Volatility

September 20, 2011

The Stamp Mandate, Time Banking, and the Anti-Colonial Movement

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We’re realizing that money is a dead end for us, and we need to break free of it. There are many possibilities for how this will happen, as there are many ways kleptocracy may try to resist and repress this. Let’s say for the sake of argument that time banking could establish itself in a region and provide the basic economic framework. (Not that I think we’re likely to have such a clear-cut succession of money -> time banking -> community credit in any particular place, but this is just a thought experiment.)
 
It’s especially important to consider this in light of how among the early adopters of time banking are perhaps many who are still prone to Obama cultism.
 
So what follows?
 
1. Time banking and the health racket bailout, namely its Stamp mandate, are directly antithetical.
 
2. The former is trying to break free of cash, the latter has as a basic goal the imposition of a cash-based tax.
 
3. Let’s say for the sake of argument a time bank community could break out completely and provide all necessary services (including basic health care) among itself.
 
4. Then how would the community members pay for this mandate? (I don’t ask why they should, since it’s self-evident that there’s no reason why they should other than might makes right. We know that any corporate forced market is robbery.)
 
5. The mandate is a poll tax, a head tax, in precisely the sense that foreign imperial conquerors would impose on an indigenous people to force them into the command economy of the conquering country, solely for the benefit of that power structure.
 
In this case the Obama head tax is to be imposed proximately to bail out the insurance rackets, and more generally to benefit corporatism (since it’s also a pro-employer austerity policy.)
 
Even the moralizing propaganda of it is redolent of classic colonialism. The lies about individual “free riders” on the emergency room (as if anything could be more of a free rider than the purely parasitic, government-propped health insurance rackets) echo, for example, Gallieni’s impot moralisateur, “moralizing tax”, his name for the head tax he imposed on Madagascar in order to force its integral communities into commodity cropping and Western-style consumerism.
 
Today’s liberals, among others, are these neo-colonialists.
 
6. The goal of the mandate would be to destroy any such time bank community and force its people back into wage slavery.
 
7. Our goal is to break free of cash. Our goal is anti-colonial. We’re all lumpenproles now, which is the negative aspect of our condition. Everywhere the State’s classification process has been: First, normalize “employment”. Second, normalize unemployment. So, as with everything else, the criminals first stripped our prior resiliency, replacing it with dependency. Now they’re stripping that on which they forced us to depend, leaving us utterly desolated. That’s the circumstance under which they now intend to restore a far more vicious form of feudalism.
 
On a positive vector, we must become reindigenous, we must be reborn into new and lasting indigenous communities.
 
However that affirmation goes in the short and mid runs, it’s the only course left for humanity over the long run. That means we must fight the new colonialism in the short and mid runs. For example, we must reject and resist the colonial Obama Stamp mandate.
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36 Comments

  1. “On a positive vector, we must become reindigenous, we must be reborn into new and lasting indigenous communities.”

    This may be the over-arching goal of our struggle, no? To go back to the “wilds” and live beyond the exploitative cash-based economy. To return to relationships where labor is shared and exchanged on a social basis instead of a monetary basis.

    The problem, as you alluded, is that it really isn’t possible (yet) to completely rid oneself of the need to participate (willfully or coerced) in the cash economy. I would be interested in learning about the experience of some of the further-along ecovillage/intentional communities. My research showed that many of them carry cash assessment obligations on at least an annual basis. No matter where you go in North America, if you want to stay put you’ll pay a cash tax. How to subvert that?

    Should the reindigenous expect to be an anti-cargo cult; willfully abandoning everything about industrial civilization?

    Comment by Ross — September 20, 2011 @ 10:32 am

    • I think it’ll be a gradual withdrawal at first, but not a flight literally into wilds. As you say, there’s nowhere to go. Besides, we need to reclaim the land where we already are. If democratic agroecology is going to work at all on any significant basis, it’ll need to take back all the good land, eventually.

      I think overcoming cash taxation will also be a process of new local power arising, which won’t itself extract command cash, nor cooperate with faraway “authorities”.

      But for the time being, cash will be an issue. That’s part of what we had to discuss in the thread about Growing Power.

      I don’t think of it in terms of anti-cargo cults, taboos and such. But who knows what will arise eventually. I think the possibilities are limitless, if we can break the feudal stranglehold. (Which is trying to impose a permanent homogeneity of enslavement and stagnation.)

