College of Political Knowledge
Today is Halloween, so I decided to inject a little “supernatural” into my post….something appropriate for the day…….
The machine is economics………and the ghost is….Marx.
For 3+ years we have been inundated with the visions of Marx…Obama is a Marxist….Dems are closet Marxists…….and as I have always pointed out the people making such accusations have NO idea what Marx was about other than their limited knowledge of some history from the days of the “Red Scare”…….to them, Marx was the founder of communism….which is true….but they do not know that Marx also wrote and economic study called Das Kapital with his friend and colleague, Engels…….
In 1867 the first volume of Das Kapital was published…….of course the whole volume was looked at from the economic theory of the day…..Labor theory…….
To make a long winded dissertation easier to understand….I will simplify some of the points that I think are pertinent……Marx made several predictions about capitalism….first, capitalism would spread worldwide and devour all other forms of economic processes…remember back in the 1860′s capitalism was not the all encompassing economic system….second, that it would bring about a techno revolution and finally, capitalism would eventually devour itself and bring its own demise….
Marx was very astute and his predictions have been spot on…..says the Professor Niall Ferguson, professor of political and financial history and no friend of Marxism, by the way, “Marx’s insights into capitalism can still illuminate…Marx got one thing right. Behind the bubbles and busts of the capitalist system there is a class struggle; and that class struggle is the key to modern politics.”
For Marx, the defining characteristics of capitalism in his own time included “the centralisation of capital”, “the expropriation of the mass of the people by a few usurpers” and “the entanglement of all peoples in the net of the world-market, and with this, the international character of the capitalistic regime”. In other words, says Ferguson, “widening inequality and globalisation”. In Marx’s time looks a lot like our time, right?
Marx also said that capitalism would soon start concentrating wealth in the hands of a few and that the middle class would disappear and with all wealth in the hands of a few poverty increases.
Too bad that modern economists could not be as forward thinking as Marx had been,,,,So no matter the criticism, Marx is still the ghost in the machine….
Sunday….a day of reflection….a day of fables and stories with morals….
I have lots of time on my hands and that gives me way too much time to think about things…..some things more than others…..this time it is the price we pay for our beliefs….
In life there seems to be a price that must be paid….to society or the bank or your in-laws….regardless there is always a price….what made me think of this was an episode on the History Channel when there were “mainstream” scientist that were disputing some of the hypotheses that were made on the show…..
There is a certain code of conduct for scientists and academics…if this code is not adhered to then there are consequences, a price if you will, they could be called before a board or threatened loss of tenure or censured or a loss of funds, etc…….No institution wants to be associated with controversy…and if the threats and actions are not enough to make the person shy away from the subject then the big guns come out…public ridicule and shunned by their peers……and the big one….No Publication of papers.
Let me illustrate this for you in a “hypothetical” scenario…..
Let us say there was this young man who’s grandfather introduced him to the world of political philosophy by giving him a copy of Paine’s “Common Sense”…..the young man did not know what he was given for awhile but them he was introduced to American history and government in grade school and the book took on a whole new meaning for him. Jump ahead to high school, all his interests were centered on history and government to the point that he became a political activists and it was in the day of the battle for civil rights…..he became radicalized he read extensively…Marx, Rousseau, Mill, Burke on and on and then there were the writings of Americans like Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison and Adams…..all this exposure made him hungry for a college degree in political science…
Then war came along and he went to serve in Vietnam and the war made him even more of a radical…the obscenity of war can have that effect on a person……he read to keep his mind active and off the situation around him…Lenin, Proudhon, Bakunin, Che and Giap…..and before long he was out and away from the disgusting thing called war….and he had the GI Bill in hand…
After going through the program he was awarded a BS in PoliSci and went into Grad school for International Relations…after about 4 grueling years a MA…..and he still was not satisfied he felt that he had to get a PhD in political philosophy….he felt like he owed it to his grandfather……still with a little left of the GI Bill off he went………
Many years of study and research he finally had the grades to apply for his PhD…it is now 1976, the Bicentennial…..our hero set off to prove that the Declaration of Independence was actually not written by Jefferson but rather by Thomas Paine…..it was an uphill battle….but after much work he had his research and his thesis in hand…..all that was left was to defend his thesis to a panel……a board……an inquisition…..
