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Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3433
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to Ruphus

Just a comment on political theories in general--not directed at anyone here.

Here's the difference I see between political theories and theories of physics.

No present theory of physics adequately predicts all physical phenomena. The discrepancies are small. Physicists are hard at work to revise the theories.

No present political theory explains all political phenomena. The discrepancies are often gigantic. The people who advocate political theories do not revise them. They simply blame somebody else and restate their theory in a louder voice. Often enough to be alarming, they are willing to kill people with different theories.

Just a comment on political theories in general--not directed at anyone here.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2011 15:20:03
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to Richard Jernigan

I would say that there is a difference between a theory and an analysis in the first place.

When people kill on behalf of a theory, it usually is about belief and the hypocrisis to serve the theory, while in fact trying to remove incredulity and threat to personal bias and privilege.

Theory for instance is what is being tought in todays faculties of economics and jurisprudence.
Constructs that are built up on provided selective sockets instead of congruently from ground up.
Minds who actually follow their special subject semantically can discover the inherent incongruency and exclusive structure.

Like for example Prof. Senf ( economics ) from Berlin who initially adapted to the didactical misguide, however, with his demand to congruency figured the dehumanizing and deceiving construct, and who gives seminars about it.

For who understands the German language well and likes to be invited into deep thinking, here is an example:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-815995056114411408#docid=7704486331395662247
-

The fact that a perspective cannot ever capture complete entitiy is a useless excuse for superficiality. For still, any approach towards entitiy yet will decrease subjective and deliberate treatment, misunderstanding and injust.
The final insight that you can only come closer to entity, but never fully reach it, is no meaningful justification to stand still from the beginning and bow to a credo in place.

What will help to grasp the actual background for the very most of current policies, is to follow the path of money. It will usually indicate the impetus and reveil rather tidy the mechanics of mercyless and pathological greed.
Whereas only a very small fraction of incidences will be allocated to no direct intake, but to aims of power and prestige.
And a diminishing particle fraction will actually be equalling the usual pretens of public interest or ethical concern.
The latter so very few, that you got to consider it over all absent.
-

It isn´t that a reasonable and constructive outline was easy to do.
Some questions and issues which are currently treated as obvious and self-evident would actually need combined efforts of philosophs, economics and natural scientists to be circled in reasonably and just.
And on the other hand: Many aspects that are currently dressed up as so much diverted and unclear that the verdict was to be undefined ( = routinely unjust ) would be no-brainer with ethical concern as keystone.

Provide thorough education on logic and ethics in the educational systems, and let´s see whether theory and analysis could then be distinguished or not.
- And see a fundamental overhaul in impartial societal, behavioural and economic academies.

A base premisse that could help right away would be: "What you don´t want to be done to you, don´t do to others".
Ain´t really that complicated, innit.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 7 2011 12:49:52
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3433
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to Ruphus

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ruphus

A base premisse that could help right away would be: "What you don´t want to be done to you, don´t do to others".
Ain´t really that complicated, innit.

Ruphus


An institution, founded nearly 2,000 years ago, and going strong by 1,700 years ago, was founded, among other things, on the positive version of this maxim:

"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." The New Testament, Luke 6:31

Results decidedly have been mixed.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 8 2011 20:05:08
 
marrow3

Posts: 166
Joined: Mar. 1 2009
 

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to Ruphus

Hi Ruphus,

quote:

tendency of awakening in the USA soon


tenuous link to Greece maybe, but the the Wisconsin protests happened a few months back
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Wisconsin_protests

quote:

...Republican U.S. House Speaker John Boehner compared the Wisconsin protests to the 2010-2011 Greek protests





www.democracynow.org/2011/2/28/defying_walker_wisconsin_protesters_refuse_to
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 8 2011 22:42:25
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3433
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to marrow3

Indeed the Republicans have been particularly clumsy in recent months.

The union-busting bill in Wisconsin, proposed under the guise of balancing the state budget, provoked widespread resentment throughout the USA.

Paul Ryan is Chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee. He is the Republicans' point man on economic policy. His proposal was to change Medicare, the government health insurance program for older people, and Medicaid, the government health program for poor people, from programs where the Federal Government pays the costs directly to medical providers, to programs where the Government would pay block grants to the states, who would handle insurance. This proposal is widely seen as an attempt to dismantle Medicare and Medicaid, two of the most popular Federal Government programs. The Republicans have beaten something of a retreat.

Whether the electorate will remain awake, or whether they will be lulled back to sleep, remains to be seen.

America's favorite political ploy is for the opposition party to tie the tin can of a poor economy to the President's tail, and watch his antics as he tries to escape. This effectively diverts attention from any discussion of economic policy, such as when and why the economy went bad or any serious question of what ought to be done about it. It just turns into a slanging match.

Both parties regularly indulge in this sport. All of the experienced political commentators continue to write and speak as though this proven strategy is still entirely effective. The experts universally see the Presidential election as dependent on the most recent spasm of the economic statistics, as though the President possessed magical powers to make them jump the way he wants them to.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2011 2:45:34
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Hi Marrow,

Youtube is always a bit hard to access for me, but thank you for the hints anyway! :0)


Hi Richard,

quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard Jernigan

America's favorite political ploy is for the opposition party to tie the tin can of a poor economy to the President's tail, and watch his antics as he tries to escape. This effectively diverts attention from any discussion of economic policy, such as when and why the economy went bad or any serious question of what ought to be done about it. It just turns into a slanging match.

Both parties regularly indulge in this sport. All of the experienced political commentators continue to write and speak as though this proven strategy is still entirely effective.


It is why I was sort of raining on people´s parade when everyone was so excited about Obama´s election, expecting ground breaking changes.

I guess voices might have sounded too critical to folks, supposing that a black man´s "yes, we can" candidature was deliberately enabled, only to ascribe predictable bankrupcy to the progressive image.

Assigning conservative legislature period deficite to following legislature is an old and proven tactic by now, "with a little help of my friend" ( as the Beatles would say).

With the democrats pedaling in the desastrous heritage of the Bush household, the conservatives can return after the Democrats legislature, as the big rescuers.



quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard Jernigan

The experts universally see the Presidential election as dependent on the most recent spasm of the economic statistics, as though the President possessed magical powers to make them jump the way he wants them to.

RNJ


Absolutey agreed. A president remains a recipient of orders with only little personal leeway given to maintain democratic illusion.
If he was to seriously act against actual powers he could be ending like Olof Palme.

What experts might perceive as the effect you describe, to my observation is based on secondary phenomenons.
Which is that economic leaders actively produce such impression, in that they will hold back under mid to left government, whilst routinely firing up, investing and imploying right after conservative take over.

That way right-wing policies are traditionally associated with economical prosper. From Hitler´s economical upswing and autobahn building to todays conservative legislatures.

For, little are people aware of accordingly intentional economic manipulation, and how the apparent boom is always being just borrowed.
Be it by third world exploitation, temporary uprise through war facilities, or temporary conjuncture thrust through just the more expensive loans on future options.

Just as of late it seems as if people would gradually be realizing the adverse circumstance of economical bleed and social discrepancy with right-wing / conservative maps.

What the USA is concerned, it´s got to be seen, if the usual schedule will work out one other time, or whether the people could be looking ahead with enough patience for another democrat legislature.


There will probably be coming the day when common sense understands that true flourishing ( = without borrowing / artifical / temporary effects ) can only be had with socially and reasonably based economics. - And how it´s been mathematically proven that cooperation pays.

The relevant question will only be whether that day be before the no-return point or after.


With Kyoto still teethless ( Co² emmision growth still at ~ 2,5 % yearly), and primare woods of the size of England still cut down yearly etc., I don´t know how much hope the few good news, like now Kirgisistan enviting neighbours ( inlcuding tied-up bears and sibirian tiger prey shooting Putin ) to savour the last snow leopards, could provide enough ecological ledge for an awakening common sense.

It would be just too silly, if we would have to realize all of a sudden that you can´t eat i-phones.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2011 12:31:25
 
marrow3

Posts: 166
Joined: Mar. 1 2009
 

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Sorry you can't get youtube Ruphus.

quote:

Indeed the Republicans have been particularly clumsy in recent months.

The union-busting bill in Wisconsin, proposed under the guise of balancing the state budget, provoked widespread resentment throughout the USA.