      Comment by Russ — September 20, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

  2. Amen to this. I think this is where a lot of James Scott’s ideas about state-evading “tribes” (as Scott notes, “tribes” are just what states call people who don’t pay taxes) will come in handy. Evading taxation and making our activities illegible to it, while remaining in place, will be tricky. On the other hands, our states have become so spectacularly ineffective that it’s difficult to see how, if a significant portion of a region is resisting, they’ll be able to implement these kinds of petty extractions. I’m not sure how to make time banking more resilient to this, but pretty clearly it needs to avoid the fate of the Worgl scrip currencies, so to the extent that it begins to impinge on state-sponsored monopolies like healthcare, concealing those functions is probably advisable (ie not advertising that local doctors accept T$). Another thing that could be done would be to, on a regular basis, distribute copies of the timebanking accounts to all members. That way if the bank were shut down or raided it would be easier to quickly reset it to some prior state in a more covert manner.

    Comment by paper mac — September 20, 2011 @ 10:43 am

    • That definition of tribes is similar to what I mean. (I was flipping through Seeing Like A State before. It looks interesting, but I haven’t started reading it yet. Finished chapter 5 of Graeber today.)

      As for the time bank records, do you mean raiding and seizing the servers? (I wonder how much of it’s in “the cloud”.) I suppose that would be a significant inconvenience for setting up exchanges. As far as the accounts go, that wouldn’t be as much of an issue, since in a well-run bank most people’s accounts would be close to zero most of the time anyway. I was pleased that the other day our time bank administrator (to whom I’ve briefly mentioned Graeber’s thesis and my basic idea on time banking’s place relative to that) volunteered that in his mind time banking’s a frame to eventually be dispensed with. He didn’t use the term “scaffold”, but that’s what I thought of.

      Comment by Russ — September 20, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

      • Yeah, it might be a little paranoid to suggest that gov’ts are likely to go after the servers at this point, but I think if they figure out that a particular “alternative currency” project is starting to edge out the use of cash, they’ll go after it to preserve their monopoly. If it’s the case that most accounts are zeroed out most of the time anyway, it might not be necessary. It sounds like you’ve got a good group there, I’m excited to see how your time banking experiments pan out.

        Comment by paper mac — September 21, 2011 @ 9:33 pm

      • Thanks. So far we’re doing well at signing up new members, but fewer have actually posted offers and requests, and fewer still have actually done transactions. But that’s normal. (It’s better than a power law distribution, but similar.) This stuff is always gradual. Usually it takes a few years for a time bank to really get going.

        As for what TPTB may do in the future, I want to be proactive. To begin with, we need to absolutely, pre-emptively reject the very notion that T$ could ever be legitimately taxable. I have some thoughts sketched out on that, and will write about it soon. From there we have to be in a civil disobedience mindset long before the necessity for it ever comes up. (And who knows, maybe it won’t come up. Maybe a strong, offensive, pre-emptive politics could forestall the need for a defense.)

        Part of the problem with the principled tax offenders who insist that the income tax is unconstitutional is that they started making that argument and acting upon it when the masses had already acquiesced and conformed. So no one was really going to object to the IRS doing anything it wanted. Here, we can try to get there first with the most. As people become involved with time banking, we have the chance to teach them to think of it as obviously, implicitly, untaxable, and regard any notion to the contrary as an outrage.

        Comment by Russ — September 22, 2011 @ 6:21 am

  3. Thank you for the link to timebanks. I looked a bit at the demo. Is that what your group uses? My town has a lot of older people and we have been thinking about an “aging in place” arrangement. It might be expanded to include all ages and work well with time banking in a town like ours where people aren’t that wealthy. If it is all based upon gifts then the group doesn’t have to become a 501c3. This is something our farmers market group is facing because people want to give us money (and we need them to right now.)
    I would like to not have to reinvent the wheel so I am interested in the site you linked to. It looks as though they are about to update their software.

    Comment by Ellen Anderson — September 21, 2011 @ 11:29 am

    • Yes, they’re in the course of updating it to the 2.0 version. The demo is of the new version. They’re still working out the bugs.

      Time banking can work very well for elderly populations. In fact, that was the original idea for it, and it expanded later.

      It would be good to be able to run a farmers’ market through a time bank. That would have to mean at least getting the site for free or for T$, in which case you might be able to “charge” the vendors in T$ as well. So they too would have to be members. (I’m assuming the staff are already volunteers.)

      But if you need cash for things, and therefore need cash stall fees and/or donations, you might need to go the non-profit route as well.

      The time bank software used by TimebanksUSA also costs a few hundred a month, so using them would cost at least that much, assuming you have volunteers to run the bank.

