Volatility

January 10, 2012

Raw Milk, Decriminalization/Legalization, Public/Private, Property

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After a year’s journey through the New Jersey legislative process including a 71 to 6 passage in the Assembly last spring, the raw milk partial decriminalization bill was allowed to die on the vine at the end of the Senate’s session this week. Big Dairy was putting pressure on key senators throughout the process. It looks like their failsafe all along was to prevent a Senate vote, and that they succeeded in this. Now the process needs to start all over again.
 
I doubt I need to tell the readers of this blog how this is a perfect example of the futility of “working within the system” and expecting “reform”. If I were still inclined to let myself get angry about stuff like this, I’d want to use a copy of the senate register to crack the skull of the next person I see lecturing us about “voting” and “getting the law changed”. It’s long been impossible to be aware of current events and not see how this is a kleptocracy where the only system action will be to further gut what’s left of society and further entrench organized crime. Just look at the work of the NJ senate here as a typical example, and you’ll see how there were plenty of bills passed, all of them worthless, most of them destructive.
 
Sure enough, there was plenty of time for votes on gutting water protections, urban school privatization, and extending legalized gambling. With “privatization” and “legalization” we see two typical elements of corporatism.
 
I wouldn’t mind seeing gambling decriminalized, but I don’t want it legalized as a state-sanctioned numbers racket or betting parlor. In this form gambling is a far worse scourge on the community than if it were merely neutral from the point of view of the law. Worst is how the ubiquity of gambling propaganda helps entrench the something-for-nothing desperation of the culture. Legalized gambling is the biggest part of what the finance sector does. Derivatives, securitization, credit default swaps, currency and commodity speculation are all such back-alley bets enshrined as state-enforced and media-exalted “contracts”. A sincere and non-cowardly reformist would demand nothing less than one big bucket law to de-legalize these, outlaw them in the technical sense of placing them outside the law. Without government thug backing for these phony contracts, the finance tyranny would collapse immediately. That’s just one way in which the banksters would cease to exist without massive government interference in the market.
 
The fact is that you can’t legalize unnatural things according to some ivory tower ideal and then expect their artificial reality to conform to the fictive notion. I’ve written before about how property is a good example of this legalization scam. True believers in property rights like Hernando de Soto expect the state to enshrine and enforce this fiction, and are then dismayed to see the concept and practice deployed in typical Might Makes Right fashion. But it should be obvious that property, just like representation, law, and rights themselves where these are developed, elaborated, administered, and enforced by a centralized system dominated by obscenely concentrated wealth, will exist in all these ways only as a weapon on behalf of the 1%. It cannot exist otherwise. If something doesn’t exist in nature, and is fabricated by an aggressive interest system, then it will never exist other than as the weapon of that interest. Nothing outside nature “is”. Everything is always on a vector. To expect these fictive legalizations to exist on anything but a class war vector is delusional.
 
Meanwhile, if the 99% abolishes the system as such, all these vectors disappear, as well as the fraudulent rationales for the fictions.
 
That’s a good example of how the decriminalization vs. legalization distinction is usually intertwined with the scam distinction of “public vs. private”. In a corporatist system (and all large structures inherently tend toward corporatism), there is no such distinction in substance. Government and private rackets comprise one whole, with the former serving as thug and bagman to the latter. The ornamental fictions “public” and “private” are merely a typical pretext for empty divisive propaganda, to artificially divide people into corporate tribes and set them against one another.
 
Meanwhile “privatize” doesn’t mean what the English language might cause you to think. It doesn’t mean the private sector takes on the costs, risks, responsibilities, and rewards. No, the risks and responsibilities remain with the taxpayer. The costs are covered by corporate welfare. The only thing that changes is that a private corporation now gets to steal directly from the government system, while this incorrigibly criminal system becomes even more corrupt.
 
To take the example of the schools, you either maintain the system schools or you don’t, but the alleged public-private distinction is a scam. I want community schooling and support home schooling. I’d like to see the abolition of the system schools. But the worst of all worlds is to maintain the system schools but “privatize” them. This maintains and aggravates everything that’s bad about them, while adding new racketeering pathologies and cons. (I saw that the Republican thug Santorum was involved in a typically sordid “charter school” rip-off. As usual, none of these thieves is going to prison, because such crimes are the proper use of privatization, not at all an “abuse” the way liberals would claim.)
 
