation of national organisations of producers' co-operatives all over the world; to contribute to the development of the already existing organisations; and to promote the development of co-operation in developing countries.
CICOPA aims to support commercial and technical links between producers'co-operatives through the exchange of goods and services; the provision of education and training especially at managerial level; exchange of experience; the study of the issues specific to producers' co-operatives in all countries, and the circulation of recommendations for the solution of co-operative problems in the industrial sector.
ICA is an independent, non-governmental association which unites, represents and serves co-operatives worldwide. founded in 1895, it now has 232 national members in 93 countries, plus four international members.
Posted 22 July 2003 - 06:21 PM
"American as Cherry Pie"
Peoples Temple and Violence in America1
by Rebecca Moore
Jonestown, May 1978
The following essay appears in Millennialism, Persecution, and Violence: Historical Cases, ed. Catherine Wessinger (Syracuse University Press, 2000).
When H. Rap Brown observed in 1967 that violence was as American as cherry pie, he was justifying the civil rebellions erupting in black ghettoes across the nation, and criticizing the institutional racism which caused them. The 1960s and 1970s witnessed state-sanctioned violence in Vietnam, in Central America, and in the United States. Americans could watch sheriffs' deputies beating up Freedom Riders in the South, U.S. troops dropping bombs and napalm on Vietnamese villagers, or police attacking demonstrators in Chicago, Berkeley, or on almost any American campus--all on the nightly news.
This is the historical context in which Peoples Temple developed.2 Jim Jones (1931-1978), its charismatic leader, established Peoples Temple in Indianapolis in the 1950s as a protest against a racially-segregated church and community. He moved the Temple to Redwood Valley, California in the 1960s seeking safety from what seemed like imminent nuclear war. It branched out into San Francisco and Los Angeles in the 1970s seeking new members from the ranks of the urban poor, many of whom were African American. It moved again in mid-1977 to a remote jungle in western Guyana on the north coast of South America, to escape the violence, poverty, and racism of life in America. And on November 18, 1978, the people living in Jonestown, Guyana, killed their children and took their own lives.3
Theology married ideology in Peoples Temple in a radical interpretation of the Gospel imperative to care for the poor, the hungry, the sick, the imprisoned (Matthew 25:35-40). The Temple opened its doors in the heart of black ghettoes in San Francisco and Los Angeles, where members offered a variety of social programs which, in turn, attracted new recruits. Some joined because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, others because of the Gospel of Karl Marx. In both cases the Temple's activism appeared to offer a vigorous challenge to the culture of racism and classism which marked American society. It is important to remember that the optimism of liberation movements in the 1960s gave way to pessimism, rage, and despair in the 1970s, and thus Peoples Temple provided an alternative to mainstream American culture and to a moribund counterculture.
It is no exaggeration to claim that Peoples Temple and the violence surrounding it were as American as cherry pie. But Peoples Temple also belonged to a prophetic religious tradition that was utterly American as well. This tradition included abolitionism, social gospel progressivism, and civil rights activism. To suggest that Peoples Temple, or even Jim Jones, are anomalous in American culture is to misread and ignore history. America produced Peoples Temple and the tragedy at Jonestown, just as it produced the nineteenth-century slave trade and the twentieth-century civil rights movement; as it created the Vietnam War and the peace movement; Ronald Reagan and Robert Kennedy; Rush Limbaugh and Martin Luther King, Jr. Attempts to distance ourselves from what happened are therefore misplaced and misguided (Chidester 1988, 24-46).
In order to understand why over 900 people died in a jungle thousands of miles from their places of birth it is necessary to examine the growth of injustice against Peoples Temple and the rise of injustice within Peoples Temple. This essay argues that increasing external threats, which were quite real and well-documented, served to escalate the violence internal to the organization. The result triggered assaults on Temple members leaving Jonestown with Congressman Leo Ryan on November 18, 1978; the assassination of the congressman, members of the news media, and a defector at the Port Kaituma, Guyana airstrip; and the mass murders-suicides of members of the Jonestown community.
The violence of society and government both molded Peoples Temple and later turned on the Temple itself. That violence exists today just as surely as it did in 1952, 1965, and 1978. While Peoples Temple initially rejected the injustice of its culture, it finally embraced injustice as a social necessity. It went further, however, in adopting self-directed violence as a means of political change. Although those in the group saw themselves as martyrs sending a message to capitalist America with their revolutionary suicide, the group actually destroyed its own radical foot soldiers. Given the society which spawned the movement,Peoples Temple's adoption of violence as a way to redirect the course of human events was utterly American and seems almost inevitable.
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