Awkward! The board was made up of people that thought the world was created by the Founding Fathers and to accuse one of the most revered people of lying was an unheard of sin…..hours of questions…all answered…the evidence was there and documented….not one was accepted by the board……in short, our hero was denied….and denied again several years later…..no one would publish his paper, no one would acknowledge his work or his work was ridiculed and he decide to take a break…..he became bitter and more radicalized…….but his inquisitors told him that if would pick a more appropriate subject he would be reconsidered…….he stood by his research and his conclusion……can you say outcast?
For the next 30 years or so, our hero worked in lots of blue collar jobs and as a labor activist as well as a politician activist….he work in the Middle East as a researcher for a Spanish newspaper…..still radicalized….still reading…..he found at this point that socialist and Marxist organizations wanted people that thought outside the box….for awhile he had found a home…..he researched, published, and lectured….but his goal was still elusive…..During these years he took up the study of economics and finished up course work from the George Institute of Economics…..but during this time he continued to work at blue collar jobs and writing on politics and economics….but his goal was still elusive…..
But there is a happy ending to his saga…..Then out of the blue he was contacted by a University in Europe that had seen an old copy of his thesis and was interested in talking with him….after much correspondence and meetings…he was awarded a double PhD, political philosophy and political history……he had finally made his dream come true and dedicated all his efforts to his grandfather…..
I guess the moral of this “hypothetical” saga is that there is always a price to pay for your beliefs, but NEVER abandon them for the sake of anything…..our hero paid a huge price for his ideals for 30+ years before someone realized that he knew what he was talking about….
There is always a price to pay if you stand by your ideals……the price is well worth it, in my opinion……
Did our “hypothetical” hero live happily ever after? Happiness is a philosophical question and that is a whole other post……
Several of us have had this nightmare scenario….and there are many ways to handle it…..deny the existence of girlfriend until wife believe she is a figment of her imagination……or hide in the closet until everyone is asleep and then run like HELL…..or fall of the floor a fake a stroke……well, I am sure that you have one that is your choice….but you know I had thought I had heard most of the best ones…..but I was mistaken!
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (AP) — Police say a man’s girlfriend unexpectedly came home just before another woman was due to visit, so he called police to report his new acquaintance as a burglar.
The Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/vfcH8c ) that 24-year-old Kevin Gaylor was cited with a misdemeanor of false reporting to authorities.
Police say Gaylor had invited a woman he met online to come to his home after 3 a.m. Wednesday so they could get better acquainted, but his girlfriend came home first.
Police say that when the other woman arrived, Gaylor called police and falsely reported an intrusion.
Okay…..very clever….but afterwards I bet he had 4 flat tires and a busted windshield……but the real story would be which of the ladies decided to get even first….what are the chances that the guy refused to leave the PD after he was released?
The “Occupy” movement has gone worldwide…..and it seems that we in the blogosphere are the only ones that give it total support….the media sucks at covering it………social networking is the only way that the whole story is getting out….but now that could be hampered by legislation…..
This is an article posted in the site, Addicting Info……….
In what would be a stunning disregard for First Amendment rights, rumors are swirling that the Republican controlled Congress is now considering a new bill that could blackout sites such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and other sites that utilize content generated by users. Phones such as iPhone, Android, AmazonCloud, Pandora, Grooveshark and even your email accounts would be adversely affected.
Some provisions in the bill would make it a “felony to stream unlicensed content — including cover band performances, karaoke videos, video game play-throughs, and more.” Major profit driven corporations are the driving force behind such a bill.
This bill could also effectively silence the ‘Occupy’ movement that has swept the nation by killing information sharing. Most Americans currently get most of their news about ‘Occupy’ through social media. If social media sites were to shut down because of the bill, Americans would be less likely to see ‘Occupy’ footage and would thus be in the dark, forcing us all to rely on corporate owned media sources. This bill is dangerous and would be a major blow to constitutionally protected freedom of speech. This is nothing more than government sponsored censorship and must be stopped.
Please make your voice heard and demand that Congress kill this bill. You can take action here.