 
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33 Comments

  1. Nice post, Russ. Glad to see something new from you and hope the New Year is being kind to you :-)

    Comment by DualPersonality — January 10, 2012 @ 10:49 am

    • Thanks DP, and the same to you!

      Comment by Russ — January 10, 2012 @ 11:50 am

  2. Hi Russ,

    Indeed, to work within the system is to be co-opted by the system. Other methods will likely be necessary.
    And the system knows this which is why we now have the NDAA. In the meantime you find this of interest.

    http://www.darkgovernment.com/news/monsanto-now-owns-blackwater-xe/

    Comment by eldorado62 — January 10, 2012 @ 11:07 am

    • Thanks eldorado. Here’s my own post on that.

      http://attempter.wordpress.com/2010/09/22/the-vilent-corporate-state-monsanto-and-blackwater-perfect-together/

      Comment by Russ — January 10, 2012 @ 11:43 am

    • Jesus christ, I missed that. That’s really something else.

      Comment by paper mac — January 11, 2012 @ 1:36 am

    • OMG! but once you knew corporations were persons, and persons are permitted to own arms (in spite of individuals being henpecked into giving them up), it was only a matter of time before corporations would have their own standing armies with all the military accutrements on the map. Next we’ll sell the billionaires similarly equipped. When the public gets more informed about the oppression that is scheduled to take place.

      Comment by LeeAnne — January 19, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

      • correction: next we’ll see … And, furthermore, a German company is leaving Europe to do GMO research to relocate to the US south because Europe doen’t want any more GMO frankenfood. We’re just a little country tacked to the tail of China. Soon unemployment will be down further when unemployment ends for everyone, people starving and ready to work as competitors to off shore slaves. Never mind Apple hanging on to $80,000,000,000 on the backs of underemployed underpaid American consumers hungry to be-in-touch and required to do so as a matter of fact for any hope of social, family or employment contact. China’s slave labor production makes it all possible.

        Thank you for your elequence Russ. I haven’t been around in awhile -embarrassed by most last comments. I apologize to you.

        Comment by LeeAnne — January 19, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

      • freudian slip? ‘-embarrassed by most last comments. I apologize to you.

        I meant to say: ‘embaarrassed by my last comments.’ Oy! for a proof reader.

        Comment by LeeAnne — January 19, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

      • Nice to have you back, LeeAnne. I don’t recall which comments you’re apologizing, but I’m sure none is needed.

        We’ll see if we can turn the GMO tide here in Sodom as well. It’s certainly a war of extermination, a war that has to be won.

        Comment by Russ — January 19, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

  3. Russ: “I doubt I need to tell the readers of this blog how this is a perfect example of the futility of “working within the system” and expecting “reform”.”

    Aww c’mon Russ,

    We just have a kleptocracy with a few minor problems such as Monsanto’s Round-up and GMO crops, fracking and the Halliburton Loophole that allows toxic chemicals to be dumped into the drinking water, trillion dollar bank bailouts for the rich in the midst of extreme inequality, class warfare of the 1 percent against everyone else, endless privatized war for profit, US soldiers sent off to destroy impoverished countries, while at the same time the US soldiers themselves are nothing more than guinea pigs for experiments by Big Pharma, trained to kill, then dumped back into society with no help in dealing with PTSD, the effects of depleted uranium, experimental vaccines, etc etc

    But it’s nothing to worry about. Remember Yves and NC?

    The system is basically sound, all it needs is some minor reform.

    Clearly all we need is Elizabeth Warren as head of the CFPB and our problems will be solved!!

    Comment by Frank Lavarre — January 11, 2012 @ 11:38 am

    • Perhaps I should have put a snark sign above.

      Anyway, a belated Happy New Year to you and your readers!

      Comment by Frank Lavarre — January 12, 2012 @ 5:49 am

    • Thanks Frank, no snark needed. :)

      (Except for Warren, of course. She’s great! Drug War Forever and the 99% need first and foremost to Obey The Law. What’s not to like?)