Paul Ryan is Chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee. He is the Republicans' point man on economic policy. His proposal was to change Medicare, the government health insurance program for older people, and Medicaid, the government health program for poor people, from programs where the Federal Government pays the costs directly to medical providers, to programs where the Government would pay block grants to the states, who would handle insurance. This proposal is widely seen as an attempt to dismantle Medicare and Medicaid, two of the most popular Federal Government programs. The Republicans have beaten something of a retreat.

Whether the electorate will remain awake, or whether they will be lulled back to sleep, remains to be seen.

America's favorite political ploy is for the opposition party to tie the tin can of a poor economy to the President's tail, and watch his antics as he tries to escape. This effectively diverts attention from any discussion of economic policy, such as when and why the economy went bad or any serious question of what ought to be done about it. It just turns into a slanging match.

Both parties regularly indulge in this sport. All of the experienced political commentators continue to write and speak as though this proven strategy is still entirely effective. The experts universally see the Presidential election as dependent on the most recent spasm of the economic statistics, as though the President possessed magical powers to make them jump the way he wants them to.

RNJ


Thank you. If the electorate awaken what will be the core issues - will they be sympathetic to the Spanish and Greek unrest ?
The prank calling of Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker by a journalist was farcical (it was confirmed by Walker subsequently). Although the conversation itself was pretty tedious it does show a big-money-politics connection. (The Koch connection is interesting to those of us who follow the climate change issue in the US)

Rush Limbaugh on Scott Walker and Koch impersonator


Protest response


cheers,
Richard
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 11 2011 14:08:02
 
elgreco

Posts: 247
Joined: Nov. 24 2010
From: San Francisco CA

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to elgreco

The guitarists have joined the revolution. And invented a new flamenco posture. :) Gounaro is that you?

D.



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_____________________________

Captain Esteban: Caballeros! I believe you all know each other?
Don Diego from San Fernando.
Don Francisco from San Jose.
Don Fernando from San Diego.
Don Jose from San Bernardino.
Luis Obispo from Bakersfield.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 12 2011 1:45:54
 
marrow3

Posts: 166
Joined: Mar. 1 2009
 

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to elgreco

No sign of let up:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13766373

http://english.aljazeera.net/business/2011/06/201161481357243584.html
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 21:13:01
 
elgreco

Posts: 247
Joined: Nov. 24 2010
From: San Francisco CA

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to marrow3

This sheds some light to the situation:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13798000

Saludos my fellow rebel scum
Dino

_____________________________

Captain Esteban: Caballeros! I believe you all know each other?
Don Diego from San Fernando.
Don Francisco from San Jose.
Don Fernando from San Diego.
Don Jose from San Bernardino.
Luis Obispo from Bakersfield.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 17 2011 0:15:26
 
Ron.M

Posts: 7051
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Scotland

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to elgreco

Personally, I was quite intrigued at the introduction of the Euro across the various disparate countries of Europe and was a semi enthusiastic supporter of the UK joining as well at the time.

However, time has shown us that it was nothing more than a Bankers/Politicians idealistic dream of herding people into managable groups and making money for some at the top.

As in the Arab Spring, I really feel that the ordinary person in the street is simply sick and tired of the wealthy and powerful making decisions for us, which do not benefit us, but benefit their own kind and have had enough.
And when they screw up, then we're all in the same boat except for them.

So I think the Euro was an interesting experiment, but obviously different nations have different cultures and ideas and should be free to devalue or sort their own economies out in democratic freedom instead of this politician's "our hands are tied by Brussels" approach.

Let's just get back to where we were and work stuff out by ourselves.

I mean can you imagine the USA wanting to join the Euro?

Everybody likes to have trade partnerships, but signing life-long, binding marriage vows is just a step too far IMO to actually work in the real world as it is now. Maybe sometime in the future...

cheers,

Ron
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 20 2011 19:24:58
 
marrow3

Posts: 166
Joined: Mar. 1 2009
 

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to elgreco

Interesting blog on the ongoing crisis:
http://sturdyblog.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/democracy-vs-mythology-the-battle-in-syntagma-square/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 20 2011 20:40:37
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to Ron.M

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ron.M

Personally, I was quite intrigued at the introduction of the Euro across the various disparate countries of Europe and was a semi enthusiastic supporter of the UK joining as well at the time.

However, time has shown us that it was nothing more than a Bankers/Politicians idealistic dream of herding people into managable groups and making money for some at the top.

As in the Arab Spring, I really feel that the ordinary person in the street is simply sick and tired of the wealthy and powerful making decisions for us, which do not benefit us, but benefit their own kind and have had enough.
And when they screw up, then we're all in the same boat except for them.

So I think the Euro was an interesting experiment, but obviously different nations have different cultures and ideas and should be free to devalue or sort their own economies out in democratic freedom instead of this politician's "our hands are tied by Brussels" approach.

Let's just get back to where we were and work stuff out by ourselves.

I mean can you imagine the USA wanting to join the Euro?

Everybody likes to have trade partnerships, but signing life-long, binding marriage vows is just a step too far IMO to actually work in the real world as it is now. Maybe sometime in the future...

cheers,

Ron


The introduction of the Euro to me appeared like anything but out of all a child of idealism.

There was nothing ideal to be gained from it, neither so from the EU joint, but diverse private interests for a milking off from a blown-up EU host that would allow so much bigger coups and drain off than before on `merely´ countrie´s national basis.

One of the inducements that stood behind the manifestation of the EU was a real estate dorado.
The stags would privately beforehand obtain real estate in the applicant countries for a bargain, then pushing along the inclusion, knowing how the prices would develop through EU´s financial contribution.
Which is why the EU expansion was not only pushed forward so regardless and hasty, but why certainly many of the applicants were initially invited by established EU members themselves.


Another aspect was an inflated and opaque bureaucracy, predicatble and designed as a valve of multiple nation´s collection drain off. Which only besides also allowed accomodation of obidient officials, acquaintances and far relatives who could be rewarded with literally cockaigne jobs for free. Doing close to or entirely nothing at dream conditions in respect of salaries, housings, expenses, compensated travelling, fully blown insurances and pensions.

Also the usual return cycles ( open a phony company that you can fill with apparent orders ) being much easier and of unseen proportions in Brussels.

Brussel has been a turbo boost to states budget embezzlement, and that´s what it was intended for.
-

The Euro was introduced for similar effects.
Actually, it was amazing to see how France prohibited price gauging during the currency switch.
Most countries prudently did not so. Like in Germany where the €-introduction was used as a vessel to let the consumer over night shell out between 30 and 100% more for same goods and services.

Another point was the effects for forgers, whose profession would bloom very differently under a Europe-wide currency.

Right before the scheduled emission one of two hologram stamps vanished from a plane that was guarded by the German army.
This should had meant to retract that design and let the stamps be rebuilt for another 2 mio. DM.
Easy like that.
However the stamp design was not retracted, eventhough the thieves could not be got a hold on.
In fact the theft has never been pursued to begin with. ( You can´t believe it? Better do.)

Since then someone out there print original Euro bills to their liking, and you bet your hat that such a production is contributing to the EURO inflation, whichs actual numbers again are being significantly played down officially, yet stay pretty obvious to everyone who´s got to live with a humble income.
-

There was one wise guy who had the money to publish whole-page ads in national papers, warning of the comming EURO coup.
But I guess people took his warnings like they did with mine, reacting like: "Nah, that will be great: No need to exchange currency when on holiday!"

What can you say. Folks seem not prepared to realize what mafia means, unless finding a gun barrel in their mouth like in the movies.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 21 2011 11:27:40
 
elgreco

Posts: 247
Joined: Nov. 24 2010
From: San Francisco CA

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to Ron.M

Ron et al,

I pretty much agree the views from marrow3's blog. I believe there are many sources of interest that comprise the EU. From the idealistic experimentalists to the ones that view the EU as a WWIII without the panzers. I think the Euro killed Greece's productivity which is the main problem right now. An American tourist (and not only) would rather go to Turkey and buy 1000 Turkish Liras with his US Dollar than come to Greece and get 70 Euro cents. That immediattely destroyed Greece's main source of income. At the same token, Greek business moved their factories to Rumania and Bulgaria because Balkan labor force was much cheaper and did not get paid in Euros. Greek butchers would rather drive their trucks to Yugoslavia and Bulgaria and buy 100 sheep in Levas than buy a few Greek sheep in Euros. That meant the death of farming and cattling and 2nd biggest source of income of Greece. Even construction which was funded by the EU was done by "cheap" Albanian construction workers and contracts were given back to German and French companies (new airport, new Athens metro, new acropolis museum etc.) The Greek people did not see that money except the construction companies that indeed made a lot of money by trimming profit margins. But they are a fraction of the Greek people. So we ended up distributing and consuming foreign goods and services and selling them to one another. That lasted for a few (good) years but since this is not a healthy economy, Greece just collapsed in a day. I do not know how Greece would be if we did not enter the Euro. I can only speculate. But a strong currency and free market definitely did not help Greece's economy fundamentals.

