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Yes, the American people are responsible

2011 December 19
by Ian Welsh

Let me respond to the idea that Americans are not responsible for what is happening to America, especially poorer Americans.

No.  Sorry, but no.  Sure, their guilt isn’t as great as that of the liberal class, or the financiers, or various other folks, but they are still responsible.  It was a democracy.  There were ways to stop it from getting to this.  In a democracy, the PEOPLE are held responsible.  Yes, there were forces working to stop it from being a democracy, but they voted for people like Reagan and the members of Congress, and so on.  Whether you think the 2000 or 2004 elections were stolen (yes on the first, maybe on the second) they let it get to the point where it could be stolen.  They didn’t riot in 2000.  They reelected George Bush after everyone knew he was torturing scum.

I’m not letting them off the hook.  Sorry.

The pathetic attempts of Americans to pretend they’re good people and don’t deserve what’s happening to them are just that, pathetic.  Yeah, some of them are good, but not enough.  It’s just that simple.

Take some goddamn responsibility.

Until Americans get that they are responsible, they will not also get that they can change things.  If Americans are powerless, if it’s “not their fault” that also means they can’t fix it.

This is basic, like everything else I have to explain these days, it seems.

Sadly America is no longer the issue.  While it is theoretically possible it could be saved, the odds are so low the fight is pointless for anyone not an American (and even there, if you can leave, you should).  We are now in triage, trying to save other nations.  The center did not hold.  So be it, the provinces are on their own, and must do what they can, for themselves.

And the people who continue to apologize for the American public, pretending that Americans as a group are not complicit… yeah, well, whatever.  Doesn’t matter now.  But that sort of “it’s not your responsibility” BULLSHIT is part of why America is going down.

“It’s not your responsibility” means “don’t pay attention, don’t try and change it.”

164 Responses
  1. caplin permalink
    December 21, 2011

    oh, and thank you ian for for stirring the pot, and generally giving a damn.
    someone’s got to do it, and as a long time reader, i for one appreciate it.

  2. anon permalink
    December 21, 2011

    how many 59 yo Pat’s are there in MA? how many teach?

  3. Morocco Bama permalink
    December 21, 2011

    Alyosha, you’ve provided a great case, and plenty of incentive for everyone here to become a Zealous American. I mean, why not go all out and reap all the benefits while we can, since we’re all responsible, and will be punished, accordingly. I’m calling the recruiter as I type this. They’ve been knocking down my door for three years now. They’ll be glad to hear I’m ready to get back in the saddle. Might as well enjoy the most of it before my penance comes due. Thanks. You’re right, I was kidding myself and punishing myself unnecessarily. Now, it’s time to party like it’s 1999.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnuijDieOvY

  4. Celsius 233 permalink
    December 22, 2011

    groo PERMALINK
    December 21, 2011
    Interesting thread, as always.
    May I bring your attention to this:
    Norman Finkelstein with Chris Hedges at Lannan Foundations
    link to the video of the event at: http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/
    Here Finkelstein is at his best.
    In the middle of his speech he develops some powerful principles for starting a movement, and avoiding devolvement into a cult.
    ______

    Groo, thanks for the link; it was very informative and thus thought-full/thought-provoking.

    ______

    This thread has given me pause; I’m taking this as an opportunity to re-think many of my positions on this whole mess.
    I’m not quite ready to say my opinions and feelings are wholly wrong; but possibly mis-directed in part.
    A good question is most important; a badly formulated question is worthless and a waste of valuable time.

  5. December 22, 2011

    Good rant, Ian.

    Personally, I tried organizing for a few years and simply gave up because there was hardly anyone joining me.

  6. madisolation permalink
    December 22, 2011

    Caplin, I agree with you completely.
    Certainly, people have a responsibility to educate themselves and act accordingly, but how can they educate themselves, when they still believe corporate/government propaganda is truth? I can tell the people who listen to those lies aren’t buying it so much, anymore–the reality of little pay and unaffordable essentials is butting up against the pretty words of the the millionaire mouthpieces on t.v.–but after standing on their feet all day, they tend to take the easiest, most conventional route and get sucked in again. They don’t even know there is an alternate way to get their news or how to get started, assuming they had the time and the energy to do so.
    Look at the people standing behind the cash registers, just trying to get by. Can you honestly shake your fist at them and tell them they are to blame for the state of our country? I don’t know. Maybe those of us who know better–or should know better– are the ones who should take responsibility, not the entire country, and maybe, if we’re lucky, we’ll find some radical solutions to the problem. Maybe we’ll find ways to hit the political and financial elite and law enforcement types so badly, they’ll back down and run away in fear for their lives.

  7. December 22, 2011

    Come on Lisa, their very name spells out the futility of OWS. 1% are the wealthy and they are on Wall Street carrying signs reading “we are the 99%.” They are not protesting endless war, nor America killing innocents with unmanned drones, nor environmental damage of war, nor spreading depleted uranium with expended ammunition, nor starting a war in Libya without Congressional authorization, nor propping up tyrants and dictators. They aren’t concerned about corrupt legislators, or Glass -Stegall, or a “national security” budget run amok.

    They listened to a president say that “1% aren’t paying their fair share” and printed up their signs and headed for where they believe the 1% hang out.

    Obama’s popularity is rising big time again, and over what? Health care reform did not do it, financial reform did not do it, the stimulus did not do it, repealing DADT did not do it, a new stimulus this year did not even get out of the gate, but a 2% tax cut has made him wildly popular, especially so since it’s “paid for” by “making the rich pay their fair share.”

  8. Morocco Bama permalink
    December 22, 2011

    Another group of “Americans” that have a great deal of responsibility are those who are exploiting this up to now slow-motion collapse….you know them….the shock jocks who are overly alarmist and misdirecting as well as the alleged ex-Wall Streeters like Nomi Prins and Max Keiser. They all act so overly concerned and want to keep you informed……and thoroughly alarmed. Oh, and of course, let’s not forget Gerald Celente. They only have our best interests at heart, of course, and all the while they are taking people to the bank as people subscribe to their news letters and buy their books. They have built cache for themselves and are bilking this thing for all it’s worth. It’s analogous to some entrepreneurial scam artist on the Titanic charging the people stuck in steerage for the latest news on the status of the sinking ship….sucking every last penny from them….and then at the last minute jumping on the life boat as those in steerage drown locked down below. There’s a special place in metaphorical hell for these sadistically sick hucksters.

    It’s another reason I like Ian’s place. It’s free of charge. The comments are intelligent, for the most part, and well-thought out. It’s hard-hitting and blunt, but not sensationalistic or ridiculously alarming. It’s not misdirectional. It’s not solicitous. There is no shingle. The purpose is not to exploit and make a buck….it’s to engage. It’s to challenge. It’s to shake the banana tree of delusion, apathy and disinformation. It’s an effort to arrive at some form of clarity in an otherwise murky sea of waste.