      Comment by Russ — January 12, 2012 @ 7:08 am

      • Reformism can work, but only from outside the system through shunning it with proactive election boycotts.
        The key is to maintain benefits already earned by the people that have been won through hard fought honorable political battles (elimination of slavery, woman’s voting rights, social security, etc.) and at the same time to reclaim the wealth stolen by the corruptions of the <1% elite immoral pigs. This will require a constitutional rewrite, in tandem with the proactive election boycotts, that will reclaim and revise the main culprits; the electoral process, control of media, banking, and the corporate structure. In that rewrite process, open to all citizens equally and voted on democratically, limits will be put on total yearly earned wealth and total assets owned. I know you are against private property Russ, but the concept has too much political capital, emotionally and in reality, and you need a broad coalition here. We humans are territorial animals and transitions can not be made to abruptly. The key is to set the amount of private property that can be owned under the total assets owned limits? One acre, two, five? There is plenty for everyone, especially if you reclaim and break up those 20,000 acre plus ranches owned by the piggy immoral take to much elite that exist all over the country and chop up the Trump towers and other like entities. We have speed limits, we now need greed limits. Proactive election boycotts will serve as a 'Vote of no confidence' in this crooked government. As the movement grows, and the Constitution is rewritten, the government will fall through lack of legitimacy. I have long said that Voters are the problem. They immorally validate and legitimize the killing in foreign lands and the gross oppression of THEMSELVES that is now taking place domestically.

        I got the boot (banned) from comments at NC for calling Matt Stoller, and his bogus system tool idol, Alan Grayson, murderers for giving credibility and validation to the gangster system by constantly calling for reform from within the system. (Don't get me wrong here, NC is still a valuable site/asset for the great job it does in taking folks through the forest of jargonized voodoo economics bullshit!) [Elimination of that crap will be high on the list in the Constitutional rewrite, get your thoughts together now.] But the complicity of willfully and willingly promoting and voting in a known crooked system — owned and controlled by central bankers and corporate pigs — is indeed an immoral act of murder, especially when one has more influence on others like Stoller and Grayson. There is no longer any plausible deniability here. When you vote you can not complain! This meme should be promoted heavily.

        “The next time they give you all that civic bullshit about voting, keep in mind that Hitler was elected in a full, free democratic election” George Carlin.

        Shun and shame to reclaim! To empower yourself! Redirect your energies to proactive election boycotts and the Constitutional revision that will contain the language that will yield direct democracy for; control of media, control of banking, control of corporations, etc. We are the 99%. We can and will prevail!

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

        Comment by i on the ball patriot — January 14, 2012 @ 9:12 am

      • Obviously I don’t agree on the reformism, but I agree completely on the futility and perniciousness of voting in any federal election and in most state ones. (Sometimes a ballot question is worthwhile.) Ever since as almost still a child I first heard the saying about voting and complaining, it struck me as exactly backwards – obviously it’s those who do keep voting for the same criminal scum, and implicitly for their system, who are voting for, endorsing, and legitimizing the status quo and have no right to complain.

        But we disagree on the philosophical and structural fraudulence of “representation” as such, and therefore of elections as such.

        So you got banned at NC? I didn’t know Grayson was even still around. Is he going to try again? Usually after losing these guys just take the corporatist sinecure they have waiting for them.

        Comment by Russ — January 14, 2012 @ 9:42 am

      • I got the boot a few months before you stopped commenting there. I don’t follow Grayson, but still visit NC. Stoller is posted there occasionally and proudly credentializes himself by association with Grayson. Yuk!

        “But we disagree on the philosophical and structural fraudulence of “representation” as such, and therefore of elections as such.”

        How do we differ? I favor direct democracy with local control, quarterly elections, and a tightly controlled federation, to administer only; locally determined necessary inter/infra structures and any foreign policy/military required. And could we not all hash that out and determine that through direct democracy in tandem with election boycotts? Without some sort of direct democratically arrived at umbrella alliance that celebrates our common human rights and balances the needs of the individual with the needs of the group we will only create more and more corporate type self centered piggish alliances. The goal should be variety in unity. The variety will not work without the unity. We have that variety now with the self serving corporate structures that have hijacked the unity through corruption of the umbrella alliance.

