People don’t understand Wall Street. Somehow they think they can single out a business or two or three that is publicly traded when the same oligarchs control and manipulate stocks of every major business with as little as eight percent ownership. The rest are small potatoes that have little or no impact on the bottom line…
Like any complicated explanation of any idea, event or even people, one must read all of a book, see all of the movie and all of the television show. As Gustave Le Bon explains, “The great events which shape the destinies of peoples— revolutions, for example, and the outbreak of religious beliefs— are sometimes so difficult to explain that one must limit oneself to a mere statement.” While seemingly contradictory, this is a great insight to what humanity reduces complications to mere feelings or one could say encoded in our DNA.
Le Bon writing before the modern age notes “So long as psychology regards beliefs as voluntary and rational they will remain inexplicable. Having proved that they are usually irrational and always involuntary, I was able to propound the solution of this important problem; how it was that beliefs which no reason could justify were admitted without difficulty by the most enlightened spirits of all ages.”
Further explaining the seemingly unexplainable, Gustave Le Bon expounds his thesis, “I arrived at the conclusion that beside the rational logic which conditions thought, and was formerly regarded as our sole guide, there exist very different forms of logic: affective logic, collective logic, and mystic logic, which usually overrule the reason and engender the generative impulses of our conduct.”
Revolutions, usually meant the overthrow of a “ancient regime” by violence, can also be done with mere thoughts, even if eventually finished with violence. And so Le Bon concludes that “The historians who have judged the events of the French Revolution in the name of rational logic could not comprehend them, since this form of logic did not dictate them.”
“A revolution cannot be effected without the assistance or at least the neutrality of the army, but it often happens that the movement commences without it.”
Reading this book can help understand what shapes the changes needed for societies to advance, to become more responsive to what everyone knows must happen but are resisted by forces that are by nature irrational.
“The Psychology of Revolution” by Gustave Le Bon
Over the years, we have heard from politicians, academics and media pundits telling us all about the differences between economic systems. While certainly it’s somewhat different paths to follow but what always matters is how economics affects and its effects on common folk.
History tells us that royals morphed the ability to exchange products to money by setting prices and the ability to trade within the state from closed to even state sanctioned monopolies. The merchant class rose by cornering the markets and becoming the middle men between producers and consumers by means of distribution as populations increased. Merchants eventually became powerful enough by paying “taxes” to the royal state and in some cases financing small armies to further their agendas. As long as royals benefitted from this system without having to “dirty” their proverbial hands this system went on for centuries.
In turn, money became the mediating factor between consumers and producers. Its value was determined in large part by being portable enough to represent a bushel of grain for example in exchange for a coin. Labor was devalued since individual worth depended on the ability to produce profits. Eventually, the monetary system morphed into paper backed by some metal or some value such as land or even people, better known as the corporation.
Modern times has seen a further development where money became merely paper or contracts backed solely by “trust.” Fiat currency expanded the money supply so that inflation was built into the system and thus labor became less “worthy” than the ability to hold paper representing the profit of those who held the contract.
Each laborer became a cog in the machine of the corporate state which was guaranteed profits from that labor. In turn labor was expected to consume products which enhanced those holding the paper power.
The politicians, academics and media pundits sold this latest morphed fiat system as capitalism. Eventually a system known as communism was touted as the antithesis to capitalism in which labor was supposedly guaranteed an “equal” or adequate share.
All this was essentially a big lie. Labor and common folk were then required to line up behind one system or another, like religion, depending on where one was born and where one died. These two systems were designed to create animosity between states so that the elites could carry on their long tradition of devaluing labor that produced all the “profits.” And that is where we are today.
FWIW department- I was born in 1949 and raised in Virginia so I can tell you that racism is truly “inbred.” My parents were racists, although they were nicer than most towards blacks. It must have been late 50s and early 60s when I saw the Freedom Marchers on TV being gassed, bit by dogs and generally treated like dirt all because they wanted to vote, to exercise their rights as citizens and generally get decent jobs and so on. In my childhood naivety I couldn’t understand how people could treat other folks so badly because of the color of their skin. When I studied Martin Luther King and all he wanted, I could see that America was truly a crazy place. In my own childish way I sat on the back of the bus with the blacks or even gave up my seat so a black could sit. I would intentionally drink out of designated black water fountains and sit at the black only lunch counters. The waitress would say “you can’t sit here it’s for blacks only” and I would reply “But I’m white.” By the time I started demonstrating against Vietnam in 1969, my dad said to me “Why are you demonstrating with all those niggers?” I told him “We are all niggers, cannon fodder for rich peoples’ wars.”
“…we have lived through the barbarities of the Bush régime, which seemed determined to take America, and the world, a long way back, and in the process to undermine the values both of the Enlightenment and of their own founding fathers. On the other, we face an increasing threat of terrorist violence by Islamic fundamentalists, who seem determined to take the world even further back, overthrowing not merely the values of the West but also those of their own much earlier version of the Enlightenment.”