  9. December 22, 2011

    This has been an eye opening thread. Ian put forth a very simple proposition. Namely, that the citizens of a democracy are responsible for the actions, both internally and externally, of their government. He even gave you an out by recognizing that not all citizens are equally responsible. The point being that until citizens accept responsibility they can’t really change anything. Granted, he wasn’t exactly nice about it, which seems to be some folks problem more than the substance of what he put forth, but still, I’m not sure how his main point is even debatable except as an exercise in intellectual posturing.

    In any event a lot of the reactions have been interesting. From parsing blame to the nth degree, to not only not holding citizens responsible but holding them blameless due to a myriad of somewhat reasonable but ultimately shallow reasons, to having a personal definition of Americaness that excludes yourself, to silly taunts about Ian being Canadian and so on……seriously?

    If we can’t even accept the general notion that We The People are responsible, in whatever measure, for the actions of our government, even in a generally enlightened forum like here, then really it’s probably best to take Ian’s oft offered advice and pack up and leave before it all comes crashing down.

  10. Bernard permalink
    December 22, 2011

    the desire to avoid responsibility is such an amazing “theme” here.

    no doubts as to how America became the Fascist state it is now.

    and no way am i responsible for the idiots who voted Republican since Reagan. i was around then and say the Zombies then and now.

    i am not that stupid, thank you very much.

    if you want to use stupidity for your excuse, go ahead. i knew since Reagan’s first election, we were fucked.

    oh no Americans said. and now we have their WORLD.

    enjoy what you reaped.

    to go quietly in that good night.

  11. Morocco Bama permalink
    December 22, 2011

    We The People, my ass. Their isn’t any mythical We The People. That’s a load of bull. And don’t hand me that crap about leaving if I don’t like it. Go where, exactly? When this shit goes down, and it’s going down, it’s taking the whole world with it….because in case anyone forgot, the entire Globe is pretty much interconnected at this point. I say blow the whole goddamned thing up and get it over with. It’s beyond melodramatic, at this point. My only wish is that I’m at ground zero when the bombs go off so that my family and I can instantly evaporate and not even know what hit us.

  12. groo permalink
    December 22, 2011

    Morocco Bama,

    i generally like your comments very much, but somehow You are over the top right now


    I say blow the whole goddamned thing up and get it over with. It’s beyond melodramatic, at this point. My only wish is that I’m at ground zero

    my goodness.

    please come to your senses!

    Sometimes I feel similarly. Sleepless nights about the human condition. First time I remember when I was twelve. Expecting atomic armageddon next day. Not that I have this feeling at times even now.

    Cultivate the rationality of fear.

    Sensible matter, to be sure.

    ‘Hyper’-people are an asset to humanity. Like Cassandra.
    I myself feel as one.

    But what use are they, when there is no public anymore?

    I dont know if Greek Mythology phantasized a Public, which pondered words of the visionaries in eternity.
    Cassandra seen as an eternal force.

    So think about that, and watch Your words.

    In all friendship.

    Yours sincerely.

  13. December 22, 2011

    They are not protesting endless war, nor America killing innocents with unmanned drones, nor environmental damage of war, nor spreading depleted uranium with expended ammunition, nor starting a war in Libya without Congressional authorization, nor propping up tyrants and dictators. They aren’t concerned about corrupt legislators, or Glass -Stegall, or a “national security” budget run amok.

    Bullshit. We protested, and continue to protest, all those things at/from the occupation in Freedom Plaza in DC. Every last one of them.

    We have written about them, repeatedly, on our website, and solicited input, and held workshops or teach-ins or whatever the hell you want to call them, and publicized them, and agitated about them, and gotten into spineless Congresspeople’s faces about them, and gotten arrested for it, and done umpteen interviews about them.

    No, we can’t change the world overnight. You’re right about that. So let’s all just throw up our hands and go to a disco.

  14. December 22, 2011

    I say blow the whole goddamned thing up and get it over with. It’s beyond melodramatic, at this point. My only wish is that I’m at ground zero when the bombs go off so that my family and I can instantly evaporate and not even know what hit us.

    Heh. While dramatic, I doubt you would go that far to avoid being associated with Americaness. Anyway more seriously, if you don’t like the We The People figure of speech, feel free to replace it with citizens or any other phrase or word that fits.

  15. gtash permalink
    December 22, 2011

    Back in the early 1970′s. I admired a young woman who about a year behind me in high school. She and some her mates were independent thinkers, a bit brash, and outspoken. She was different in one respect though. She did not take up with the Helen Reddy faction of feminists—she did not march or roar. I thought is was a contradiction given the times, and I ask her about it. She said she liked her independence and she did not like marching songs.
    I thought it might be dangerous to be independent and outside of a group with whom she had so much in common, and I told her so. She explained she preferred to confront harrassment and discrimination once face-at-a-time. She pointed out that when she hitch-hiked, she did not feel it necessary to look helpless or attractive, or anything in between—but she did carry a really long hat-pin.

    I have observed “movements” for many years and wondered at the erosion of their effectiveness (if the media is any guide—and I suspect it is one, but not the only one.)

    I am not sure movements need to inflict pain and chaos, grab headlines or stop traffic. I admit they are more jarring to everyone’s sensibilities, and the media eats it up. I think geezers like me who did try to do something about Vietnam have also realized whatever we did, however influential it may have seemed, was only a skirmish. Given what we know today, we can see very little has actually changed in the circles of government or commerce as a result of that particular movement.

    I think the Occupy “movement” is a kind of re-think about what constitutes effectivness when you need political change in America. It may lead exactly to where Ian thinks it needs to go.

    But it may also lead to a broader, less obvious and obtrusive shift as well. Maybe more people will find ways to meet the problem face-to-face, one-at-a-time. Perhaps we will all locate the hat-pins we need to prod our way to our objectives.

  16. December 23, 2011

    I am twitching because Ian touched a nerve.

  17. groo permalink
    December 23, 2011

    just watching this movie about Temple Grandin, this autistic woman, who could feel herself into suffering animals in the slaughterhouses.
    (dangerous analogy, I know)
    But anyhow, this courageous woman induced significant change.

    Count me impressed.

    Maybe our situation is not so different at last.

    My theory is this:
    Everybody is everybody else’s sense-organ.

    This broadens consciousness, increases responsibility and mutual respect.

    The individualistic view, aka rational man or homo oeconomicus does the opposite.
    It presupposes that every societal particle is complete in itself.
    This is a dangerous and WRONG presupposition!
    OK?

    So, changing our perspective, or virtual position within a net of mutual influence, would do some good.

    As a notorious bonehead and potential hermit I feel not challenged by that at all.
    I am just a more punctuated knot in the web of mutual influence.

    Is this helpful?

  18. Ghostwheel permalink
    December 23, 2011

    I so miss living by myself. How wonderful it was to not have televisions constantly set to CNN and other “news” channels. I actually avoid walking into the living room when other family members are watching. It makes me cringe.

    CNN with Anderson “Vanderbilt” Cooper is doing a celebratory short on NATO’s helping the Libyan rebels “liberate” that country.