        We can not deny our cannibalistic human nature. It is our alliances that create the morality that allows us to rise above that cannibalistic human nature and also allows the variety in unity to take place so that each and every individual can achieve their maximum growth potential. We must reclaim that soiled morality and fashion a stronger more transparent morality. Yes, you can go off and build a self sustaining community of prudent individuals, but without some sort of a federated umbrella alliance you will be prey to those unregulated cannibals who will slant drill your land, frack your earthly foundations, poison your water, or even build a nuclear plant adjacent to your community. Said another way; it is folly to build anew on such a tilted playing field. And, just as you can not deny our cannibalistic human nature you can not deny the oneness of us all and the interdependence that that oneness DEMANDS we all address. Our oneness is a beast and a blessing. We kill the beast by accepting the blessing — the intellect to rise above the beast and create a morality that tames the beast.

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

        Comment by i on the ball patriot — January 14, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

      • The “cannibalistic nature” is a fraud propagated by the system, for example hack intellectuals like Steven Pinker

        http://attempter.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/corporate-tribalism-part-2-steven-pinker-and-sublimated-violence/

        and hack liberals like Digby

        http://stopmebeforeivoteagain.org/2012/01/cognitive_dissonance_today.html#comment-1193961

        But it’s directly contradicted by the evidence of anthropology and the everyday evidence of the very functioning of society. (Under such adverse conditions, how could people cooperate at all on anything if cooperation weren’t our indelible nature, which is just temporarily being obscured by this criminal system?) It’s simply one of those things people “know” which ain’t so. Capitalism and government, for obvious reasons, like it that way.

        Ironically, it’s a prime example of the deceptions you always emphasize. But you’ve fallen for this one.

        As for where we differ on elections and such, maybe I’m misunderstanding what you advocate. I’m recalling your earlier advocacy of a large State, which will have somehow been reformed. And you’re still calling for reformism here. But to achieve council democracy and true confederation would constitute a revolution. The State would no longer exist.

        Building the new within the old can only be done to an extent. Obviously democratic communities cannot coexist with corporatism and the centralized State for long. Kleptocracy has to either collapse or be destroyed or most likely a combination of the two. The point of today’s movement-building is:

        1. To live as freely and democratically as possible, each and every day.

        2. During the empire’s twilight, to provide the base for undermining and resistance, as much as possible.

        3. To prepare to enter the void of collapse, and/or deliver the death blow.

        Comment by Russ — January 14, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

      • “But it’s directly contradicted by the evidence of anthropology and the everyday evidence of the very functioning of society. (Under such adverse conditions, how could people cooperate at all on anything if cooperation weren’t our indelible nature, which is just temporarily being obscured by this criminal system?) It’s simply one of those things people “know” which ain’t so. Capitalism and government, for obvious reasons, like it that way.”

        The evidence of all anthropology supports the cannibalistic nature of ALL organisms, including humans. Cooperation is not in our indelible nature. Our indelible nature is first to get our needs met — to survive. Cooperation is a coping strategy of survival where two or more cannibals form an alliance to become a bigger and better cannibal so as to get needs met. The cooperation is expressed in a code of conduct for the alliance. The code of conduct, the morality of the alliance, always has an US and THEM structure. Those who benefit and those who get cannibalized. The problem in America, and in most all western nation states, is that the corporate structure has selfishly forsaken the umbrella alliance of the Constitution and no longer honors the “we the people” structure. They have replaced it with the “We the stockholders” structure. They are traitors to the American alliance. Especially when they produce products that do not advantage the American citizens. This is an internal failure of the alliance. That is why citizen control of corporations, with control proportional to corporate size, must be written into the new Constitution.

        Throughout evolution there is much evidence that alliances fail from without and fail from within. The American alliance still has much internal cohesion — cooperation — because the corporations and the central banks also control the media that shape the culture making citizens like dysfunctional children that love their abusive parents and do not realize how badly they are being abused. That is why I place reclaiming and revising media high on the list of priorities.

