Neoliberalism against capitalism?

My regular readers have heard me rail against neoliberalism….I have, in the past, called it nothing more than a conservative ideology trying to hide among progressives…..

Neil Davidson on how the current neo-liberal project has been almost too successful as a ruling class strategy, creating a form of capitalism which endangers the long-term security of capital itself and edges society ever closer to barbarism.

Source: Neoliberalism against capitalism? – Neil Davidson

Neoliberal thought has done more damage to the nation than any other ideology that has been deemed dangerous to our way of life…..

How Rousseau Predicted Trump

I have introduced my granddaughter to the great thinkers….she is not that thrilled right now but I hope she will come to appreciate what they did….

As most of my readers know I do love me some history…..and with these elections I have found some predictions, if you will, about the rise of the cosmopolitan Elite (concept from the Age of Enlightenment)……..

Back in the 18th century during the Age of Enlightenment….there was a philosopher named Jean-Jacques Rousseau….his insights went deep….he wrote about everything …….even the possibly of a Trump-like leader.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was one of the most influential thinkers during the Enlightenment in eighteenth century Europe. His first major philosophical work, A Discourse on the Sciences and Arts, was the winning response to an essay contest conducted by the Academy of Dijon in 1750. In this work, Rousseau argues that the progression of the sciences and arts has caused the corruption of virtue and morality. This discourse won Rousseau fame and recognition, and it laid much of the philosophical groundwork for a second, longer work, The Discourse on the Origin of Inequality. The second discourse did not win the Academy’s prize, but like the first, it was widely read and further solidified Rousseau’s place as a significant intellectual figure. The central claim of the work is that human beings are basically good by nature, but were corrupted by the complex historical events that resulted in present day civil society.Rousseau’s praise of nature is a theme that continues throughout his later works as well, the most significant of which include his comprehensive work on the philosophy of education, the Emile, and his major work on political philosophy, The Social Contract: both published in 1762. These works caused great controversy in France and were immediately banned by Paris authorities. Rousseau fled France and settled in Switzerland, but he continued to find difficulties with authorities and quarrel with friends. The end of Rousseau’s life was marked in large part by his growing paranoia and his continued attempts to justify his life and his work. This is especially evident in his later books, The Confessions, The Reveries of the Solitary Walker, and Rousseau: Judge of Jean-Jacques.

The Enlightenment philosopher’s attack on cosmopolitan élites now seems prophetic.

Source: How Rousseau Predicted Trump – The New Yorker

How interesting that these people…these writers saw more of the future than anyone these days…..we cannot seem to get past the next 140 character Tweet…….but as usual all goes unheeded so we can bitch about it at a later date.

Have a good day my friends…..

Do You Know Your Political DNA?

As I teach classes here and there I am always asking my young students where do they stand politically…..many have no idea….they know Repub, Dem and independent….beyond that they have NO idea that there are many other options….

So I decided when I teach a course I gove them these quizzes as homework and ask that they print out their results and we will discuss them in class….

Source: The Definitive Political Orientation Test | PlayBuzz

Source: Political Spectrum Quiz – Your Political Label

Source: The Political Compass

I know that everyone has an opinion and a party that they think represents their ideals……usually these ideas are formed by the news media they choose to fixate upon…..

But if my readers would like a better idea of their political orientation then maybe it would be fun to try these quizzes for themselves…..

Just a thought.

Speaking Of Libertarians

We all know of Ron Paul and his son Rand and their Libertarian leanings….even some within the GOP have these leanings….but that is all there is ….leanings.

As popular as people think Libertarianism …….they are probably mistaken….there some parts of the political philosophy that they will use to their advantage….but a total Libertarian is a thing from the past…..

I have tried to explain this belief to some of my friends and acquaintances….but have been fairly unsuccessful…..the truth is that I also find some of their policies acceptable….but only a few……mostly in the field of foreign policy.

But how do you explain Libertarians to others that are not so sure of what they are or what they believe?

Good question!  And I think I have an answer for them……

Libertarians have a problem. Their political philosophy all but died out in the mid- to late-20th century, but was revived by billionaires and corporations that found them politically useful. And yet libertarianism retains the qualities that led to its disappearance from the public stage, before its reanimation by people like the Koch brothers: It doesn’t make any sense.