    “Why don’t you read a little?” I say.

    “This is CNN. What makes you think what you read is any truer?” is the reply. How dare I question an accredited news source, after all?

    My family is a victim of propaganda. Should I shun the victims of propaganda? How can I compete against multiple channels that tirelessly spew out lies?

    Lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, on and on and on and on and….

    What is the proper attitude to take in regard to the victims of propaganda?

  19. Celsius 233 permalink
    December 24, 2011

    *What is the proper attitude to take in regard to the victims of propaganda?*

    Caution, depending on who they are. Victims of propaganda can be dangerous to one’s health/life.
    They’re the ones turning in friends and family to the authorities.
    Lamo setting up Manning being the latest example.
    Victims are an entire discussion in itself…

  20. groo permalink
    December 24, 2011

    Ghostwheel,
    Maybe this helps:


    CNN is sometimes referred to as CNN/U.S. to distinguish the American channel from its international counterpart, CNN International.

    the fun part is, as the story goes, that they dare not send out their bullshit internationally, because it would be too embarrassing to the rest of the world.

    But on the other hand I do not know what is fed to the Americans by CNN-US.

    Maybe You should collect some Dollars to by a TV with built in internet.
    So you can switch to Al Jazeera-English, just for comparison.

    But I agree, it is difficult.

    The strategy I have with stubborn individuals I happen to be connected, is to silently change the overton window.

    Do not cry out loud ‘LIE’.
    Make a plan, identify the spots of doubt of your peers, then cleverly shift the perspective.

    This is called shifting the Overton window.
    Your personal dedication to this task has to be stronger than the influence of everyday propaganda.

    This is all to know.

    You happen to land on a far out site like this one.
    I happen to be even more far out than Ian, but hopefully he does not notice.

    My farout aspirations I keep to myself, caring and feeding them silently.
    Some of them would infuriate even a decent soul like Ian.

    So I keep silent on that and try to identify his weak spots.
    There are some. Not many. But some.

    Its all basically is ‘Overton’.

    Hope that helps.

  21. alyosha permalink
    December 24, 2011

    @groo – this is very helpful. I (and I think this is a baby boomer trait) tend to be the sledgehammer (shouting “lies”) instead of patiently and carefully looking for the weaknesses to do the Overton and skillfully, quietly chip away. One of my teachers, Yogananda, taught that “Environment is stronger than will”. It takes an extraordinary will to go counter to the mass hypnosis we often find ourselves in. Watering holes like this site have immense value in this regard, particularly back during the Bush years when it was so hard to find others who questioned the Official Story.

  22. Ghostwheel permalink
    December 28, 2011

    Hope people are still following this thread.

    Stumbled across this quite by accident:

    “There’s a simpler and more disturbing possibility, based on the 1950s research of Herbert Krugman. He discovered early on that television watching induces a shift towards right brain dominance in human primates. This phenomenon also triggers the release of endorphins, and seems to indicate that television is literally and physically addictive. If this is the case, then nearly anything that goes on a TV screen would have powerful mental and physical effects.”

    Link: http://www.brainsturbator.com/articles/psychic_warfare_from_1981_2008/

    I’ll bet there’s a rather lot of research out there about the addictive qualities of television.

    If this is correct, then it explains, in part, why it’s so damn difficult to shake and wake people up.

  23. Celsius 233 permalink
    December 29, 2011

    Ghostwheel PERMALINK
    December 28, 2011
    Hope people are still following this thread.
    Stumbled across this quite by accident:
    “There’s a simpler and more disturbing possibility, based on the 1950s research of Herbert Krugman. He discovered early on that television watching induces a shift towards right brain dominance in human primates.
    _________

    In so many words, I’ve know of this for longer than I can remember. I finally ditched the tube in 1994.
    My generation (1945) cut their teeth on television. Best opiate I know and far harder to kick.
    Television is only one aspect of Ameria’s problem; the rich have been indoctrinating us from kindergarten through high-school and into most colleges and universities.
    TVs’ contribution is as a maintenance dose, so we never quite get off of the tit.
    True change will only come from ourselves; but we haven’t figured that out yet; thus the politicking, rhetoric, and the myth of democracy and voting…

  24. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    December 29, 2011

    @233ºC

    Have been waiting for you to explain the proposition that it is possible for a person to change the universe, they begin by changing themselves. Likewise a person can improve the universe, they begin by improving themselves. If you are to master the universe, one must be master of themselves.

    You have better acquaintance with the philosophy than anyone commenting here, but a good alternative resource is the part of “Be Here Now” the words of Ram Dass section but can also be found in Tibetan Buddhism, Zen as well as “The Tao of Pooh”.

  25. groo permalink
    December 29, 2011

    T-Bear,
    have been inhalating quite some Schopenhauer the last couple of days,
    and was surprised that eg Nietzsche mostly delivered only footnotes on him.
    Or misinterpreted him outright.
    Nietzsche tried to turn around Schopenhauer’s conception of the ‘will’, similar to Marx, who tried that with Hegel.
    Marx/Hegel : undecided.
    Nietzsche/Schopenhauer: Well. The old man got the upper hand, as far it concerns my humble opinion.
    Having considered myself for a long time a younger brother of N., but now feel nearer to our both ‘father’ , which is Sch. .

    Whitehead said about Plato’s legacy: Western Philosophy is only footnotes on Plato.
    Well.

    Schopenhauer actually is a different animal.

    The American-English seem to have no good grasp what Schopenhauer was all about.
    Looking through all the ‘quotes-sites’, I found 99% crap.
    Cultural divide? (Teuton me)

    One quote maybe worth mentioning:

    “The more unintelligent a man is, the less mysterious existence seems to him.”

    A similar difficulty I have with Thoreau, a true American philosopher of the land.
    Because we Europeans do not have such a land anymore for a long time, we do not understand him.
    And probably the Americans do not have a good understanding of the Native Indian
    worldview.
    CG Jung had the firm belief, that the spirit of the native Indians would take over American belief, because it is so deeply ingrained into the land, that the conquerers had no chance to root it out, and finally are overtaken by this spirit of the land.

    Well. This seems like the phantasy of a good mind.
    I would not rule this out once and for all.

    This is a difficult matter and takes maybe a couple of thousand years to work itself out.
    Leave it to the children, and their children.
    If there are any left.
    Then the totems of consumerism compare to the totem of the land.

    This worries me a lot.
    It takes a lot of effort, to bridge the gap, and is reserved for some very few, who communicate, or -well- finally stop doing so.

  26. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    December 29, 2011

    @ groo

    Thanks for an interesting hour perusing “The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Vol. 6-7, Schopenhauer” to get some handle upon your remarks.

    Idea(s) are the currency of the mind, what the mind uses conducting its economy. Bereft of ideas, the mind has only emotion to lubricate its affairs with the world, a second rate and fickle specie with which to meet the price of reality.