        No, I have not always advocated a “large state”, but rather a central state, size as needed, to administer only, locally determined necessary inter/infra structures and any foreign policy/military required. I may not have always articulated this with precision. It is only lately, as I look at human structures through the lens of alliances, that I see more clearly what is going on. What is needed is a control reversal of what we have now. The ‘revolution’ will be the working outside the system to reclaim and revise it as mentioned above. Many corporations, those deemed unnecessary, will be dismantled, those that remain, where scale is required to complete a project, will be subject to local control through direct democracy. The central organization, subject to local control, will remain as needed. Local control will be stronger than regional control, regional control will be stronger than central control. There will be some odd number of ‘Presidents’ in the central administration who will in reality be Council Administrators subject to the local councils.

        I envision the point of today’s movement-building as transitioning through greater understanding — exposing the propaganda — and providing a means for peaceful change — proactive election boycotts in tandem with rewriting the outdated Constitution. When the student is ready the master will appear.

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

        Comment by i on the ball patriot — January 14, 2012 @ 8:03 pm

      • The basic contradiction in your views is that you think everyone’s a sociopath by nature, yet you also think large structures and power concentrations can exist but in a reformed form. But how could sociopaths ever do this?

        Compare the American Revolution, whose philosophy claimed that people were basically good and cooperative but that power corrupts, and therefore the citizenry must be vigilant against any power concentration, and these concentrations must be kept to a minimum necessary. This is wrong (hierarchy is never necessary), but at least it’s coherent.

        But if the citizens themselves are “cannibals”, then how could they possibly police the even more malevolent concentrations they set up?

        I’m clear that we need a clean sweep of these unnecessary and destructive structures.

        Nor do I understand what projects require centralized hierarchy and will be possible post-fossil fuels. Pyramids? Ozymandias statues?

        Comment by Russ — January 15, 2012 @ 5:09 am

      • Russ said; “The basic contradiction in your views is that you think everyone’s a sociopath by nature, yet you also think large structures and power concentrations can exist but in a reformed form. But how could sociopaths ever do this?

        Compare the American Revolution, whose philosophy claimed that people were basically good and cooperative but that power corrupts, and therefore the citizenry must be vigilant against any power concentration, and these concentrations must be kept to a minimum necessary. This is wrong (hierarchy is never necessary), but at least it’s coherent.”

        No contradictions Russ… We are not all sociopaths by nature, rather we are burdened at birth with the task of survival that requires cannibalizing other organisms for sustenance. How one goes about it, in order to be successful and survive, is by forming cooperative alliances that make bigger and stronger cannibals. In a world of such alliances you must join one to survive. If you do not you are subject to being victimized by them, by the ‘hierarchy’ of these alliances — the strongest will ultimately come and steal your lunch. This is a damned if you do or damned if you don’t proposition imposed at birth. It is also why being prudent and going back to the land and sustainability is impossible without at the same time eliminating those threatening central bank and corporate structures that will frack you as mentioned above.

        Yes, people have the potential to be “basically good”, but power does not corrupt, people corrupt, and ALL people have the potential to be corrupt. That wrong premise of goodness is the reason that the American form of government has failed the many (Marxism suffers the same premise problem). When you think that all people are basically good you tend to forsake vigilance and over time that slacking in vigilance destroys you. Recognizing our true cannibalistic nature will make us far more vigilant, demand greater transparency, involvement, and swift and strong accountability. Centralized administration is not a hierarchical structure. Centralized administration, that recognizes the value of each individual in the alliance, and is responsive to the needs of each individual in the alliance is a necessary LINEAR structure. It is only hierarchical when it is corrupted.

        Russ said; “But if the citizens themselves are “cannibals”, then how could they possibly police the even more malevolent concentrations they set up?”

        It is not a question of how, how is a matter of devising a fail safe checks and balance system, it is rather why would they police these systems? They would do so in their own self interest to insure their own survival and they would not perceive them as “malevolent”.

        Russ said; “I’m clear that we need a clean sweep of these unnecessary and destructive structures.

        Nor do I understand what projects require centralized hierarchy and will be possible post-fossil fuels. Pyramids? Ozymandias statues?”

        There are countless threats to humanity that require the concentrated attention — the cooperative linear administration, not “hierarchy” — of the many by the many. Creating sustainable energy is one, proactive election boycotts, and rewriting the Constitution so as to reclaim and revise government are also high on the list.