Take action! Let those in power know that you will not sit idly by……it is time for all of us “99%” to do our part in support of the movement….whether you march in the streets or write about the happenings by keeping the PD honest and in check….you can make a difference!
The Time is NOW! Get involved!
From time to time I like to let others know the extreme conditions that exist in nthe South, especially in my state of Mississippi……
We hear all the hype about the business opportunities in the New South…..corporations are heading South and the commercials say it is all about the quality if the workers, the work ethic, yada yada…….but it is the business friendly state governments, the low wages, right to work and the tax incentives more than anything….my state has been selling the concept of business friendly to the voters for 30 years and what is really happened in the South?
The official US poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent, an increase of 0.8 percent from 2009 and the third consecutive increase since 2007 when the figure was 12.5 percent. Approximately 46.2 million Americans lived in poverty in 2010, while 49 million were without health insurance. Forty-six of the 50 US states saw an increase in the poverty rate from 2009 to 2010, and median household income fell in all regions.
The South witnessed an increase in both poverty rates and the total number of people in poverty, with a poverty rate of 16.9 percent and 19.1 million people in poverty in 2010, up from 15.7 percent and 17.6 million in 2009. Median household income in the region fell 1.9 percent, from $46,368 to $45,492 annually.
The latest data show that of the 10 states with the highest unemployment rates, 6 are in the South. The manufacturing and construction sectors—hard hit by the economic crisis—have led the drop in employment in the region.
Certain states in the South show particularly disturbing statistics. Mississippi had the highest official poverty rate, at 22.7 percent, followed by Louisiana, the District of Columbia, Georgia, and then two southwestern states, New Mexico and Arizona.
In North Carolina, the state poverty rate rose to 17.5 percent in 2010, a 22 percent increase since 2007, when the recession began. The median household income fell by 12.3 percent during the same time period. The number of Alabamians living in poverty rose from 16.6 percent in 2009 to 17.3 percent in 2010.
The United Way of Central Alabama has seen a 22 percent increase in the number of calls for assistance, its call center having received 27,570 calls since the beginning of the year, an increase of more than 5,000 compared to the same period last year. The most common needs were food, rent, and medical assistance.
In a recent campaign ad the woman, a conservative, states that she will cut taxes, find jobs and protect education with the tax funds…..but where will those education dollars come from while she cuts taxes? The stupidity of the voters just amazes daily……
After all the years of business friendly policies and what does the South have? Bad education, massive poverty, low wages, no benefits, poor health……..and yet the people still fall for the crap every election…and that is the truly sad part….the people screw themselves! People voting against themselves…the height of stupidity!
And GOP policies will make the rest of the country as poor, uneducated and unhealthy as the South…..if that is what you want for this country then by all means vote your butts off….but if it happens….do not whine!
Do you ever feel left out of the election process?
Our political system is for sale! Every election is bought and paid for by special interests. This is NOT a new thing….our system has been bought and sold for decades. We need to get back to “for the people, by the people”……but what can we do to achieve this? I mean even the Supreme Court is siding with the special interests when it ruled that corporations are people too and can give as much as they like to a candidate…..what can we do?
If you are tired of the system known as “auction politics” and want to end the rule of special interests over our politics then check out two cases where people are trying to do something about the problem……
First, there is the Fair Elections Now Act…….
The Fair Elections Now Act (S. 750 and H.R. 1404) was re-introduced in 2011 in the Senate by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and in the House of Representatives by Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.), Walter Jones, Jr. (R-N.C.), and Chellie Pingree (D-Maine). The bill would allow federal candidates to choose to run for office without relying on large contributions, big money bundlers, or donations from lobbyists, and would be freed from the constant fundraising in order to focus on what people in their communities want http://www.fairelectionsnow.org
Looks like a pretty good place to start the take-back of our political system……check out the site and sign the petition if you agree with me…….
There is another attempt to take back our political system….this one was started by MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan and a Washington lobbyists, among other, like me…….the effort is called Get Money Out…..
“No person, corporation or business entity of any type, domestic or foreign, shall be allowed to contribute money, directly or indirectly, to any candidate for Federal office or to contribute money on behalf of or opposed to any type of campaign for Federal office. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, campaign contributions to candidates for Federal office shall not constitute speech of any kind as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution or any amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Congress shall set forth a federal holiday for the purposes of voting for candidates for Federal office.”