    Human experience requires some edifice by which the following generations are educated to the world they inherit, originally mythology was that edifice, a repository containing in some idealized form those things necessary for survival. As with all complex processes, mythology became professionalized into religion; sheltered , armoured and also ossified by beliefs. Eventually the vested interests of the professionals overcame the purpose of that existence itself but that is another story.

    Each and every family, clan or tribe that exists has this ability to pass on their experience. The American Indians in their varied tribes are no different for the world they inhabited but had not “progressed” to the point that their mythology had become professionalized as had happened in “self-identificated civilized” civilization. Their mythology remained both intact and integral to their culture as well as cohesive to its purpose in educating their inheritors. That is what it was designed for, no real surprises there.

    Each surviving belief system contain strands of human experience that have survival value, not necessarily having universal application but rather as experience in some specific context in some historical memory. Whereas these days require some manner of massive cultural change in order to attempt survival, some of the recorded modes of change preserved in various cultural heritages may hold useful insights or ways of addressing the needed changes. Buddhism (and other similar constructs), is a treasure trove of experiences derived from recognizing and accepting the need for change and setting out on those paths toward desired goals.

  27. groo permalink
    December 29, 2011

    Thanks T-Bear for consideration.

    ‘Beliefs’ are extremely difficult to tackle.

    As a -ahem-Teuton I am wondering of this tune : ‘Riders on the storm’, which seems to me a genuine american Gospel in 100-fold interpretation.
    I genuinely cannot understand it, but on the other hand I have the feeling that somewhere there the American soul must be.

  28. Celsius 233 permalink
    December 29, 2011

    Belief; another grossly misunderstood dynamic in our tortured existence.
    Belief is a very dangerous condition/trap and fuels myths and magical thinking; and most often has little or nothing to do with reality.
    Generally it would seem that belief negates critical thinking; in fact, once beliefs consolidate, it appears to stop thinking in general. This would apply to the greater majority of people everywhere and is especially evident in the U.S.; never more evident than the present.
    The aphorism, Know Thyself (as Formerly T-Bear noted), is a part of learning the interior life some of us choose to pursue.
    Modern living is not friendly to these goals, which is only one of many reasons this one is not encouraged by the direction of the U.S. government or the population supporting it.

  29. groo permalink
    December 30, 2011

    celsius

    I just happened to stumble over this gem:
    “How Ernest Dichter, an acolyte of Sigmund Freud, revolutionised marketing”
    http://www.economist.com/node/21541706

    Seemingly it is the fate of every empire that some quacks rise up and program common belief.
    It has an inherent logic, that the quacks, like flees jump from the sick dog to the healthier one.
    Carl Schmitt (Germany), Bernays (Greater Austria), Hayek (same), Ayn Rand (Russia) come to mind.
    Just an idea, which I am thinking about for a long time, not a rigid thesis.

    The rural red staters partially resisted this programming, and developed their own insanity as an antidote.
    Maybe best illustrated by the Amish, which erected a rigid wall around themselves.
    Wonder if they even participate in presidential elections and that.

    I wish, more native american indians would go back to their roots, difficult as it definitely is, and not engage in building gambling casinos as a source of profit.
    Just to be ripped off by the Abramoffs of this world.

    My ‘belief’ is foremost one in diversity, albeit on certain issues of universal concern I feel challenged to step in.
    And there currently are quite lot of them.
    Right?

  30. Celsius 233 permalink
    December 30, 2011

    groo PERMALINK
    December 30, 2011
    celsius

    _______________

    Give me a bit to chew on that; interesting…

  31. groo permalink
    December 30, 2011

    Celsius,

    thanks for consideration.
    Difficult times.
    We do our best.

  32. groo permalink
    December 30, 2011

    this is from Ani DiFranco:

    up up up up up up points the
    spire of the steeple
    but god’s work isn’t done by god
    it’s done by people


    What a wonderful and insightful person!

    We search for early-warning-systems for earth quakes and such.
    Physical.
    All well and good.

    For societal quakes we have them all around us since Cassandra.
    We just do’nt listen.
    Fools we are.

  33. Morocco Bama permalink
    December 30, 2011

    Maybe best illustrated by the Amish, which erected a rigid wall around themselves.

    Only in certain respects. That wall has many holes in it and those holes can fit many camels through it unlike the eye of a needle. The Amish are opportunists and take advantage of the outside world when it suits their purposes. If in doubt of this, visit Lancaster, Pa. and behold their exploitation. Buggy Rides for thirty to forty bucks a pop, for example.

    What’s interesting about the Eye of the Needle myth is how it was interpreted in later years to water down its poignancy……meaning, since Constantine usurped the Christian movement, it now became the purvey of the wealthy, and you can’t have Jesus saying that there is no place for wealthy people in the eternal afterlife. That wouldn’t do.

  34. groo permalink
    December 30, 2011

    ok,
    Morocco Bama,

    I go searching again.
    There must be some matriarchats in Western China, where women do all the work and men are the fools they have ever been.

    Please keep me that sweet dream of a better world. ;)

  35. groo permalink
    December 30, 2011

    dont like that smiley!
    I’m serious!
    My goodness!
    Embarrssing!
    Ha.

  36. December 30, 2011

    Glad I peeked in on this thread again. What a fine bunch of folks we have here. You are all a tonic.

  37. Celsius 233 permalink
    December 31, 2011

    groo PERMALINK
    December 30, 2011
    celsius

    Seemingly it is the fate of every empire that some quacks rise up and program common belief.

    __________

    Yes, and the religions of the planet are probably the most egregious programmers followed closely by governments. The Tao and Buddhism are excellent tools against the undue assault by the religions of the world. Governments are another story, however.
    Not to start an argument or go off topic, but; the Tao and Buddhism are not religions (I have no sway over what people do with things) because they have no gods, beliefs, heaven, hell, or other trappings of religions. They deal with the nature of existence and show the way for an understanding of our natural world. (Sorry if that’s an over simplification)
    I think skepticism and doubt are our most powerful allies.
    But understanding the individual, inner, landscape is most necessary before attempting to tackle the never ending stream of programming directly aimed at keeping us off balance and to discourage any form of critical thinking. Religion and government are antithetical to the serious pursuit of a healthy inner life.
    In my clumsy way; I’ve tried to answer you and express my own ideas of the view as I understand it at this time.
    You ended with; “Right?”
    I don’t know; am I right? I don’t know.
    I’m always in awe of the people who go through life so cock sure of themselves; that has never described me…
    Cheers

  38. Celsius 233 permalink
    December 31, 2011

    groo PERMALINK
    December 30, 2011
    Celsius,

    _________________

    Another of your posts slowed me down and gave me pause; in a good way.
    So now, considered responses are in order.
    Cheers.

  39. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    December 31, 2011

    @ 233ºC, groo

    You both might consider belief in another way, much like the Arabs considered the zero in their math, a placeholder, something to keep a category open for further understanding when the subject was realized to be incomplete or adequate information not available, and yet to be able to construct something cognizable, e.g. something is still where one left it or someone’s condition was improved but you are not for sure. Used in this manner, the unstated understanding contains uncertainty containing change when the subject becomes more complete.