D.

_____________________________

Captain Esteban: Caballeros! I believe you all know each other?
Don Diego from San Fernando.
Don Francisco from San Jose.
Don Fernando from San Diego.
Don Jose from San Bernardino.
Luis Obispo from Bakersfield.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 21 2011 14:29:54
 
marrow3

Posts: 166
Joined: Mar. 1 2009
 

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to elgreco

Thanks Dino,
As Toqueville says in 'Democracy in America' freedom of the media is vital to how democracy functions.

http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/listeningpost/2011/06/20116258446620353.html

cheers,
Richard
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 25 2011 14:47:12
 
elgreco

Posts: 247
Joined: Nov. 24 2010
From: San Francisco CA

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to marrow3

Hi Richard,

There have been many articles like that recently and I am wondering what caused this shift in the media. What Greece has conceeded that made the media now ease on Greece? Or perhaps better I shouldn't know. The Greek media definitely prevented an all out revolution and protected the politicians. Instead of exposing the political leadership they warned the populace of witch-hunts. The outcome is that we are still waiting for somebody to go to jail. Not even one yet. Instead, a Greek minister is about to publish a book called "We ate the money together". I wish that was true. My family did not eat any money with him or anybody else.

D.

_____________________________

Captain Esteban: Caballeros! I believe you all know each other?
Don Diego from San Fernando.
Don Francisco from San Jose.
Don Fernando from San Diego.
Don Jose from San Bernardino.
Luis Obispo from Bakersfield.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 25 2011 17:06:36
 
elgreco

Posts: 247
Joined: Nov. 24 2010
From: San Francisco CA

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to marrow3

http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/0,1518,769052,00.html

Even the German media now support Greece.

_____________________________

Captain Esteban: Caballeros! I believe you all know each other?
Don Diego from San Fernando.
Don Francisco from San Jose.
Don Fernando from San Diego.
Don Jose from San Bernardino.
Luis Obispo from Bakersfield.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 25 2011 17:23:59
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to elgreco

quote:

ORIGINAL: elgreco

Even the German media now support Greece.


In a polit-talk show days ago, some participants emphasized that a sqeezed down greece and following break down will yield just the less for the creditors. Hence, remit being inevitable.

All in all, a not too bad discussion round, with some intelligent coments against the stereotype of "lazy Greeks".


And there even was one voice that pointed out the procedure of the EU central bank, - which lends out funds for cheap, only to have the money lent back by banks to EU states at market conditions -; requesting these routines to be stopped.

This was the first time that I saw someone other than myself mentioning this first-rate and crafty circumstance, let alone in a public discussion. It struck like a shooting star, catapulting me out of the seat.

However, just as I hardly ever see anyone realizing, halting in jolt, maybe bookmarking and asking "Really!?", the discussion immediately went on, passing over this essential remark and so self-evidently as if everyone was instructed for blinkers of a worst-case scenario.

I would had loved to see the remarking person eventually resume and raising the question of how come at all such contradictive and detrimental method was in place, questioning who introduced it against public interest and who is benefitting of it.
However, all he came to later on was to say that the pampering of the banks ought to be stopped / that banks should shoulder their risks of speculation by themselves.

I´d like to draw everyone´s attention to the following once again:

States are installations of the upper caste.
It is how comes, among many other questionable indicators, that banking is a bonanza.

Banking as is means quiet licencing and assistance of the state for exploitation of citizens and people.

If you are only connected well enough you can even start out with little to no capital. The state will be taking tax money formerly collected from the people, and hand it out to you at nominal ( speak: "no" ) interest, and then allowing you to use this capital for inquiring tenth of times higher interest than you are formally agreed on to pay for it. Either directly form the people who initially contributed this very money as tax levy, or more comfortably even by lending it back to the state at market conditions.

Discussing men´s burdens like state loans at dismiss / ignorance of essential circumstances like this, is like fishing with an empty line. Completely useless.

Do you see potential resort from a global recession? A resort of the USA´s total bankrupcy, of China´s economical / political power and corruption of the international scene? Of mass unemployment, civil and international wars, exctinction and deserting?

You won´t be seeing any, unless the lip service of "states" was to be replaced by actual representation of the people.

From there a discussion on global economics can´t be making any sense, as long as the elephant in the room, the betrayal and deprivation of the people by privileged minority under support and means of state won´t be considered.

Actual conditions however diguised and denied are radical, and dispelling makes them retain for just the longer.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 26 2011 13:00:07
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3433
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to Ruphus

In one of Kurt Vonnegut's novels a spy from the planet Tralfamadore reports back to his masters from Earth.

"The unfortunate inhabitants of this planet are forced to stick to its surface. The more intelligent among them have figured out how to charge money for this."

Humans have organized themselves hierarchically for at least the last 6,000 years. If our closest living relatives the chimpanzees are any evidence, it has been going on much longer than that, perhaps for millions of years.

Every large scale human society has been a hierarchy. In my estimation, this will continue. Furthermore, in every large scale human society in history, the upper members of the hierarchy have acted to increase, consolidate and maintain their power over those lower down. This has been true of republics, monarchies, socialist and communist systems. To me it seems inevitable. The Wall Street barons with their private jets and homes on Martha's Vineyard are just the mirror image of Brezhnev and his collection of expensive Western cars, and the nomenklatura with their party-paid vacations to the Crimea..

Historically, in almost every case, the upper levels of the hierarchy have gone too far in their accumulation of benefits to themselves. Eventually the lower classes boil over with resentment and rebel, most often violently. This has been true of every system of economy and government tried so far.

A microcosmic example of this tendency was my experience living 18 1/2 years with a hundred or so other Americans on the tiny island of Roi-Namur at the north end of Kwajalein Atoll in the Central Pacific. All supplies to support an American life style were imported via ship or air. But all supplies were landed at the island of Kwajalein at the south end of the atoll, where about 1,500 Americans lived. Supplies were then shipped to Roi-Namur. Inevitably, if there was any way to pull it off, more supplies per person, and better quality were retained on Kwajalein. This was obvious to the Roi Rats, who complained bitterly. When a new boss arrived at Kwajalein, one of the first things he heard was the loud and violent complaints of discrimination against Roi-Namur.

The less intelligent 90% of the new bosses would put some changes to procedure in place and announce that they had solved the problem. I would point out to them that the problem was insoluble, that the people in the supply chain were intelligent enough to figure out how to circumvent the new procedures, and that the discrimination would inevitably recur. It always did.

The more intelligent 10% of new bosses, or those who had lived at the end of a long supply chain in a command economy would realize that discrimination against Roi-Namur was not a problem to be solved, but a never ending battle to be fought.

Personally, I believe that no matter what economic system and form of government is put in place, it will be hierarchical, and those higher in the hierarchy will favor themselves at the expense of those lower down. There is no economic or political system that will solve the problem. No matter what system is employed, those at the top will always exploit those lower down.

Is one system less susceptible to abuse than another? Clearly. In the 18th century, the agrarian economy of the U.S.A, with most of the population owning their own land, the constant availability of new land, social mobility, and the fairly shallow hierarchy, resulted in a relatively egalitarian society for most of the citizens. For non-citizens, the enslaved blacks and the genocidally exterminated natives, it was a different matter.

With the rise of industrial corporations, great concentrations of wealth, and the alienation of political power, the system that worked pretty well in the 18th century--with the exception of slavery and genocide, of course--has become more and more exploitative of the bulk of its citizens. But the level of economic prosperity has risen for the great majority. People are better housed, better clothed and have more to eat than in the past (what they eat is a different matter). They have TVs, cars, iPhones and iPads to distract them. Minorities have gained a measure of political and civil rights. But economic and power inequity increases apace. I see no symptom of reform. Continuing on the present course will lead to revolution, whether in decades or in centuries remains to be seen.

Evolution of government and economic systems has proven less violent than imposition of sudden change, with the notable exception of India. But was India a sudden change, or did the Indians themselves just take over the system developed under the Raj, with widespread oppression and considerable violence?

Certainly the evolution of parliamentary government and constitutional monarchy in England was less violent than its imposition in Europe. Now this system is showing considerable strain.