They call themselves “realists” but rely on fanciful theories that have never predicted real-world behavior. They claim that selfishness makes things better for everybody, when history shows exactly the opposite is true. They claim that a mythical “free market” is better at everything than the government is, yet when they really need government protection, they’re the first to clamor for it.

Source: Here are 11 questions you can ask Libertarians to see if they’re hypocrites

These days a libertarian belief is one of convenience…anything to be elected and stay elected….whatever is useful to gain that end…..including Libertarianism.

Speaking of “getting elected” as a Libertarian…….

There’s a guy who’s “having a good day” and emerging with surprising poll numbers against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, but he’s someone FiveThirtyEight says is easy to confuse with “that plumber who fixed your running toilet last month or your spouse’s weird friend from work who keeps calling the landline.” Who? It’s Gary Johnson, the probable Libertarian Party candidate for president, and based on recent numbers, FiveThirtyEight thinks he’s someone to keep an eye on. The ex-New Mexico governor went up against both Clinton and Trump in two May polls, and while Trump and Clinton hovered within 3 points of each other in both polls—Clinton got 38% to Trump’s 35% in a Morning Consult survey released Tuesday, while Trump came out with 42% to Clinton’s 39% in a Fox News poll conducted May 14-17—Johnson walked away with 10% in both matchups. And FiveThirtyEight doesn’t think these polls are necessarily May outliers, citing a Monmouth University poll from March that gave Clinton 42%, Trump 34%, and Johnson 11% in a three-way runoff.

Morning Consult notes that percentage is nearly twice as high as what Johnson got in most 2012 tracking polls when he ran against President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney. And Vox notes that if the experienced Johnson is picked as the Libertarian nominee at his party’s convention in Orlando, Fla., this weekend—along with William Weld, an ex-Massachusetts governor who could become Johnson’s running mate—the Libertarian ticket “could have a real opportunity this November to run a real race against two of the least-liked presidential candidates in recent history.” What FiveThirtyEight also says Johnson has in his favor: history, via other third-party candidates who did fairly well nationally (e.g., George Wallace and Ross Perot). And the Washington Post says the case for a third-party candidate is growing. But FiveThirtyEight also adds Johnson only won 1% of the national vote in 2012 and that he still needs to secure the nomination. (Don’t know Johnson well? USA Today takes you on a “speed date.”)

I am sure that there are some that are pleased with these numbers……but that will quickly disappear on election day.

Neoliberalism Is Destroying Almost Everybody’s Lives

Are you a liberal?  Maybe a conservative?  Probably you are neither but rather what we political scientists call neoliberal.

That is right both of our major parties are basically living under the tenets of neoliberalism…..

The main points of neo-liberalism include:

  • THE RULE OF THE MARKET. Liberating “free” enterprise or private enterprise from any bonds imposed by the government (the state) no matter how much social damage this causes. Greater openness to international trade and investment, as in NAFTA. Reduce wages by de-unionizing workers and eliminating workers’ rights that had been won over many years of struggle. No more price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement for capital, goods and services. To convince us this is good for us, they say “an unregulated market is the best way to increase economic growth, which will ultimately benefit everyone.” It’s like Reagan’s “supply-side” and “trickle-down” economics — but somehow the wealth didn’t trickle down very much.
  • CUTTING PUBLIC EXPENDITURE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES like education and health care. REDUCING THE SAFETY-NET FOR THE POOR, and even maintenance of roads, bridges, water supply — again in the name of reducing government’s role. Of course, they don’t oppose government subsidies and tax benefits for business.
  • DEREGULATION. Reduce government regulation of everything that could diminsh profits, including protecting the environmentand safety on the job.
  • PRIVATIZATION. Sell state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This includes banks, key industries, railroads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water. Although usually done in the name of greater efficiency, which is often needed, privatization has mainly had the effect of concentrating wealth even more in a few hands and making the public pay even more for its needs.
  • ELIMINATING THE CONCEPT OF “THE PUBLIC GOOD” or “COMMUNITY” and replacing it with “individual responsibility.” Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security all by themselves — then blaming them, if they fail, as “lazy.”

Our conservs live and die, at election time, by these tenets……our liberals are not as blatant but they also live by them.

Crisis after crisis is being caused by a failed ideology. But it cannot be stopped without a coherent alternative.