    Another form belief can take appears when belief is used to complete and satisfy information or understanding and curtail further change should more or better understanding become available. Best example may be the belief in Aristotle’s and Ptolemy’s earth-centred universe over two millennium before Copernicus introduced an improved belief, supported by mathematical calculation, and conforming with observed facts far better and simpler than its preceding theory.

    The dangerous form to which you refer happens when beliefs are constructed and adhered to that propose the implausible, the irrational or the inconceivable, usually as a means of suspending disbelief in some scheme; religions certainly qualify, but throwing the baby (beliefs) out with the bathwater isn’t the profitable way to understanding.

  40. Celsius 233 permalink
    December 31, 2011

    ^ Well Bear; more food for the brain, thanks, and a response will be forthcoming; but not this evening.
    In the meantime let me wish you, Ian, and everybody; a safe New Years Eve and best wishes for the coming life on this most beautiful planet…

  41. groo permalink
    December 31, 2011

    Formerly T-Bear, Celsius,…
    –sorry, this is going to be somewhat longish–

    I think/’believe’, I’m/we debaters here are aware of the intricacies of ‘belief’, and therefore concentrated on some of the darker sides.

    Mentioned Ernest Dichter was a funny type of a quack, who had a point of sorts.
    Mainly that, some 80% of motivations (eg for buying a good) are unconscius.
    The ‘belief’, that has to be implanted in the consumer, is, that his decision is the best one.
    This is done by by massaging the Unconscious, because it is the dominant part.

    To call this a ‘belief’ is quite debatable.
    The situation is quite asymmetric: the advertiser/corporation knows about this set of human weaknesses, the consumer is just an object, which has to be shaped/programmed
    accordingly.

    This is from an enlightenment perspective (which one could term a ‘belief’ also) deeply embarrassing.
    One says: Exploit the weakness
    The other: Heal the weakness, by first making them visible.

    See Veblen in his ‘Theory of the Leisure Class’. Veblen the humanist put the issue on the table for us all to inspect.
    Same Vance Packard, who was a fierce opponent of Dichter in the 50′s.
    He saw quite clearly, to what this would lead: ‘Status competition’ via consumer goods.
    ————
    Jump:
    Karl Rove = Bush’s brain, an evil programmer of all sorts of ‘beliefs’.
    Even worse: A gardener of the fragmented minds of those poor chaps called authoritarian followers.

    I understand Celsius’ assessment of religion in this way:
    Just an example:

    The Catholic priests in the middle ages had this habit of ‘Ablasshandel’, where eg the believer on his death-bed gave half of his property to the church, which guaranteed him a place in heaven. This made the Church the biggest owner of land in southern Germany, besides the Nobility.
    Quite a feat, right?
    This ended abruptly around 1803 with the socalled secularization, which affected approximately 30% of all the land.
    Maybe this throws out all those chaps who donated, out of heaven, because all this property is not in God’s hand anymore.

    To make this work You have to install an elaborate and ‘belief-system’ to endure the the centuries, and keep Your adversaries in check (the nobility).

    This does not mean that I want to throw ‘beliefs’ out of the bathtub together with the bathwater.
    Buddhism in its form of Taoism and some others is mostly free from follies and trickery.

    First: Know the foundations of your beliefs (the axioms one chooses for his life, so to say).
    This obviously is the tricky part.
    You can do it only one or two times in life, not more often.

    Anyway

    Happy new year to all here, in interesting times.
    We have quite some work to do.

  42. Morocco Bama permalink
    December 31, 2011

    But understanding the individual, inner, landscape is most necessary before attempting to tackle the never ending stream of programming directly aimed at keeping us off balance and to discourage any form of critical thinking. Religion and government are antithetical to the serious pursuit of a healthy inner life.

    I agree, Celsius, but the forms of programming and control are myriad, and as often as not, perpetuated unconsciously, which can be even more destructive to social evolution. Let’s take the Scientific Orthodoxy, for example. Orthodoxy of any form, imo, is likened to, metaphorically speaking, atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, so what we’re left with is the strangling of something that once upon a time, may have been a positive notion for critical though and social evolution.

  43. groo permalink
    December 31, 2011

    Morocco Bama,

    here we end in a serious assessment of everybody’s (and every society’s, scvience, religion…) fundamental working, which is a set of axioms.
    I prefer this to the more amorph term ‘belief’.
    There has been a longish discussion around 1900.
    Eg Frege ‘Sinn und Bedeutung’ = ‘sense and meaning’ 1892
    Mauthner’s ‘Beiträge zu einer Kritik der Sprache’ critique of language ca 1902, unknown to the English.
    Wittgenstein: ‘Glaube und Gewissheit’ = ‘belief and certainty’

    and others.
    Sorry, when sounding overeducated. It should’nt and is not intended to be.
    What worries me, is that the intellectuals at that time underwent a deep crisis, whereby the idiots prepared for WWI.
    Not that intellectuals and philosophers have recovered since then.

    The other side was not lazy, developed an impressive arsenal of propaganda, mind control and modes of distraction for the common man.
    Here we are.
    Losing the battle, as it seems.

    Anyway.
    Thoughts hopefully worthy a dec 31, 2011.

    All the best.

  44. December 31, 2011

    I like what T-Bear said about the “Arab zero.” I tend to slam “belief” hard, in general, but that is in truth a reactionary position, because belief is so fervently defended by, well, believers.

    We do indeed need to behave “as if true” – to hold place-holder hypotheticals – in order to consider reality at all. It is, in a sense, fundamentally un-ordered until we place some sort of structure around it. I’m not speaking of the physical fundaments, which are ordered in definitive ways (at least at our macro level), but of the world “created” by our consensual cognizance, the social world of Man, and its possibilities. The dynamic between the glue of traditional ordering, with its reassurances, and the possibilities offered by the radical reconsideration of possibilities (seen as “progress”, but is probably more cyclical than we realize) is where the potentialities emerge.

    What are we willing to reconsider, and what is too threatening to our comfort zone? In this question the practical “validity” of belief is tested.

  45. groo permalink
    December 31, 2011

    Petro,


    We do indeed need to behave “as if true” – to hold place-holder hypotheticals – in order to consider reality at all.

    Agree.
    But this is not a selling point for the lot of us.

    As the good Doctor John said:
    “The city that care forgot”.

    What does it mean?
    Even Music is sort of an abstraction.
    All we say in the internetz is an abstraction.

    Well, what we do, is something less of an…

    Albeit the good Doctor, together with the good Eric Clapton, does a good job of making the abstract sort of feelable.
    Secondary emotions, with a ‘real’ feel.