Communism became an evil word in the 20th century. But it began as an idealistic proposal to solve the evils of capitalism in an industrialized economy. However, to achieve these idealistic ends, Stalin found it necessary to starve to death millions of kulaks who refused to give up their land for the greater good, to imprison thousands of dissidents in the gulags, and so on, using the tools of oppression inherited from the czars, and inventing new ones. Marxism-Leninism rapidly evolved into an oligarchy operated for the benefit of those in the upper reaches of the hierarchy.

Among the myriad societies of today's earth, I am aware of at least three which are peaceful and relatively egalitarian: Switzerland, Costa Rica and Cuba.

Cuba is communist. People seem reasonably content, even though they are nowhere near as well off materially as most of their neighbors in the U.S.A., and there is no freedom whatsoever to dissent against the regime. Few feel the need to dissent against a regime that is far better than the Mafia dominated dictatorship of the previous era. They have decent health care. They have enough to eat. Society at least appears to be relatively egalitarian. Fidel was a master politician, with a genuine love for his people, who reciprocated by loving and revering him. The upper levels of the hierarchy were effectively restrained from displays of wealth and power. But the model of power concentrated in a single figure has proven especially fragile. Permit me to doubt that the Cuban worker's paradise will persist indefinitely.

The implementation of radical change in government and economic systems has so far resulted in violence. Only moderate violence in Cuba, gigantic massacres in the Soviet Union, China and Cambodia, Soviet military incursions in Eastern Europe--the list goes on. Temporarily successful reactionary resistance to change has also accounted for its share of slaughter in Spain, Latin America, South Africa and elsewhere. The transformation of anti-colonial heroes into corrupt and violent oligarchs has proceeded with sorrowful regularity.

Let us work for peaceful evolution toward more just and egalitarian systems, rather than being subject to the Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times."

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 26 2011 18:41:06
 
elgreco

Posts: 247
Joined: Nov. 24 2010
From: San Francisco CA

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

Personally, I believe that no matter what economic system and form of government is put in place, it will be hierarchical, and those higher in the hierarchy will favor themselves at the expense of those lower down. There is no economic or political system that will solve the problem. No matter what system is employed, those at the top will always exploit those lower down.


Hi Richard,

I totally agree with this statement. We all know what happened during the Red October. However there are also some benefits coming from revolutions. There was a new elite after the French revolution too, but the distance between the top and the bottom of the pyramid lessened. If you want the hierarchy to work, there must be some balance between earning for the top and suffering at the bottom.

Cheers
D.

_____________________________

Captain Esteban: Caballeros! I believe you all know each other?
Don Diego from San Fernando.
Don Francisco from San Jose.
Don Fernando from San Diego.
Don Jose from San Bernardino.
Luis Obispo from Bakersfield.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 26 2011 19:25:52
 
marrow3

Posts: 166
Joined: Mar. 1 2009
 

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to elgreco

quote:

There have been many articles like that recently and I am wondering what caused this shift in the media. What Greece has conceeded that made the media now ease on Greece? Or perhaps better I shouldn't know. The Greek media definitely prevented an all out revolution and protected the politicians. Instead of exposing the political leadership they warned the populace of witch-hunts. The outcome is that we are still waiting for somebody to go to jail. Not even one yet. Instead, a Greek minister is about to publish a book called "We ate the money together". I wish that was true. My family did not eat any money with him or anybody else.


I agree with what you say. If it is like the politicians expenses scandal here in the Uk they'll make sure justice is seen to be done and some politicians will be put in prison but probably the minimum necessary to release the pressure of popular outrage.

The broader issue lies in the way international banks operate and the offshore tax system is used. On July 30th in the UK trade unions are saying over 500000 will strike against the cuts to health and education etc. However, following a protest you have to have some specific policies to demand, I guess where I'm at is trying to get my head around what those policies would look like. Is it even possible to put regulations back on the financial sector as there were after the WWII ?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 26 2011 20:15:03
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3433
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to elgreco

quote:

ORIGINAL: elgreco

Hi Richard,

I totally agree with this statement. We all know what happened during the Red October. However there are also some benefits coming from revolutions. There was a new elite after the French revolution too, but the distance between the top and the bottom of the pyramid lessened. If you want the hierarchy to work, there must be some balance between earning for the top and suffering at the bottom.

Cheers
D.


Yes. Four of my ancestors served as officers under General Washington. I am proud of their achievements despite what is now going on in the U.S.A. But a lot of people lost their lives due to the pig-headedness of the British government and the patriotic ardor of the Americans.

Two of my great-grandfathers fought for the Union, the other two for the South in the Civil War. All survived, physically at least. Slavery was a great evil that had to be excised. Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and other slave-owners among the founders, having survived the Revolution, all expressed the hope that slavery would just fade away and disappear. Contemplation of the massive slaughter required to wipe it out inevitably saddens me.

My father and eight uncles fought in World War II. Their cause was just. All survived physically. One uncle never held a job or participated in society for the rest of his life. The rest recovered, or at least concealed their scars...

I served my time in the Army and Central America...I recovered from it...my cousins and childhood friends fought and died in Vietnam. Out of foolish patriotism we supported the forces of reaction...most of those who survived physically eventually recovered...it goes on....

They say that nobody hates war like a soldier. But it was Churchill who said, "The terrible thing about war is that it not only brings out the worst in people, it brings out the best as well."

What a species we are.

Or as my teacher, the distinguished mathematician Hubert S. Wall would sometimes say, "Some world, isn't it?"

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 26 2011 20:18:30
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Hi Richard,

Your conclusion that humans just had to be the way they are, skips a couple of relevant items.

#
Parallel to chimpansees there has been the development of bonobos. Check them out to think of the correpsonding alternative to our cultural development.

Even before primates, how about the green monkey that gives three of five nuts to the fellow in the neighbouring cage who handed over the stone for to crack the shells?
Not so popular examples, but they can be found when prepared to let go outdated, snatchy appearing clichés.

#
In concern of ancient examples of flat hierarchy and democratic society the Happara culture gives a very interesting example.
There have also been ( and still exist ) other rather indigene examples like for instance with some North-American native tribes or populations on pacific islands, but as an urban example might be appearing more related, Happara makes a really valuable informational ressource.

#
While collecting supports for the idea of the inevtably evil, try to not cut corners on relevant details.
What the economic prosperity in the US is concerned it must be taken into consideration that this was no closed economical cycle, but a cockaigne of affluence which just allowed enough crumbs for the undedogs.
Starting with an occupied continent that was recklessly / thoughtlessly ferreted through like no other, going on with free slavery labour and finally with mineral ressources from half the world for close to nada until lately. With the fading of the free ressource stream from abroad after all ringing in the regression of the US household since the early eighties.

If you wanted to conclude that a socially unbalanced situation like in the USA yet allowed economical prosperity for everyone there, a provide of a closed economical cycle in the first place would be needed; which there was none.

Wholy, one would need to count in the international colateral damages of that prosperity, which again would illuminate the actual waste, clearing off, margin and destruction the US economizing represented in general terms.

#
Also, you could consider relativity.
Brezhnev´s car collection could likely be aquired by just a handful of monthly incomes of e.g. a German nobody in parliament, not to mention dimensions of social and pecuniary discrepancy under capitalism. Besides of that I suppose that Brezhnev´s cars were states property that he could not take with him when resigned.

#
Same about differenciating essentials.
Marxism ( whether -Leninism or whatever ) cannot be oligarchy by its very principles.
In fact oligarchy and social-capitalism in the SU was one of the prime indicators that it was far from anything socialism.


That common yet obsolete myth about evil human nature is only keeping people from realizing actual options.
I only wonder how sturdy that tale is. No matter what examples and hints be named, no matter what reports on scientifical background and latest scientifical works, which all make clear how such alleged "nature" is contradicting the actual precondition of humans ... People still keep following the superficial stereotype of selfish and short-sighted men by nature.

Is such meta really inevitable while pondering on a society of equal rights and cooperation?

I think that your intelligent observations of actual handicaps like this: "The transformation of anti-colonial heroes into corrupt and violent oligarchs has proceeded with sorrowful regularity" are enough of alarming plot on their own to be intensively occupied with.

In psychological and institutional sight, in question of how corruption works and what makes susceptible to it, is a very interesting, rich and progressive matter to deal with.
- And one that is being dealt the least with.
Or does anyone despite its urgent need see a broad and serious public discussion on cause & effect, hence prevention of curruption anywhere?
Instead we are seeing constant coverings of corruptions iceberg tips, day in day out.