“Voltaire: A Life” by Ian Davidson
I recommend reading any number of books by Strobe Talbot who was a sycophant of Bill Clinton to get an understanding of the behind the scenes of the end of Soviet Russia. I’m not saying Talbot was entirely honest but if you are able to read in between the lines, you’ll get a better picture of Russia today and how the extreme right took over their government. Also read as much as you can about Averill Harriman and how he arranged loans to the Soviets- my take on all this is that the USA i.e. Capitalists needed a boogey man to contrast the “freedom” of the west financial markets. Of course all this was eventually replaced by the “Islamic threat.” These dichotomies are needed to contrast the “good guys” and the “bad guys” for any number of reasons. Also there is an obscure book- “The Rise of the Extreme Right in Russia- Black Hundred” by Walter Laqueur- published in 1993- that tells and predicts the Russia of today and gives an insight in why the right wing loves Russia so much today…
Also understand that the neoliberal demonization of Russia is a dog and pony show of the worse sort- that Clintonistas love the extreme right wing of Russia as much as the GOP does. To think any different shows an ignorance of the background of Putin and his oligarchs.
“A war that killed upwards of four million people, 35,000 of them Americans, is remembered mainly as an odd conflict sandwiched between the good war (World War II) and the bad war (Vietnam).”
“At the height of McCarthyism in the early 1950s, he directed his indefatigable curiosity to the origins and conduct of the war, at a time when our liberal newspaper of record, the New York Times, was suggesting that war protesters should be jailed— a time when the McCarran Internal Security Act, passed by Congress in September 1950, authorized detention camps for dissenters. Stone shopped the book to dozens of publishers, all of whom saw it as too much of a “hot potato,” until finally Monthly Review Press agreed to bring it out.”
Bruce Cumings, Preface “The Hidden History of the Korean War: 1950-1951 (Forbidden Bookshelf)” by I. F. Stone,
“According to a myth recorded by Juan de Betanzos, Viracocha rose from Lake Titicaca (or sometimes the cave of Paqariq Tampu (also spelled Paqariqtampu, Pacarictambo and Pacaric Tambo) near Cusco during the time of darkness to bring forth light. (22) This of course was after he is alleged to have created the universe and earth. He made the sun, moon, and the stars, or possible these entities became visible once light had been created. Then he made mankind by breathing into stones, but his first creation were brainless giants that displeased him. So he destroyed it with a flood and made a new, better one from smaller stones, or some sources say from clay. (23) In some accounts it was these brainless giants that assembled the megalithic site known on the high altiplano as Tiwanaku and Puma Punku.”
“Plumed Serpent: Ancient Bearded Gods Of The Americas” by Brien Foerster
I don’t know how long it will take for Net Neutrality to be fully eradicated. I suspect lawyers, accountants, programmers and corporate executives have already determined how this will come down.
Logic dictates to me that if I do not have full access to the Internet, if I am censored, if I have to wait like in the dial up days of old or any other number of things, including price, to enjoy open access to the Internet, what would be the point in paying more for a service that eliminates the freedoms I have today?
I don’t make any money at all from what opinions and posts that I share in various social forums. I do it probably more from a social familiarity than any other reason. I do it to learn from others and impart some of my experiences on others whether they want it or not.
So the bottom line for me is that if it becomes too tedious, too time consuming, too full of regressive drivel, the corporate state can take the Internet and shove it up their collective asses. Revolutions in the past did not depend on corporate mediums to get started and I suspect we won’t need them in the future…
Under the guise of adhering to “Christian” principles, regressives have over the years attempted and have partially succeeded in eliminating much of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Much has been written by folks much smarter and wiser than I that has proved beyond a shadow of doubt that elites and their cheerleaders don’t want anyone to succeed unless “approved” by them. Regressives by nature live by an ideology and dogma that people don’t deserve anything except what they can take from others by force- the “original sin” of simply being born.
The rank and file cheerleaders of Ayn Rand’s libertarian ideology and dogma, Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats, believe that anyone can rise from the ashes of poverty and become rich and richer from some sort of innate ability to exploit the earth’s resources and their fellow man. Draconian measures are implemented on those who don’t succeed in this race to the top.
Ignoring the simple fact that by definition not everyone has the skill and knowledge, enforced by education, nepotism, cronyism and class, to become the capitalists of tomorrow. Christian ideology has morphed into a system of rewards and punishments based primarily on the Jewish Old Testament, yet ignoring the four disciples of Jesus’ teachings in the New Testament. Feed the hungry? Help others to function in a monopolistic monetary system? Equality and love for all of mankind? All these are the basic principles of Jesus’ teachings, yet are as foreign to the same rights advocated in the Constitution of the United States.
So then by sheer logistics, it is impossible that the rank and file of any country are able to overcome poverty to become rich or achieve livable wages when the making of money itself has finite principles. Keeping wages low, the educational system is only favorable to those who can afford to pay the costs. The small percentages of lower class people who do make into higher education are saddled with enormous debts that can never be paid in a lifetime.
Essentially, the vast majority are sentenced without cause to lives of poverty and all the ills associated with being on the bottom of the totem pole.