  46. Celsius 233 permalink
    December 31, 2011

    Firstly, let me say that I’m uncomfortable with the word belief and it’s myriad philosophical ramifications. The word “think” could easily be inserted in its place. I understand that one’s concept of belief is a matter of choosing or choice. I choose to look at the pragmatic, everyday use of the word and I find it to be a limiting concept on/for the processes of free thought for most people I have known. I have experienced that people speak of belief as a conclusion; not a starting point for investigation or discovery. Most Buddhist teachings caution against the concept of belief and it is from that that I proceed with my inquires into the wonderful mysteries of our existence.
    _____________________

    There’s an interesting quote from *Richard Feynman:
    *I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here….
    I don’t have to know the answer. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell. It doesn’t frighten me.*
    ______________________

    I’ve spent hours this morning researching “belief”. It is evident many thousands of hours have been spent on this rather simple (IMO) concept.
    I do accept as T-Bear says;
    You both might consider belief in another way, much like the Arabs considered the zero in their math, a placeholder, something to keep a category open for further understanding when the subject was realized to be incomplete or adequate information not available…

    But in my experience this isn’t how belief is understood.

    Let me offer this link to a guy named Jim Walker; he does a pretty good job of speaking to my POV on this very interesting topic;
    Jim Walker http://nobeliefs.com/beliefs.htm

    At bottom I don’t think we’re disagreeing; just laying out our understandings.
    Cheers

  47. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    January 1, 2012

    The problem lays in language it seems, presuming belief and faith are synonymous when they are only congruent; one applied secularly, the other to the more ecclesiastical realm. It helps to know that distinction when using some words, or at least use those words more accurately as to intent.

    Aforementioned was an interesting hour being acquainted/reacquainted with Schopenhauer, reference given. In it reference was made to Kant’s distinction between “phenomena (what appears to a perceiving mind) and noumena (things as they are in themselves [intellectual constructs of the mind])” as the medium of consciousness of the world, i.e.”perceiving the world as an “idea” or “representation” (Vorstellung)”. This applied to belief was basis of those remarks. No need was foreseen to continue into the realm of faith but would have been completing to do so. No edit function requires modification of the final paragraph to:

    The dangerous form to which you refer happens when beliefs are constructed and adhered to that propose the implausible, the irrational or the inconceivable, usually as a means of suspending disbelief in some scheme; religions certainly qualify, but throwing the baby (beliefs) out with the bathwater isn’t the profitable way to understanding. This hazard strewn form of belief a.k.a. faith entraps most minds into a terminal belief beyond the ability of rational reality based perceptions to reach, remediate or rescue as most of those afflicted go to their graves carrying intact their acquired beliefs, only the rare few escape the fate.

    Schopenhauer presciently indicated a significant level of awareness of the unconscious mind and the role it plays in the thought process (will) but was never called upon to address the devious utility the knowledge could be put, e.g. propaganda, marketing, and other forms of persuasion. But that is another subject.

    P.S. interesting links

  48. Celsius 233 permalink
    January 1, 2012

    Morocco Bama PERMALINK
    December 31, 2011

    I agree, Celsius, but the forms of programming and control are myriad, and as often as not, perpetuated unconsciously, which can be even more destructive to social evolution. Let’s take the Scientific Orthodoxy, for example. Orthodoxy of any form, imo, is likened to, metaphorically speaking, atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, so what we’re left with is the strangling of something that once upon a time, may have been a positive notion for critical though and social evolution.

    _____________

    Couldn’t agree more on the sclerotic aspects of scientific orthodoxy (or orthodoxy in general).
    In attempting to discuss the theory of evolution, the discussion basically stopped at theory; the argument being it’s not a theory any longer. I objected to that; and now 10 years later and 1/2 a world away (from whom I was conversing [a biology professor]) it now comes about that this non-theory is getting put on its head.
    Apparently Carl Sagan said that the reason we haven’t contacted/been contacted by aliens is because species with advanced intelligence kill themselves off; in so many words.
    At this juncture, I’d have to agree; it ain’t looking too good for us…

  49. Morocco Bama permalink
    January 1, 2012

    Apparently Carl Sagan said that the reason we haven’t contacted/been contacted by aliens is because species with advanced intelligence kill themselves off; in so many words.
    At this juncture, I’d have to agree; it ain’t looking too good for us…

    It’s something I have followed with great amusement and interest over the years, because on my journey of introspection and migration from tentative yet earnest “believer” to the Catcher In The Rye skeptic I am today, I have taken an increasing interest in cosmology….because it still fascinates me to this day what we are, what this is, and where it’s going. I know I’ll never find the answer….but I’ll be damned, considering it and pondering it is wonderful mental masturbation so long as I don’t take myself too seriously….or take anyone else too seriously, either. And that’s where the amusement factor comes in. As you know, Cosmologists are changing their theories once a year, or more, now, and I believe that is due to the Singularity. As knowledge increases exponentially, theoretical extrapolation of possibilities manifest that were previously hidden in plain sight. So, speaking with such orthodoxical confidence and assuredness in such matters reminds me of the Vatican and their dogmatic interpretations of the character and intent of the God they have created in their image.

    I believe I have posted this documentary here before, but I will deposit it again for purposes of illustration. Every orthodoxy has its priests….it clergy….it’s dutiful strategic and technical administrative teams that secure, spread and perpetuate the “faith.” I this documentary, especially the third part I have linked to, make a great case for this.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8945702810854373085

    In regards to Carl Sagan’s comments, and what’s being discussed here in this late part of this thread, I’m having a similar discussion on another blog, and I’ve had this to say. I think it’s pertinent.

    Yeah, I lived through 1968 as well, Arthur, but since I liken us to trees, it’s part of me now, and you, in one of the inner rings. Yes, we’re in the process of creating a new outer ring, but that new outer ring creation will be influenced in some way by the totality of experiences that have led to the creation of all our rings.

    And to that point, yes, that’s one reason it appears impossible to create a new System….because the old System has scattered an eternity of seeds ubiquitously across our psyches so that when the old System collapses, and it will, in its ashes, like a Phoenix, it sprouts again from the seeds it strategically distributed. Getting past this eternally perpetuating mechanism will be a significant milestone in social evolution. It seems impossible at this moment, but I believe that’s just the seeds of the old System talking.

    Considering what I just said, and reviewing some of the more recent comments, for any one with an OPEN mind, who’s really the apathetic and cynical ones?

  50. January 1, 2012

    It seems impossible at this moment, but I believe that’s just the seeds of the old System talking.

    Within the context, I agree with you, Morocco. It never seems impossible to me. Ever onward.

  51. January 1, 2012

    @Celsius – that Jim Walker link was an excellent read. Thank you.

  52. groo permalink
    January 1, 2012

    Formerly T-Bear,
    Beautifully written.
    w.r.t. Schopenhauer:
    He was one of the truly great human beings. Tolstoi e.g. recognized this.
    I was a Nietzschean in my twenties. It took me quite some time to find out, that Nietzsche misrepresented Schopenhauer’s conception of the will, which finally cost him his mind.
    I’m quite sure that it was not the Syphilis.

    Both were very sensible psychologists, long before Freud, and not so materialistic, as current ‘Neuropsychology’ is to the extreme.

    Think of ‘Neuromarekting’.
    What would Schopenhauer say about this?