So pervasive has neoliberalism become that we seldom even recognise it as an ideology. We appear to accept the proposition that this utopian, millenarian faith describes a neutral force; a kind of biological law, like Darwin’s theory of evolution. But the philosophy arose as a conscious attempt to reshape human life and shift the locus of power.

Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling, a process that rewards merit and punishes inefficiency. It maintains that “the market” delivers benefits that could never be achieved by planning.

Source: Neoliberalism Is Destroying Almost Everybody’s Lives—How Many People Even Know What It Is? | Alternet

Time for Americans to face up to what is happening in their name….it is not pretty and it is not healthy……time to look for an alternative…..time to put the country back on the track of prosperity.

Is It Time From A Change?

This election, the 2016 election, has brought up many questions….one being…… are the two parties really representing the people of this nation?

And what about all those “independents”?  This is a con job…there are very few independents most can accurately be called centrist….but independent is a lie!  (More to come before the election on this faux issue)

With all the battles going on within the two parties could it be time for a new party to arise from the ashes of 2016?  Especially with the Democratic Party….there is deep division within the ranks….

Despite a decisive victory Tuesday providing further confirmation of her likely nomination, in many respects Hillary Clinton emerges from the New York primary more damaged, her party more divided, than she entered it. What came to be called The Battle of New York has served only to further expose what millions of people in the […]

Source: The (un)Democratic Primary: Why We Need a New Party of the 99% – The Unz Review

With this premise I agree….as a matter of fact I have been saying this since 2010 when the Dems imploded and allowed the GOP to gain control where they should not have control….

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I was thinking that in 1912 TR established the Bull Moose Party and the platform is one that could be useful today……

Teddy Roosevelt and the Progressive Party in 1912  gave Americans “A New Nationalism” and their platform was as follows….

In the social sphere the platform called for

  • A National Health Service to include all existing government medical agencies.
  • Social insurance,  to provide for the elderly, the unemployed, and the disabled.
  • Limited injunctions in strikes.
  • Farm relief.
  • Worker’s compensation for work-related injuries.
  • An inheritance tax.
  • A Constitutional amendment to allow a Federal income tax.

The political reforms proposed included

  • Women’s suffrage.
  • Direct election of Senators.
  • Primary elections  for state and federal nominations.

The platform also urged states to adopt measures for “direct democracy”, including:

  • The recall election (citizens may remove an elected official before the end of his term).
  • The referendum (citizens may decide on a law by popular vote).
  • The initiative (citizens may propose a law by petition and enact it by popular vote).
  • Judicial recall (when a court declares a law unconstitutional, the citizens may override that ruling by popular vote).

Some parts we have settled….others are still not used or employed….we could do better…..

However, the main theme of the platform was an attack on the domination of politics by business interests, which allegedly controlled both established parties. The platform asserted that

To destroy this invisible Government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.

To that end, the platform called for

  • Strict limits and disclosure requirements on political campaign contributions.
  • Registration of lobbyists.
  • Recording and publication of Congressional committee proceedings.

Teddy was shrewd….he was ahead of his time…….sadly we have few that are that shrewd these days…..we have cowards and reformers that best propose reactionary crap as policy.

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I even proposed a new Bull Moose Party here on IST back in 2010…….

The 2010 mid term elections have shown that the American people are ready for some change in the way that governing is done by our representatives…unfortunately we have little choice on who d…

Source: How About A New “Bull Moose Party”? #2 – In Saner Thought

I still believe that the US is primed for a new party….a Bull Moose Party…..a party that is truly of the people and not of Wall Street….Sander supporters must become a Tea Party of the Left. Bernie, run 3rd-Party….and A Bull Moose Party would be a good place to start this thing.

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The political revolution has begun….do you have the ‘nads to continue to the end?

Can you hear me NOW!?

Opinions?

The ten stages of fascism

These days with all the protests and rhetoric and total emotional bullsh*t that is flying around the US…..there are two words that are passed around liberally….socialism and fascism .  Let’s start with the later…….would you know the signs that fascism is making its presence known?

If not then let Naomi Wolf help your understanding…….all 10 of the indicators…….

1. Invoke a Terrifying Internal and External Enemy Create a faceless threat that can be anywhere, anytime and anyone 2. Create a Gulag Install a prison system that exists outside of the rule of

Source: The ten stages of fascism – Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment

The more one looks at the election rhetoric the more a special odor is blowing in the wind…..