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

        Comment by i on the ball patriot — January 15, 2012 @ 8:22 am

      • Constitutional rewriting? Control of banking and corporations? I’ve gone way beyond what I said when I wrote about that stuff two years ago.

        When I look back and see how I could still temporize on whether the Demand is Total Abolition of Corporations, as opposed to merely rolling back the clock on “personhood” and “rights”, I’m repulsed.

        Corporatism is pure evil, and corporations themselves are abominations. If I were religiously inclined I’d call them satanic, in the precise sense of demonic things taking human form.

        That a corporation is anything but an obscurantist gauze and legal double standard protecting and enhancing the crimes of individual hominid gangsters, is perhaps the most pernicious deception of all these days.

        The same goes for their bagman and thug, “government”.

        I’m with you on the proactive election boycotts, but only insofar as the goal is to permanently substitute direct action and full worker and citizen self-management for electoralism and representation.

        But just like corporations, government, and money, elections cannot be reformed.

        Comment by Russ — January 15, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

      • “But just like corporations, government, and money, elections cannot be reformed.”

        I believe they all can be reclaimed and revised Russ. Thanks for the dialog. It always helps me sharpen my thinking and makes me realize that the language is so emotionally charged that it is almost as equally co-opted as the societal institutions.

        Case in point; yes, corporatism is pure evil, and corporations themselves are abominations. We agree on that! I call for reclaiming and eliminating many of them and revising those that remain in a transitional process of re-purposing them. I think speed of change is worthy of discussion. I do not see the political will for rapid change, especially given the incremental-ism of oppression being used against us, the severity of the problems, and the technological dependency that has been created. People will not, they can not, go back to the horse and plow overnight if they want to eat — tractors will still be required. We didn’t get screwed up all at once, we will not get unscrewed up all at once.

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

        Comment by i on the ball patriot — January 16, 2012 @ 9:16 am

      • I do not see the political will for rapid change, especially given the incremental-ism of oppression being used against us, the severity of the problems, and the technological dependency that has been created.

        Be that as it may, I’ve reached the Here where I Stand and Can Do No Other. Besides, setting the pace is a job that has to be done, however thankless.

        You’re welcome for the dialog, and thanks to you too.

        Comment by Russ — January 16, 2012 @ 9:44 am

  4. Interesting post. Thanks.

    Comment by Debra — January 11, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

    • You’re welcome.

      Comment by Russ — January 14, 2012 @ 5:23 am

  5. Here’s a relevant post from Jesse: http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2012/01/sachs-price-of-civilization.html

    Money paragraphs:

    The problems are too deeply rooted in corruption to be cured by changing one thing, even a pivotal element such as adopting a different monetary standard, reducing leverage, or the Volcker rule. Those may help but if only it were that simple. And destroying the government to reform it is surely the most naive folly of them all.

    How can a gold standard protect people when the financial interests now feel free to loot their accounts of it, and will probably go relatively unpunished? How can the Volcker rule, or any regulation for that matter, protect the public when laws are openly flouted, fraud becomes the general condition, and none are prosecuted for it? What is the deterrent then that provides the law its force in justice and example? There is a certain watershed event in every outbreak of lawlessness that once passed brings an almost inevitable acceleration of the rise of the worst and the decline of civility.

    I don’t understand what he means by the last sentence of the first paragraph, but I’m with him on everything else. What I love about the statements above is that they tie the proposed reforms of everyone on the mainstream political spectrum to the same unwinnable tactic of attempting minor changes to a fundamentally corrupt system.

    Comment by Tao Jonesing — January 13, 2012 @ 9:44 pm

    • I guess that sentence is supposed to indicate the alleged “opposite extreme”. It seems like he’s admitting reformism can’t work, but thinks an anarchist revolution would be throwing away the baby with the bathwater or some such notion. Maybe he’s a communist. :)

      Actually, if I had to bet I’d say he’s rejecting scorched-earth deregulatory “libertarianism”, which wants to keep big aggressive government, but only as a pro-racket and pro-propertarian thug.