    By all this I again want to hint to two opposing trends:
    a) exploiting the weaknesses of the human mind/human condition for some absolutely despicable, egotistic motives,
    b) healing this condition from a very improbable position.

    Schopenhauer had some 99.x% of contemporary thinking against him, or was simply ignored, until the last five or so years of his life.
    Posteriority decides.
    This was the thinking.
    Schopenhauer imagined timeframes of thousands of years, where he would be in the Olymp of thinking within some other thousands of years.

    But I am afraid that we are in a different situation today.
    Time is running out.

    Somewhere upthread I hinted to a Finkelstein-video, which I consider very important, and we all –including Ian of course—should carefully watch, because it possibly shows us a way out of this mess. Finkelstein did not promote it as such. He basically referred to the Israel-Palestinian issue, but it is generizable, it seems to me.

    You decide.

  53. January 1, 2012

    By all this I again want to hint to two opposing trends:
    a) exploiting the weaknesses of the human mind/human condition for some absolutely despicable, egotistic motives,
    b) healing this condition from a very improbable position.

    groo, I’m going to give you a stack of links that you may find interesting. John Michael Greer refers to thaumaturgy in the following posts – which is a term for the sort of manipulation you refer to here. I find the subject fascinating myself – I hope you don’t mind the links. (You can search for “thaumaturgy” if you want to jump to the relevant passages).

    (Fingers crossed on the HTML).

    Pluto’s Republic
    A Lesson in Practical Magic
    The Trouble with Binary Thinking
    Aristotle’s Secret
    Bringing It Down To Earth

  54. groo permalink
    January 2, 2012

    Petro,

    Thanks.
    I’ll take a look.
    JMG is a treasure.
    One of the rare persons capable of keeping a balanced view inside and outside.

    We probably all have this feeling that we need to throw the bums out, or give them their proper place.

    JMG is very low key on that.
    Presumably for a good reason.
    Or because it simply his personality.

    I myself am getting angry at times.
    Suffering a -hopefully- mild form of manic depression.

    The history of collective moods, so to say, is quite interesting.
    e.g. there has been the socalled ‘age of the nerves’ signified by Chekhov.
    “How nervous erverybody is” was a sign of the times and a main theme in the salons at the beginning of the 20th century.
    Not in the US, to my knowledge.
    But it was a mental precursor of WWI in Europe. It was a feeling that something bad would happen.

    I myself try to decode our current condition along these lines of thinking.

    How did we we get there?
    What way out?

  55. groo permalink
    January 2, 2012

    btw,
    if anybody believes that the Russians are NOT part of Greater Europe:
    Ofcourse they are.
    I mentioned some arguments already:
    Chekov was first buried in Baden-Baden, small town in Western Germany.
    I visited his grave some 3 years ago.
    As a national ‘treasure’ he was transferred to Russia.
    Transferring a body is the highest ambition of any national character.
    OK?
    Now to the German-Russian relationship:
    Tolstoi was a deep admirer of Schopenhauer.
    Here it goes the other way round.
    If ‘I’ had to choose between the American soul and the Russian soul, well, folks, ‘I’ would have some difficulty.
    This is not that I would prefer Putin over Obama.
    Those are phony bums, to be clear.
    But if it is about something akin to a soul, I prefer the Russian soul.
    It is deep and decent, despite the fights we have recently.
    The reason why this is, is, I suppose, a mode of exchange.
    A mode of giving and forgiving.
    The Americans were heroes in their times, after WWII.
    They could have been the gratest souls ever.
    The beacon. The shining city. Whatever.
    But they spoiled it. TOTALLY.
    Maybe this sounds embarrassing to quite a lot of You, but the Russians have a character, which I respect.
    Deep down in the American soul is the American Native soul, which I also respect deeply, but not this assortment of fools and fraudsters, who nowadays inhabit Washington City.
    The ancient national character of the US is buried somewhere deep in the rural centre, and has been hijacked by the coastal ‘outbacks’.
    Yes. They are the modern outbacks of stupidity and superstition and fraud. They dare call them ‘blue’!
    The socalled centers of innovation.
    Financial here (upper East), technological there (southern west).
    Both are bankrupt.
    The center also, because it became a desert of industrial pseudo-agriculture, which basically destroys the land on a big scale.
    Sure, I do not make any friends here, by saying this.

  56. sgt_doom permalink
    January 2, 2012

    Ferdinand Lundberg’s Treason of the People, circa 1958.

    (also, anyone who has yet to read the brilliant sociologist and journalist’s The Rich and the Super-Rich consider yourselves forever clueless!)

  57. sgt_doom permalink
    January 2, 2012

    One other comment. I’ve been a volunteer (as in always unpaid) political activist for around 40 years, including being tear gassed and jailed, prior to being drafted to Vietnam, and afterwards many a time, and worked on Carter’s first and successful presidential campaign — was offered a job in the West Wing, which I declined, always worked as a technoid when possible, only interested in progress, not really politics or political theater, per se.

    But for forty years, I’ve been almost futilely attempting to warn my fellow Americans (Ameritards???) that offshoring of jobs was a bad, bad thing (one of the three main tools for dismantling the economy and wealth transfer, obviously), and to this day there are still waaaay too many who don’t get it!

    Yes, most definitely, the sports-watching, lazy-brained populace, whose primary educational input is TV or movies or sports or similar bilge, are to blame…..

  58. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    January 2, 2012

    @ groo

    The first Soviet moon challenged one generation in the U.S., maybe more, to excellence. That generation was given their education as the result of the space race, nothing was spared to further national education to meet that challenge. No following generation ever equalled them. There is a debt of gratitude owed the makers of that moon that can and will never be settled.

    For a insight into the spirit of the heartland of the U.S. read William Least Heat-Moon’s “PrairyErth” (also wrote “Blue Highways”) ISBN 0-395-48602-5. It would be an impossible choice between American Indian soul and Russian soul if so faced, both have roots deep into the earth from which sustenance and succor emanate.

    Tolstoy’s “On Civil Disobedience and Non-violence” Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 66-29085 helped ignite “the 60′s”.

    “Teachings from the American Earth, Indian Religion and Philosophy” edited Dennis Tedlock and Barbara Tedlock ISBN 0-87140-097-9 pbk, ISBN 0-87140-559-7

    “Medicine Talk, A Guide to Walking in Balance and Surviving on the Earth Mother” by Brad Steiger, ISBN 0-385-09734-4 paperbound Lib of Cong. Cat. Card No. 74-1774

    “Indian Givers, How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World” by Jack Weatherford, Lib of Cong. Cat. Card No. 88-3827

    These might be of some interest as well. All the best…….(end of using up Ian’s bandwidth)

  59. groo permalink
    January 2, 2012

    Not that I cherish the remnants of the German ‘soul’ over others.

    I have some deep diving to do.
    Therefore I talk a lot about affairs >100years ago.
    It is not that I think, that ‘we’ -as collectives- have been in our right minds ever.

    It is about a loss of connection.

    What makes me glad, is, that on a lot of places people realize this loss, not quite aware, what it is.