I claim that there are so much more useful points to visit in place of resignation mantras like the myth of human´s evil nature.

Human nature, if you will, has before all made us possible for the ~ 7 mio years before those last 6000, with its actual quality partially resuming yet until today with certain cultures, and in everbody´s unconsciousness and drives.

And if there be a tomorrow it will only be with us timely corresponding to our actual shaping; which again is everything but the chimpanzee low brow path of the unnatural status quo.

Seriously, check out on actual observations of the social being of Bonobos, of surecatta ( if I´m spelling that right ), wolves, elephants, wales. Once it pulled you in, latest ( and some old but dismissed ) works on human imprint and social being will be just the more consequential and interesting.
An informative overlook like that will on the other hand be making clear that property and power in our distorted cultures have become desperate means and compensation for something otherwise self-evident. Appreciation and affection.

Something just immediate and essential / directly given under naturally humane circumstances.
Which we should rediscover to regain full intellectual and emotional capacity, and to prevent the ecological collapse.

quote:

Let us work for peaceful evolution toward more just and egalitarian systems

Yes, bro! :0)

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 27 2011 22:28:19
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3433
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to Ruphus

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ruphus

Hi Richard,

Your conclusion that humans just had to be the way they are, skips a couple of relevant items.

#
Parallel to chimpansees there has been the development of bonobos. Check them out to think of the correpsonding alternative to our cultural development.


Indeed, I thought of the bonobos when I mentioned chimpanzees. We have been far more violent and hierarchical than the bonobos, so I thought chimpanzees the more apt reference.

quote:


In concern of ancient examples of flat hierarchy and democratic society the Happara culture gives a very interesting example.


Do you mean "Harappa"? Google doesn't turn up anything on "Happara".

If you do mean "Harappa" I would point out that it is dangerous to draw conclusions about extinct civilizations from the remains of artifacts, buildings and civic works alone. The two leading pioneer scholars of the Mayan civilization, Sylvanus Morley and J. Eric S. Thompson in his earlier work influenced by Morley, portrayed the classic Maya as peaceful, artistic and scientific, in contrast to the bloodier empires of central Mexico. Once the Mayan script was deciphered and historical inscriptions could be read it was clear that warfare, conquest and the capture and sacrifice of prisoners was just as prevalent with the Maya as it was with other Mesoamerican cultures.

The script of the Harappan civilization has never been deciphered. It seems to me that many ideas of Harappan culture are as much a projection of our own ideas and desires as they are deducible from firm evidence.

quote:

There have also been ( and still exist ) other rather indigene examples like for instance with some North-American native tribes or populations on pacific islands, but as an urban example might be appearing more related, Happara makes a really valuable informational ressource.


I wrote "large scale".

quote:


While collecting supports for the idea of the inevtably evil, try to not cut corners on relevant details.


I didn't say humans were evil. I meant to say that we are as we are, and we ought to take that into account. There is no "solution" to human hierarchy, and the exploitation of the lower members by the upper. What we need to do is to recognize the implications of hierarchy and the potential for exploitation, and to work constantly to keep the potential for abuses in check.

quote:


What the economic prosperity in the US is concerned it must be taken into consideration that this was no closed economical cycle, but a cockaigne of affluence which just allowed enough crumbs for the undedogs.
Starting with an occupied continent that was recklessly / thoughtlessly ferreted through like no other, going on with free slavery labour and finally with mineral ressources from half the world for close to nada until lately. With the fading of the free ressource stream from abroad after all ringing in the regression of the US household since the early eighties.


You mistook my intention entirely. I was pointing out that the American electorate appears to be distracted from the seriousness of the present situation by the trappings of "prosperity", and also distracted from the implications of continuing on the present course. We are distracted by quite a few other things as well.

quote:

If you wanted to conclude


I didn't want to conclude any such thing.

quote:

that a socially unbalanced situation like in the USA yet allowed economical prosperity for everyone there, a provide of a closed economical cycle in the first place would be needed; which there was none.

Wholy, one would need to count in the international colateral damages of that prosperity, which again would illuminate the actual waste, clearing off, margin and destruction the US economizing represented in general terms.


I am not totally unconscious. You are attacking a position I never advanced.

quote:

Also, you could consider relativity.
Brezhnev´s car collection could likely be aquired by just a handful of monthly incomes of e.g. a German nobody in parliament, not to mention dimensions of social and pecuniary discrepancy under capitalism. Besides of that I suppose that Brezhnev´s cars were states property that he could not take with him when resigned.


I, on the other hand, suppose they belonged to him personally, and he took them with him.


quote:

Same about differenciating essentials.
Marxism ( whether -Leninism or whatever ) cannot be oligarchy by its very principles.
In fact oligarchy and social-capitalism in the SU was one of the prime indicators that it was far from anything socialism.


Precisely.


quote:

That common yet obsolete myth about evil human nature is only keeping people from realizing actual options.
I only wonder how sturdy that tale is. No matter what examples and hints be named, no matter what reports on scientifical background and latest scientifical works, which all make clear how such alleged "nature" is contradicting the actual precondition of humans ... People still keep following the superficial stereotype of selfish and short-sighted men by nature.


You are the one bringing up myths of "evil", not I. Humans lie, cheat, steal, rape and murder. Does that make us "evil"? Or are these tendencies that we must work constantly to keep in check? Thinking that we had invented a "solution" to dishonesty, rape and murder would only distract us from the real problem.

quote:

Is such meta really inevitable while pondering on a society of equal rights and cooperation?


Yes.

quote:

I think that your intelligent observations of actual handicaps like this: "The transformation of anti-colonial heroes into corrupt and violent oligarchs has proceeded with sorrowful regularity" are enough of alarming plot on their own to be intensively occupied with.

In psychological and institutional sight, in question of how corruption works and what makes susceptible to it, is a very interesting, rich and progressive matter to deal with.
- And one that is being dealt the least with.
Or does anyone despite its urgent need see a broad and serious public discussion on cause & effect, hence prevention of curruption anywhere?
Instead we are seeing constant coverings of corruptions iceberg tips, day in day out.

I claim that there are so much more useful points to visit in place of resignation mantras like the myth of human´s evil nature.


Where do you get all this "evil" stuff from? The example that I gave of those further back on the supply chain discriminating against those further along is not "evil". The people doing it are fine, friendly, respectable folk like you and me. I knew many of them at Kwajalein. I took them sailing on my boat and had a beer with them afterward. The position they were in just meant they had to be checked up on regularly. The checkout clerks at the store were required to use cash registers not because they were evil, but because experience taught it was the wise thing to do.

quote:

Human nature, if you will, has before all made us possible for the ~ 7 mio years before those last 6000, with its actual quality partially resuming yet until today with certain cultures, and in everbody´s unconsciousness and drives.

And if there be a tomorrow it will only be with us timely corresponding to our actual shaping; which again is everything but the chimpanzee low brow path of the unnatural status quo.

Seriously, check out on actual observations of the social being of Bonobos, of surecatta ( if I´m spelling that right ), wolves, elephants, wales


Wolves and elephants are both hierarchical and territorial.

A functioning wolf pack is a rigid hierarchy. The alpha male is the absolute monarch. He determines the ranks of the other wolves, which in turn determines things like who gets to eat what and when. The second ranking pack member is always the alpha female. The alpha pair are the only wolves that get to have sex. Any surplus meat produced by the other wolves goes toward raising the alpha pair's offspring. Wolves are warriors in defending their own territory, and cooperate magnificently as predators. Wolves show affection and bonding play across ranks, building pack solidarity. They also show respect and fear to their superiors in rank. Wolves were the first animals we domesticated. I think it was because we understood them so well, and they understood us.

Whales vary tremendously in their behavior patterns. I don't see where whale ethology instructs us on the distribution of property. They have none. Most of them are so big they don't need to actively defend their territories. There was at least one pod of pigmy sperm whales regularly sighted where I lived at Kwajalein and another one or more pods of pilot whales. They might be small enough to worry about competition from dolphins, who travel sometimes in huge pods. But almost nothing is known about the behavior of these smaller cetaceans.

If we alter our focus just a bit to the whales' nearest relatives the dolphins, we find hierarchy, sexual dominance, territoriality, murder, rape, and in the case of the orcas, the top predators of the ocean. An orca was recently observed killing a large great white shark.