This is the effort that I like but please go check out the site and if you agree with us please sign the petition so we can get to serious work……. http://www.getmoneyout.com/
We can make our elections more democratic. If you agree then please help us in our effort to wrestle our politics from the hands of special interests…..we could use your help….but only if you think it is worthy of your assistance……
Can you believe it? The most interesting thing of the week is a tax plan…..sad state of news……
It is the silly season….that is election season…..and there is a wealth of people on the GOP side that want to be the nominee for the party come next November…….and each one of them has some sort of tax plan…..and all are about the same…….. tax cuts……but there are a couple that have plans that stand out…..Romney, the perceived nominee by many pundits, has a plan that has about the same amount of pages as War and Peace and then there is the famous Cain/Koch plan….the 999…..and now the bully of the pulpit, Rick Perry has released his long awaited plan that he will bump on with Cain’s plan.
Perry has a name for his plan….not as catchy as Plan 999….but a name anyway….it is called the “cut, balance and grow” plan……not to be confused with another plan that had a similar name…..this one is a flat tax….if you recall when Forbes ran for president about a century ago (not really but it seems like that long)….it was a bust then and guess what? It is a bust now!
“Cut, Balance and Grow strikes a major blow against the Washington-knows-best mindset. It takes money from spendthrift bureaucrats and returns it to families. It puts fewer job-killing regulations on employers and more restrictions on politicians. It gives more freedom to Americans to control their own destiny. And just as importantly, the Cut, Balance and Grow plan paves the way for the job creation, balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility we need to get America working again,” Perry writes.
The major points are…..It would reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent, eliminate taxes on dividends and many capital gains and essentially cap individual tax rates at 20 percent. Perry argues these tax cuts will spur economic growth by creating a more favorable environment for wealthy individuals and corporations to start or expand their businesses.
LOL…that means Laugh out Loud! Just like all flat taxes it will benefit NO one but the wealthy….no matter the rhetoric….and the poor will get a f*cking that they shall never recovery from anytime soon.
TAX CUTS! Wealthy get all the benefits! The GOP has NO idea what to do about the economy other than throwing more money at the very people that caused the economic meltdown…..maybe we should starting looking for real economists to run the economy since there are very few economists in Congress….I think we could do better than the wimps we have now….
You know if the wealthy kicked in a buck every time the GOP used the term “Tax Cuts” we could be well on our way to solving the deficit.
College of Political Knowledge
Please tell me why we are afraid of Islamic law. Some say that we are not afraid….and then I have to ask why 13 states maybe more have waiting legislation about prohibiting sharia law in US courts? My state of Mississippi is one of those scared people……their bill reads like this…..MISSISSIPPI: House bill 301 was introduced to ban “Mississippi courts from using foreign laws, including sharia law, which is a guide to Islamic religious practice.”
First of all, I have NO one that I have talked to that can tell me just what Sharia law is….other than some vague reference to terrorists and such…….all you quivering Americans this is what the law is all about……
The word sharia means “the path to a watering hole”. It denotes an Islamic way of life that is more than a system of criminal justice. Sharia is a religious code for living, in the same way that the Bible offers a moral system for Christians.
It is adopted by most Muslims to a greater or lesser degree as a matter of personal conscience, but it can also be formally instituted as law by certain states and enforced by the courts. Many Islamic countries have adopted elements of sharia law, governing areas such as inheritance, banking and contract law.
Now what makes these quivering lumps of crap think that it would every be adopted in the good old US? First, it would be unconstitutional and that is the most important reason why all this bovine fecal matter about sharia law is just a smoke screen and a waste of valuable time and resources…..the cowards do this to avoid tackling the real problems of unemployment, state revenues and education……
I hate to be critical (now that is just a lie…I love it!)…..if you are afraid of sharia law then you are a moron! The chances of it every being the rule of the land is about as good as you being struck by lightening on a clear day…….
Let me sum up this post and this notion…..with one of my favorite quotes….”Stupidity is the deliberate cultivation of ignorance”…..and the American people are buying the fertilizer……
Today is Wednesday and my class on international situations…….