    There is a recitation of all 200 fairy-tales, the brothers Grimm collected.

    It goes over 3 days by three women in free speech.

    Not reading them out of books.

    Telling them, as the mothers did to their childs.

    Now, is that not a powerful sign of change?

  60. groo permalink
    January 2, 2012

    here they are:
    The sisters Grimm

    http://www.giesinger-bahnhof.de/

    Question is, why do they do that?
    Well.
    Nobody knows.
    It comes out of a sort of urge.
    And this expresses itself.
    Not that I am happy with an explanation like that.
    In a philosophical sense this is akin to a tautology.
    Something expresses itself because of an urge.

    But the interesting aspect is, that the urge comes before the fact!

    So all intelligent beings have to wonder whether between the two is a manovering-room?
    Right?
    Schopenhauer/Nietzsche, Libet an the rest of the lot.
    Is the universe causally closed?
    Then we should all be Buddhists, and immediately stop all action.

    I refuse.

    Sorry. Maybe you do not understand my problem. For me it is central.

  61. January 2, 2012

    So all intelligent beings have to wonder whether between the two is a manovering-room?…

    Is the universe causally closed?
    Then we should all be Buddhists, and immediately stop all action.

    I have something to say to that (not particularly original, of course). The noisome mind contemplates (“wonders”) what it is like to be silent. From such a perspective, it looks a death, and one sensibly rejects what seems to be nihilism. The truth is, the noisome mind cannot imagine what that state is like, it can only project from its tumultuous condition, and what it imagines is nothing like the fact. There is life in silence, but that “knowledge” is only nonsense if one is not inhabiting it.

    There is value in the turning of the “wheel,” even if it can be intellectually characterized as a closed system.

    Incidentally, groo – I agree with what you said about the American (U.S.) “soul” vs. the Russian (“European”). It is interesting to note, however, how much of our country’s educational institutions, and social policies, were shaped by the Industrial Age titans’ fascination with the 19th Century academia of Europe, particularly Austria (from Freud to the military). I do not say this defensively, since we really had nothing to claim as our own before then, such was the hodge-podge mosaic of post-Revolutionary America “philosophies,” shaped as much by the indigenous people that were conquered (as Jung noted) as by the reactionary attitudes of the fleeing pilgrims.

    I say it because what we are grappling with now (and what’s infected the globe), is the lasting legacy of the successful efforts of “elites” in suffocating a true democracy still in the crib. Using disciplinary tools and methods imported from Europe. (Not that they wouldn’t have invented them anyway, I imagine.)

    The Revolutionary War is just a label for the history books. It hasn’t happened yet. I’m confident that it will. And since it will probably be “global” this time, it just might take.

    (I’m well into a bottle of wine, so pardon me if I am not being as clear as I’d like to be.)

  62. groo permalink
    January 3, 2012

    Petro,
    during this thread quite some things became clearer to me.

    not that they have not been clear to a lot of others.
    Orwell comes to mind.
    He is often reduced to telling a couple of dystopian futures, which is in some sense true.
    Same with Huxley.
    Orwell, having fought in the Spanish war, experienced quite a lot, which I will never.
    Same with Twain or Marx in the first half of the 19th century.

    Let me please concentrate on two aspects of my learning, which I think about for a long time, but got a bit more clarity:

    I) type of people

    I.1) the humanists, who are very much aware of the problems of society, and try to find solutions. they have a lot of names: socialists, connectionists, collectivists …

    I.2) the exploiters. They use weaknesses to their own advantage, and basically believe in a two-species-model: They are the superior subspecies, the rest is pure material to be exploited.
    In Sociobiology I think it was EO Wilson, who developed the hawk-dove model. But SB concentrated on population-dynamics.
    Anyway. Hayek made quite some revealing remarks along the line of Ayn Rand.

    I.3) the ‘common people’, i.e. those who just want to live adecent live within a decent framework of belief. Maybe 95 to 99%.
    They are not viscerally involved of what the ‘belief’ is. They trust, that those dedicated to working on beliefs do their work, as they do theirs.

    II) beliefs.

    There seem to me currently (200-1000 years) two basic types in western society:
    a) a religious belief, which aided in the exploitation eg of the Americas, or, in Europe, in the acquistion of LOTS of land and property for ‘spiritual’ purposes, which have not all been bad.
    Monasteries preserved quite a lot of the past.
    But this is a tradeoff, we can never evaluate anymore.

    eg the complete loss of Aristotle, if there had not been any copyists in the monasteries.
    Difficult indeed.
    The burning of Alexandria
    ( Bibliotheca Alexandrina)

    b) a secular belief, homo oeconomicus and the mythical marketplace and such.
    The last one, wo seemed to notice the connection of both, seems to be Max Weber with his ‘protestant ethics’.

    The tough part is about the generations of actors over the centuries.

    Maybe I write something about that.

    You possibly are the last Mohican here in this thread, but never mind.
    If the audience is NIL, I am not yet an idiot.
    It is just, that the audience is missing.
    Just Joking.

    Anyway.
    If I have a valuable idea, I will post it.

    b) beliefs

  63. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    January 7, 2012

    For: groo

    I don’t know if it will help your search but Robert Fisk of The Independent has this:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-the-shocking-truth-that-killing-can-be-so-casual-6286254.html

    Your tribe isn’t the only one whose inheritors have ghosts to bury and spirits to disseminate; this happens with all tribes regardless of how far up the ladder of civilization they climb; there is no one cause nor are there exact tipping points which send tribes into the maelstrom of cultural insanity and wanton killing. However probable there is a common thread involved in all cases, the probability is most likely to have two characteristics. One is the construct of their world has belief as a foundation. The other has the lie, the falsehood as the currency for social and political power. An Irish barrister, a Peter Charleton wrote of his professional experience in “Lies in a Mirror, An Essay on Evil and Deceit”, ISBN 1-84218-101-7. In the book, it is related that the common thread to criminal behavior also had those characteristics as well when carefully analyzed. Between belief and lies is a fog that obscures the cardinal directions to being human, whether as a tribal member or as an individual. Hopefully this will contribute some light into your enquiries.

  64. LaughingCat permalink
    January 9, 2012

    @Morocco Bama

    Hey genius, Max Keiser is filthy rich and set for life. He created and sold HSX to Cantor Fitzgerald for millions. He also had a successful filmmaking company and sold that as well. He doesn’t create newsletters or write books. He is not profiting off doom and gloom.

    As for Gerald Celente, he does sell a newsletter, but he offers discounted prices to people who can’t afford the normal subscription. He has some really good ideas that can help this country, and actually, he is not really doom and gloom as he has said that this is not the end of the world, but rather a new era where we will have to tighten our belts, buy high quality goods that locally produced, and run government locally. That’s hardly end of the world fearmongering. Now, if you had actually spent some time listening to these people instead of just catching a headline or listening to a soundbite, you wouldn’t have made such a stupid fucking comment. Get your facts straight, stupid FUCK.

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