I had the wonderful opportunity of observing dolphins close at hand for the 18 1/2 years I lived in the Central Pacific. I went diving and sailing almost every weekend. It was always an immense pleasure for us humans to meet the dolphins. They are tremendously intelligent, sociable and fun-loving. They clearly enjoyed both observing us and performing showoff stunts. After performing spectacular maneuvers and leaps, they would pop up and look us in the eye, as though to say, "What do you think of that?" After meeting the dolphins, everyone always had smiles on their faces. We all knew of the dolphins' darker side, but nobody ever thought they were evil.

As for the bonobos, we turned out to be humans, not bonobos. Despite our imperfect adaptation to marriage, our sexual promiscuity pales into mere insignificance beside theirs. But ah, to be in high school again....

quote:

Once it pulled you in, latest ( and some old but dismissed ) works on human imprint and social being will be just the more consequential and interesting.

An informative overlook like that will on the other hand be making clear that property and power in our distorted cultures have become desperate means and compensation for something otherwise self-evident. Appreciation and affection.

Something just immediate and essential / directly given under naturally humane circumstances.


Humans in any culture seem quite capable of affection and appreciation for family, extended family, and even clan. But the large clans of Bali, with thousands of members island-wide, are hierarchically organized, and the upper echelons are better off than the lower. Larger groups than clans are uniformly organized as hierarchies, and the upper classes are better off than the lower.

I worked for, and still own part of, a 35-person employee owned company. Due to the influence and constant care of one of the leading individuals, the company functioned like a happy family. We not only got along well, supported one another, and socialized together, we were actually good friends. It was an egalitarian group. Secretaries and the receptionist were treated with the same respect as the company president, or a member of the steering committee like me.

Toward our competitors we were polite, ethical, honest and ruthless. I don't know of another company in the defense business as well admired and respected.

quote:

Which we should rediscover to regain full intellectual and emotional capacity, and to prevent the ecological collapse.


Human cultures are tremendously complex. We used to smugly look down on "primitive" societies. Many still do. But when we study these cultures closely, we find the same degree of complexity as in our own.To fully grasp any culture requires growing up in it under the tutelage of loving parents and expert teachers, and further years of adult experience.

The cultures that have survived long enough to leave their mark on history have come about through evolution, not by the oversimplified invention of some "system". Attempts to implement invented systems resulted in the most violent century in human history, the one just preceding this one.

Cultures can and should be improved by thoughtful modifications agreed to by the participants. The result will be gradual change for the better. Attempts at radical change have most often been met with violence.

If gradual change is not quick enough to adapt to changing conditions, and enough people are made to feel pain, then violence will erupt again. The results are guaranteed to be unpredictable, whether the violence erupts spontaneously, or a violent revolution is carried out by a group with a plan for the improvement of mankind.

quote:

quote:

Let us work for peaceful evolution toward more just and egalitarian systems

Yes, bro! :0)

Ruphus


All the best,

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 28 2011 2:16:16
 
elgreco

Posts: 247
Joined: Nov. 24 2010
From: San Francisco CA

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Wow,

I wish I can meet you one day. I am sure you have a lot of stories to tell.

D.

_____________________________

Captain Esteban: Caballeros! I believe you all know each other?
Don Diego from San Fernando.
Don Francisco from San Jose.
Don Fernando from San Diego.
Don Jose from San Bernardino.
Luis Obispo from Bakersfield.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 28 2011 4:08:58
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3433
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to elgreco

quote:

ORIGINAL: elgreco

I am sure you have a lot of stories to tell.

D.


...as I quoted the Grateful Dead once before,

"What a long, strange trip it's been..."

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 28 2011 5:17:22
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:


In concern of ancient examples of flat hierarchy and democratic society the Happara culture gives a very interesting example.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard Jernigan
Do you mean "Harappa"? Google doesn't turn up anything on "Happara".


Yes, "Harappa", sorry for misspelling.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard Jernigan
If you do mean "Harappa" I would point out that it is dangerous to draw conclusions about extinct civilizations from the remains of artifacts, buildings and civic works alone. ...
The script of the Harappan civilization has never been deciphered. It seems to me that many ideas of Harappan culture are as much a projection of our own ideas and desires as they are deducible from firm evidence.


What is known is their highly developed skills evident by precise town planing, and the circumstance that all practical artifacts found are tools with the absence of weapons. Also that the storage rooms were all of same size.
Enough indication for prosperity and social community, as it seems to me.

quote:

There have also been ( and still exist ) other rather indigene examples like for instance with some North-American native tribes or populations on pacific islands, but as an urban example might be appearing more related, Happara makes a really valuable informational ressource.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard Jernigan
I wrote "large scale".


Which is why I pointed to Harappa. However, I do not see a practical reason for why all the cultural examples of social being ( including even cultures where aggression is unknown! - C. Lorenz was spreading BS, besides ), democracy and premisses up to the one of unknown private property ( if desirable ) should not be applicable for "large scale", anyway.

quote:


While collecting supports for the idea of the inevtably evil, try to not cut corners on relevant details.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard Jernigan
I didn't say humans were evil. I meant to say that we are as we are, and we ought to take that into account. There is no "solution" to human hierarchy, and the exploitation of the lower members by the upper. What we need to do is to recognize the implications of hierarchy and the potential for exploitation, and to work constantly to keep the potential for abuses in check.


Take my excuse for misunderstanding you. ( It´s probably that I am a bit hyper sensible after seeing the myth of human evil and its destructive / resignative effects all the time.)

Anarchy ( not being what is commonly thought of it ) proclaims that it could be done without hierarchy. The question aside: Hierarchy in athropological sight and vast of animal conditions is first of all related to leadership in regard of balance and decisions. Not at all inevitably in terms of property.
With your last post I realize that you are aware of the difference and considering it.

quote:


What the economic prosperity in the US is concerned it must be taken into consideration that this was no closed economical cycle, but a cockaigne of affluence which just allowed enough crumbs for the undedogs.
Starting with an occupied continent that was recklessly / thoughtlessly ferreted through like no other, going on with free slavery labour and finally with mineral ressources from half the world for close to nada until lately. With the fading of the free ressource stream from abroad after all ringing in the regression of the US household since the early eighties.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard Jernigan
You mistook my intention entirely. I was pointing out that the American electorate appears to be distracted from the seriousness of the present situation by the trappings of "prosperity", and also distracted from the implications of continuing on the present course. We are distracted by quite a few other things as well.


Great remark!
Sorry for having misunderstood again!


quote:

Also, you could consider relativity.
Brezhnev´s car collection could likely be aquired by just a handful of monthly incomes of e.g. a German nobody in parliament, not to mention dimensions of social and pecuniary discrepancy under capitalism. Besides of that I suppose that Brezhnev´s cars were states property that he could not take with him when resigned.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard Jernigan
I, on the other hand, suppose they belonged to him personally, and he took them with him.


Interesting question. It´s for pretty certain that he was not allowed to officially, and I tend to think that he couldn´t either.
Maybe someone here knows?


quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard Jernigan
Humans lie, cheat, steal, rape and murder. Does that make us "evil"? Or are these tendencies that we must work constantly to keep in check? Thinking that we had invented a "solution" to dishonesty, rape and murder would only distract us from the real problem.


If you mean status quo, I am all with you.

If you mean in general however:
I strongly disagree! There still exist cultural examples of no need to constantly keep in check against crime. And if the very most of human evolution hadn´t been highly social, we wouldn´t be around since mios of years in the first place.

When you have to constantly check on crime, it is obviously symptomatic approach instead of causal procedure. Going for causa instead would be meaning to aim for corresponding cultural change.
A culture that provides beforehand what crime intends to compensate for.

quote:

Is such meta really inevitable while pondering on a society of equal rights and cooperation?


quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard Jernigan
Yes.


Only under contemporarily given principles in place.
The common belief that cheating, stealing, raping and murder were just human, will not allow to realize actual human precondition; hence distracts from efficient options to provide a humane and naturally adequate society.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard Jernigan
Where do you get all this "evil" stuff from? The example that I gave of those further back on the supply chain discriminating against those further along is not "evil". The people doing it are fine, friendly, respectable folk like you and me. I knew many of them at Kwajalein. I took them sailing on my boat and had a beer with them afterward. The position they were in just meant they had to be checked up on regularly. The checkout clerks at the store were required to use cash registers not because they were evil, but because experience taught it was the wise thing to do.