      Anarchists, by extreme contrast, truly do want the government boot off our necks*, including government-created fictions like the corporate form and system-formalized “property”.

      I also agree with the rest of it, although I might conclude the sentence about the gold standard after the word “people”. To think anything else is possible of it is to suppress all the evidence of history.

      I edited your comment so the entire quote is italicized. WordPress keeps harassing the site by fiddling with the code, but the bug which requires that each paragraph start with an italics tag they can’t fix.

      *Just yesterday I heard Dr. Seuss’ Yertle the Turtle for the first time. My friend was reading it to her kids. I didn’t interrupt, but when she read the part about how the water was always warm and they had plenty to eat, I immediately thought, “why on earth would they need a king?” It turns out that’s the point of the story. We can say the same about all forms of useless and destructive kingship, including corporations and property.

      Comment by Russ — January 14, 2012 @ 5:23 am

  6. I really enjoyed your, Russ, and i on the ball argument. I would like to contribute my thoughts on both sides of the good and cooperative/hierarchical part of that argument.

    It has been my observation, uninformed by any scholarly work on the subject, that people who work together form strong lasting non-hierarchical bonds. And that all living things create leaders to follow. Its obvious in human families; birds, etc. In my own family we recently lost a sister (67 years old to cancer), the first to go; the middle sibling of the 7 of us. She ranked first in a very large family. Even those of us who hadn’t spoken to her for years mainly initiated by her, were absolutely devastated by the loss.

    It reminds me of poitical leaders when constuents are devastated even when the leader turns out to have been a bloody tyrant. And also, that in spite of Marx’s brilliant analysis, his idea that workers would and could take over the means of production is belied by the way in which, when a group is set free, they quickly summon up a group to join with a leader to follow -good or bad, tyrant or no.

    Tell me I’m crazy. (love that tune) Gnarls Barkley -maybe I’m crazy That, and WRONG Depeche Mode -absolutely the best version -in the studio.

    Comment by LeeAnne — January 19, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

    • I’m sorry to hear about your sister.

      No group of people naturally seeks to set up Leaders over themselves. That’s why the Bible cursed the notion in Samuel.

      http://attempter.wordpress.com/2010/12/19/samuel/

      People only seek to replace one Leader with another, one hierarchy with another, when they’ve already been brainwashed into that mode of submission and servitude.

      It’s just like how the evidence of anthropology disproves the myth of primeval barter. Historically, people only struggle to set up clumsy barter systems where they’re already inured to the use of money as a medium of exchange, and that currency has collapsed. Post-USSR Russia is one example.

      http://attempter.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/time-banking-within-the-natural-history-of-debt/

      But the natural human economy has various forms of community credit, with perhaps some form of “money” serving as a unit of account only.

      Comment by Russ — January 19, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

      • Boy, I really have to think about that -and look up ‘Samuel.’ Then it must be true that all leaders impose themselves on others? That the very process of leadership is domination and oppression, at best only benevolent, but evil tyrants born to rule whose followers are forced to submit or are already brainwashed into voluntary submission -weak fools and incompetents at best? Surprisingly, this has my blood boiling. I don’t know why exactly.

        Comment by LeeAnne — January 19, 2012 @ 5:30 pm

      • That’s basically true of centralized hierarchies. (At the primal tribal level there’s a wide variety of arrangements including various sorts of hierarchies, but these are indigenous to that community and must be responsive to it.) That refers to the original imposition. But once a tyrannical hierarchy is entrenched, the people then become conditioned by it, and are prone to want to uphold it themselves.

        Comment by Russ — January 20, 2012 @ 5:56 am

  7. The first line of Samuel is about nepotism, not leadership.

    Comment by LeeAnne — January 19, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

    • The section I adapted is about the tribe’s request for a King, something god considers self-enslaving.

      So it is for our King-lust, our Leadership-mongering, at all times.

      Comment by Russ — January 20, 2012 @ 5:59 am

  8. [...] democratic support for GMO labeling, state governments are often too cowardly to vote against it (same for raw milk decriminalization). So they’re happy for the pretext the lawsuit threat provides. They pretend that this threat [...]

    Pingback by More on GMOs and “Representative Democracy” « Volatility — May 14, 2012 @ 2:33 am


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