Okay class…let’s review…….first Tunisia had an popular uprising…..leader gone. Egypt was next….popular uprising……Mubarak in prison on trial…..and now it is Libya…..popular uprising and bad guy DEAD! Not bad for less than a year of political unrest…..but now we need to ask….Who’s next?
Class, if you have been paying attention then you will recall Yemen….their repressive leader is under pressure to quit and go away….even to the point that a blast put his butt in the hospital….but as of yet….he remains. Then there is Syria…..a popular uprising and a government that has massacred its people and still no interest from the West even though the killing of innocent civilians was a reason for Libyan expedition….and then of course there is the Palestinian/Israeli conflict….but we will pass over that one for no one needs a migraine this early…..
The leaders, the ruling military junta, has an economy based on cronyism….nothing actually works in the economy with the exception of the oil industry….and there is the rub……OIL! The one thing that the West wants and needs……
Junta has got to be watching and worrying about the future after their neighbors of Tunisia and Libya have gone by way of the do-do………to use a classic line….they are as nervous as a hooker in church…..
So class, what do you think will be the next “problem” that the West will get involved in?
Let me inject my thoughts before you answer.
Syria? Not a chance? Why? The country has NOTHING the West wants or needs….so the people will have to suffer until they are victorious or until they are all dead…..there is NO OIL!
My thought is…….wait for it……(drum roll please)….Algeria! But professor, there is no evidence that there is a problem in Algeria.
That is not quite accurate….in the West with the corporate media….there are few reports about Algeria but there are problems that are just beneath the surface…..
Yes, Algeria is more westernized than most of the Middle East….but that is not all that democratic….
A former colony of France and profoundly westernized, Algeria was the first major Arab state to flirt with democracy. The military dictatorship — spiritually bankrupt, economically inept and violently challenged on the streets — that had ruled the nation unchallenged since the mid-1960s, decided in 1989 to try elections. Yet after the triumph of the fundamentalist Islamic Salvation Front in local elections in 1990, the junta canceled the experiment. Civil war followed. In a savage duel between the regime and Islamist guerrillas, entire villages were wiped out.
The Algerian junta held firm in the 1990s partly because the non-Islamist middle and upper classes that detested the regime were repelled by the barbarism of the guerrillas. When jihadists started butchering women and children, the Islamic alternative became too frightful. (Also, the brutality of the government’s forces — the worst of them happily called themselves “les exterminateurs” — inspired abject fear.) If the Tunisian and Egyptian elections bring Islamists to power and the sky doesn’t fall, however, the odds of popular unrest in Algeria will shorten further. (thanx to Stratrisks for some of the content)………..
My thought is by next year, the Algerians will be looking for some civil disobedience of their own…….
Pres. Obama tells us that we need the jobs bill passed….the Repubs tell us that he is out of touch with the mainstream America….or that we Americans want corporations to get all the benefits and Main Street just does not get it….
May I ask? If we listen to Repub leadership, McConnell or Boehner or Cantor, do they not watch TV or read the news or the tweets? Apparently, we Americans are more concerned with the economy that the people we elect…..now I ask, how long will we allow these half baked millionaires continue to talk for us? And how long will conservs continue to follow the lead of people that care NOTHING about their plight?
I know I sound like one of the leftys that the conservs are always going own about, right? But let me help out…..if the jobs bill is so bad then why is it so necessary for states? http://bit.ly/oz5SdK
NBC poll….cut payroll taxes, fund new road construction, extend unemployment benefits, and that it would be paid for by increasing taxes on the wealthy — 63 percent say they favor the bill and 32 percent oppose it.
Other polls show the same results…more respondents want a jobs bill, taxes on the wealthy and so on….in other words…it is the Senate and politicians that are confused….they are so out of touch with the American people that they no longer represent the people…..instead they work for themselves and the special interests that fuels their campaigns….
To answer my own question….they are arrogant little toads that should be removed from the political pond and replaced with someone else….the sooner the better……but if you want a plain and simple answer to the question….then George Carlin has it………http://t.co/hU8s0mWE
And listen to John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero”…….YOU ARE NOT IMPORTANT ENOUGH FOR THEM TO CARE!