I get it from very obvious common sense and its tradition ( and from the two "holy" books that I am aware off ). And the myth of "human nature" comes around live every single day on all continents.
-
Aren´t you saying that the stealing at Kwajalein was a natural ways of otherwise fine people? It sounds to me like that, with the link to culture ( = something temporarily triggered ) missing in the comment.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard Jernigan
Wolves and elephants are both hierarchical and territorial.

A functioning wolf pack is a rigid hierarchy. The alpha male is the absolute monarch. He determines the ranks of the other wolves, which in turn determines things like who gets to eat what and when. The second ranking pack member is always the alpha female. The alpha pair are the only wolves that get to have sex. Any surplus meat produced by the other wolves goes toward raising the alpha pair's offspring. Wolves are warriors in defending their own territory, and cooperate magnificently as predators. Wolves show affection and bonding play across ranks, building pack solidarity. They also show respect and fear to their superiors in rank. Wolves were the first animals we domesticated. I think it was because we understood them so well, and they understood us.

Whales vary tremendously in their behavior patterns. I don't see where whale ethology instructs us on the distribution of property. They have none. Most of them are so big they don't need to actively defend their territories. There was at least one pod of pigmy sperm whales regularly sighted where I lived at Kwajalein and another one or more pods of pilot whales. They might be small enough to worry about competition from dolphins, who travel sometimes in huge pods. But almost nothing is known about the behavior of these smaller cetaceans.

If we alter our focus just a bit to the whales' nearest relatives the dolphins, we find hierarchy, sexual dominance, territoriality, murder, rape, and in the case of the orcas, the top predators of the ocean. An orca was recently observed killing a large great white shark.

I had the wonderful opportunity of observing dolphins close at hand for the 18 1/2 years I lived in the Central Pacific. I went diving and sailing almost every weekend. It was always an immense pleasure for us humans to meet the dolphins. They are tremendously intelligent, sociable and fun-loving. They clearly enjoyed both observing us and performing showoff stunts. After performing spectacular maneuvers and leaps, they would pop up and look us in the eye, as though to say, "What do you think of that?" After meeting the dolphins, everyone always had smiles on their faces. We all knew of the dolphins' darker side, but nobody ever thought they were evil.


All what you said there is beautiful knowledge on zoology.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard JerniganI don't see where whale ethology instructs us on the distribution of property.


They inform each other on food ressources over the distcane of thousands of miles. Quite the difference to our common cultures, it seems; and in line with most social living animals that serve as antagone example to our cultures of short-sightedness and emotional degeneration.

What remains as significant point to remember is that:
The leader of the wolves pack will not be the physically strongest ( potentate ), but the brightest / best learning.
The lowest in the hierarchy is of no lesser value to the rest, with the pack not only respecting his relative food portion regardless of general shortage and defending him to the last bit like for any other member of the pack. And at times you can see the leader watching out especially for the underdog.

Such makes a fundamental difference to current human upper caste and its total disregard of pedestrians and environment.

Further wolves are not really that successful in hunting ( no comparison to e.g. cats ) and often situated in scarce landscapes ( especially in winter ), which has made them genetically prepared / imprinted to jointly raise the leaders offspring, with everyone carrying food and the inferiour females getting pseudo pregnant to eventually provide nuturing to suckling cubs in case of the alpha female getting killed. Specialized social behaviour on their own long-scale benefit ( species preservation ).

quote:

An informative overlook like that will on the other hand be making clear that property and power in our distorted cultures have become desperate means and compensation for something otherwise self-evident. Appreciation and affection.

Something just immediate and essential / directly given under naturally humane circumstances.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard Jernigan
Humans in any culture seem quite capable of affection and appreciation for family, extended family, and even clan.


Huh?
I sense dramatical differences among cultures. With most, from the industrialized ones to certain underdeveloped ones that I am curently experiencing, that display social ice age and ethical and emotional deserting. Even competition and severe envy within families!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard Jernigan
I worked for, and still own part of, a 35-person employee owned company. Due to the influence and constant care of one of the leading individuals, the company functioned like a happy family. We not only got along well, supported one another, and socialized together, we were actually good friends. It was an egalitarian group. Secretaries and the receptionist were treated with the same respect as the company president, or a member of the steering committee like me.

Toward our competitors we were polite, ethical, honest and ruthless. I don't know of another company in the defense business as well admired and respected.


A cousin of mine settled on low hierachy and humane atmosphere with his computer science company in the seventies. Unfortunately however, the strong asocial and capitalist imprint of the employed persistantly showed that they were not prepared to go for everyone´s and their own benefit.
Looks as if commonly there would be needed a cultural precondition away from the standard treatmill and employee´s avoiding behaviour patterns first.

It should be easier with a company in the "defence" business and its disproportional profits through affluent conditions of official deals, but within consumer related metiers and the need to prevail at more humble margins, introduction of social firm atmosphere will certainly be taking more breath and faith.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard Jernigan
Human cultures are tremendously complex. We used to smugly look down on "primitive" societies. Many still do. But when we study these cultures closely, we find the same degree of complexity as in our own.To fully grasp any culture requires growing up in it under the tutelage of loving parents and expert teachers, and further years of adult experience.


Very well said.
Either that, or realizing that the tutelage of loving parents and expert teachers be exactly what is missing in a case in question.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard Jernigan
The cultures that have survived long enough to leave their mark on history have come about through evolution, not by the oversimplified invention of some "system". Attempts to implement invented systems resulted in the most violent century in human history, the one just preceding this one.


If we had been waiting for intellectual contents and insights to come by exclusively through tradition and evolution, we might still be on wooden wheels and dry meat.
Nothing against that, but if we wait for the global status quo to improve by itself, our grand childs will very certainly be left with no habitate to live in.

It is essential to realize that it is five before noon, and that history periods with plenty of time ahead ( and a shouldering environment ) are being defintily over by now.

All reason available and constructive action is desperately needed instantly, if you want anything having to do with humane and natural being available in the near future still.

That is at least undoubtedly what I take from the news.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 28 2011 14:45:50
 
malakka

Posts: 170
Joined: Jan. 14 2009
 

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Today's activity in Greece:

http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2011/06/28/athens-june-28-live-streaming-blogging-in-english/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 28 2011 16:25:35
 
malakka

Posts: 170
Joined: Jan. 14 2009
 

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to Richard Jernigan

A good video on the situation of Greece:

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 28 2011 17:07:26
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3433
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Join The Greek Revolution (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Ruphus--

Just a few quick points.

Harappan

quote:

What is known is their highly developed skills evident by precise town planing, and the circumstance that all practical artifacts found are tools with the absence of weapons.


At the bottom of the page is plate CXXIV from the book M. S. Vats, Excavations at Harappa, Being an account of Archaeological Excavations carried out at Harappa between the Years 1920-21 and 1933-34.

Vats was in charge of excavations at Harappa from the late 1920s to 1936. The bottom row of the picture contains photographs of thirteen bronze spear or arrow points.

Just to illustrate the various cocnlusions that may be drawn from a close study of the material remains of the Harappan civilization, we have this from a long scholarly paper wih the imprimatur of the Department of Anthropology, University College London:

"Although there may have been an ideology of egalitarianism, this would have been very different from modern liberal and socialist principles of individual freedom. This is not a case of "primitive communism" since in the Harappan individuals are merely equal in their subjection to order, as in many theocratic states of history."

http://www.columbia.edu/itc/anthropology/v3922/pdfs/miller.pdf

Of couse, in academic fairness, and to make clear precisely what he is contradicting, the author Daniel Miller cites the diametrically opposing view of Gordon Childe in New light on the most ancient east, Routledge and Keagan Paul, London.

Corporation Structure

In Silicon Valley, the most innovative and productive consumer industrial culture in the USA--and perhaps the world--the flat hierarchy, collegiate model of the corporation is the predominant one This is based on personal observation. When I lived half the time in Palo Alto, the epicenter of Silicon Valley, in the late 1980s, the young engineers called the nearby Lockheed Missiles and Space Company "The Elephants' Graveyard."

Discrimination in favor of an elite

quote:

Aren´t you saying that the stealing at Kwajalein was a natural ways of otherwise fine people? It sounds to me like that, with the link to culture ( = something temporarily triggered ) missing in the comment.

Not at all. What the people at Kwajalein were doing was almost entirely legal within the rules and regulations of their jobs. They weren't stealing. They were acting within their legal authority to allocate supplies. They kept more supplies per person and better quality on Kwajalein rather than shipping them on to us on Roi-Namur. They had considerable motivation to do so. I was the only high status person living on Roi-Namur. All the rest of the elite lived on Kwajalein.

If they ran out of fresh vegetables in the store on Kwajalein, they immediately heard about it from the wife of some high ranking person. So we ran out of vegetables on Roi, or got rotten ones. If we complained, they told us, "Oh, sorry, all the fresh vegetables have already been sent to the store here on Kwajalein. You will just have to eat at the Chow Hall until more come in. There are people down here who have no meal cards for the Kwajalein Chow Hall."

"There are married couples living in trailers here on Roi who have no meal cards."

"Really? I didn't know that."

Then the discussion would shift to the poor quality and limited selection of vegetables in the Roi Chow Hall, compared to the Chow Hall on Kwajalein. "Sorry about the rotten tomatoes," they would tell us. "That's all we had until the plane comes in next week. There were a few good ones in there when we put them on the barge to Roi."

"Okay, let's talk about men's underwear. There's none in the store on Roi. There's plenty in the store on Kwajalein. I went by and looked when I was down there for the Site Manager's weekly staff meeting yesterday. Everybody needs underwear."

"Uhh, sir, what did you say your name was?"

They would recognize it.

"Oh, sorry, Mr. Jernigan. Did they order some?"

"Yes. Two weeks ago."

"There must have been a slip up somewhere. What size do you need? We'll put some on the plane this afternoon."

"We don't need three pair of size 36. We need the order they turned in two weeks ago."

"Let me see what I can do. I'll have to get back to you on this."

And so on...

We almost ran out of beer one time. That would have led to revolutionary violence.

About the only illegal thing the people on Kwajalein ever did was to arbitrarily cancel orders for supplies from Roi. This was easy to put a stop to. Discrimination continued. The supply people on Kwajalein weren't stupid.

Nor were they evil. They were honest, upstanding people doing their best to do a good job. Some of them were my friends. They were responding rationally to the differential distribution of power within the inevitable hierarchy. People higher in the hierarchy had more power by definition: they were entrusted with the direction of more people and resources. And they inevitably had more influence with the bosses of the supply people.

I was two steps from the top of a hierarchy with as many as nine levels--like a one-star general in the Army. So the supply people were always very polite when I called to complain on behalf of the Roi Rats. But everybody knew that far more power resided on Kwjalein. The other half dozen people of my rank, the two people a step above my rank and The Boss all lived "downtown." They all had wives who were not reluctant to speak politely to the manager of retail services--on behalf of their lower ranking friends, of course.

We could not have run a technologically sophisticated complex operation without a hierarchy. Those at the top always recognized the detrimental effects of discrimination, and worked hard against it--with varying degrees of always temporary success.

Villainy (or not) of the present economic elite

I believe your picture of the industrial / financial / political elite is an exaggerated one, at least in the USA. According to my personal experience, and that of family and trusted friends, there are large numbers of thoughtful, caring, responsible people among them. But during my working life, the mutual responsibility of workers and management steadily eroded, politicians became more cynical and financial institutions more predatory. I saw the same symptoms among the hereditary chiefs of the Marshallese culture where I lived in the Central Pacific. These were two quite different hierarchical systems, both corrupted by greed and irresponsibility. I believe that hierarchy is inevitable, and that greed and irresposibility are among its potential defects. We must guard against the defects of hierarchy, not hope in vain that it will disappear.

Dysfunctional families in an egalitarian socialist society

I agree that dysfunctional families are symptoms of a dysfunctional society. But dysfunctional families occur in the near-idyllic egalitarian and socialist village culture of the Yucatecan jungle.

I observed both the idyllic culture and dysfunctional families during a summer of camping and walking through the high jungle in 1961 with two American friends and our Mayan guide and translator. Jorge was about our age, early 20s, and soon became our very good friend. I last visited Jorge in 2003 when I was 65 and he was 67.

I would have said "communist" village culture, but that became a bad word in the 20th century. In the small villages of one or two hundred people in the Yucatan jungle, land and other communal resources were allocated by a benign council of village elders, not a tyrannical oligarchy. Men went to work in communal fields. They had ample leisure, except at the times for clearing land, planting and harvesting.

Why did this egalitarian and collectivist culture work? The members of the governing council saw essentially all the people they governed every day. They were tied by kinship or other obligations to everybody. They received daily feedback on their decisions. They were acutely and immediately aware of the consequences of their actions. They had a fund of tradition to rely upon for guidance.

But most villages had a family or two who presented problems. Their children might be unruly and disruptive. The adults might be seen as slacking on communal agricultural duties. Due to odd behavior and a malign disposition, someone in the family might be suspected of witchcraft. They might have a member or two prone to violence, both within the family and in the village.

In a summer of walking through the high jungle we encountered three families who were so troublesome no village would have them. They lived in family compounds out in the forest. They were palpably unhappy, not as well nourished,. They frequently bore the marks of physical abuse. The only seriously ill chidren we saw were in these isolated families.

About the only thing I saw that the village people lacked was any level of medical care. Many people suffered visibly from malaria. We avoided it because we knew what pills to take, could afford them, and could buy them in the city before we went to the jungle.

I know of no instance of a large scale society with familial bonds of affection and respect among all its members. Even the villages of Yucatan fell into divisive disputes. A group would form, pull up stakes and set up a new village in the plentifully available jungle land that nobody else had a use for.

New house materials all came from the forest. The only tools needed were the machetes possessed by every male above the age of ten. A new palm thatched roof was good for at least twenty years. The posts and beams of the main structure were made of wood that could withstand the humidity and bugs for a century. Extended family groups or the whole new village pitched in to get materials and construct the houses.

Deeper hierarchies imply more risk of abuse

I turned down offers of promotion to more powerful and lucrative jobs more than once. I told people I didn't want to be the boss of people I didn't see at least every couple of days. I wanted my employees to be able to see where they stood just by passing me in the hallway and exchanging greetings, and I wanted to see how they felt in the same way. If I wanted to talk to someone without their boss in the room, I could hang out by the coffee pot as people came in to work and say, "Hey, got a minute? Let's go to my office, I want to ask you about something."

I wanted no more than two levels of managers reporting to me because I wanted to hear from each of them every week, and to compare what they told me with what I saw, heard and felt out walking around.

I wanted to visit every workplace I was responsible for at least once a week, accompanied by my subordinate in charge of it, to commend good work, to offer and receive suggestions.

I wanted anyone who worked for me, or who worked for one of my subordinates to feel confident they would get a hearing any time they wanted to come to my office, close the door and talk.

My employees were at most five levels from the top of a hierarchy that was as much as nine levels deep in places. This was because their work was at the technological and operational cutting edge of the entire Kwajalein operation. Everyone in our group felt they had a position of prestige and importance, from the engineers with PhDs from MIT and Stanford to the one semi-literate mechanical helper who had worked his way up from being a poverty stricken Filipino country boy.

None of my actions were due to any superior talent for leadership or any moral excellence. It was done out of a desire not to cause trouble for myself or others, and to have a reasonably tranquil work environment.

Observing high ranking military officers up close during my childhood and youth made it clear to me that leading larger groups than about 250 people required different talents than I had, and required techniques I had little interest in learning.

The deeper the hierarchy, the greater the risk of dysfunction. Disconnects between the higher-ups and the lower-downs occur more frequently.

Large scale societies are incapable of functioning at all without deep hierarchies.

Evolution of culture

By the "evolution" of culture of course I meant predominantly the rapid innovation characteristic of human societies due to creative thinking. My point was that beyond a certain pace of innovation resistance develops. The imposition of radical innovation commonly leads to violence.

Can we change fast enough?

I too fear that the pace of peaceful change may not meet the requirements for a relatively comfortable adaptation to the current grave situation and negative trends.

In that case the adaptation will be violent. Experience teaches that no one can predict the shape of the surviving culture. Who would have predicted that the fall of secular, educated, organized and practical Rome would lead to the chaotic feudal age of darkness that followed, dominated by local warlords and the Roman Church?

Who would have predicted that the collapse of the Japanese Shogunate, stable and static for centuries, would be brought on by the Westernizing Meiji Restoration of the latter 19th century, followed in rapid succession by the Imperialist militarism of the early 20th century, the total destruction of Japan in WW II by the Allies, and the imposition of a parliamentary government by the Occupation. Many--I among them--believe that the parliamentary government is just a mask that Japan holds up to the outside world, while interlocking groups behind the scenes hold the true power.

My point is that attempts at radical change most often either end up being imposed by violence or else provoke violence in reaction. If peaceful change doesn't respond rapidly enough to current conditions, violence will come soon enough, with unpredictable results.

RNJ



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