      Everywhere we turn, so far, there’s still at least a basic lingering need for cash. It’s going to be difficult to overcome that. (And of course in most cases these projects are still completely dependent upon the foundation of the market economy. We’re a long way from true self-reliance, though we’ve made some progress and continue to do so.)

      Comment by Russ — September 21, 2011 @ 12:07 pm

  4. I thought that it looked expensive. We couldn’t afford hundreds of dollars a month at this point. However, I can see that it is basically a data base. We could build our own on a small scale and then, when the benefits become obvious, move to something more commercial and robust. We also have a couple of very competent (and currently unemployed) computer software people who are volunteering some time.

    I am thinking that we ask our current volunteers to start keeping track of their time that they spend on market business. We put that in the bank and see whether we can get some of our other farmers and customers to join and match it. Does that sound like a start?

    Comment by Ellen Anderson — September 21, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

    • That sounds like a good plan for starting out. The original time banks were often like that.

      BTW, TimebanksUSA claims that all the cost of the Community Weaver software goes into maintaining it and the servers. They’re a non-profit, and it’s not commercial. Paper mac and I discussed that here once.

      http://timebanks.org/about/

      (Not that I automatically believe anything in particular. But this group has a good rep so far.)

      I talked to our web administrator today and he said the existing database is basically on one overloaded server, but that the new software is supposed to be deployed with much greater server capacity.

      Comment by Russ — September 21, 2011 @ 9:03 pm

  5. Hi Russ,

    After a long Internet break, I’m back checking your blog every couple of days, and continue to appreciate your comments both here and at Naked Capitalism.

    And speaking of NC, WTF is skippy’s problem, and why does he keep attacking you? His comments don’t make any sense as he seems to be equating trillion dollar bank bailouts and war profiteering with one individual trying to oppose the system by growing his own food!?? Unbelievable.

    Over and over again, at Naked Capitalism and elsewhere, we see these people who pretend to be radical, yet when it comes down to it, they seem far more disturbed and annoyed by anyone who speaks out against the criminal system than they are by the kleptocracy itself.

    It’s a very strange phenomenon.

    Anyway, thanks for everything you do, and keep up the good work.

    Comment by Frank Lavarre — September 23, 2011 @ 8:04 am

    • I’m just about finished with NC for now. It looks like there’s no kind of fight going on there, and I have better things to do than keep banging my solitary head against a wall.

      As for Dippy, he always agreed with me in the past but flipped out when I criticized telecoms and said the Internet is public property which the government criminally privatized. So although he refuses to explain how, clearly I rubbed a raw conscience spot there. And now he keeps blathering about universal culpability, how everyone’s an accomplice, all that old self-loathing liberal crap. Fuck him.

      Comment by Russ — September 23, 2011 @ 2:14 pm

      • Yeah, and now along comes Yves with “I have some sympathy for skippy”, everyone’s equally guilty, etc What a load of shit.

        Reminds me of when Yves openly sided with Pilkington against DownSouth and then pretended to be upset when DS got pissed off and left. And her site’s been going downhill ever since. Soon there’ll be nothing left on NC except Wall Street cheerleaders.

        And if I read one more post on NC about how Elizabeth Warren is going to save us all, I might have to throw my laptop out the window.

        Comment by Frank Lavarre — September 23, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

  6. I imagine there are a lot of people blogging who are completely dependent upon the financial system and would just like to reform it so they can keep on doing their thing. Personally, I think it won’t work this time (because it never has really worked in the past.) I would bet that most people on NC don’t think that we need to live much differently if only we would re-regulate and put people in jail.

    One hopes that they will learn from debating with others online. One hopes and hopes.

    Comment by Ellen Anderson — September 23, 2011 @ 8:28 am

    • Yup, that seems to be what most of them think. And I actually thought there was some movement there for awhile. But they’ll crawl back to the Dems in the end.

      Comment by Russ — September 23, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

  7. […] imperative vs. corporate kleptocracy’s will to impose a vicious new feudalism upon us. Thus from both points of view we are to become reindigenous. The choice is whether we can build our own new communities out of the ashes of the corporate […]

    Pingback by Corporate Tribalism part 1: Legal Corporatism As A Version of Racism « Volatility — September 23, 2011 @ 11:00 am

  8. I tried to post there to defend your position but my posts don’t get through because I wrote a comment advocating Firefox Adblocker. I think I posted earlier that she accused me of being a thief. I guess banning me for that and allowing Skippy to troll away tells you something. But there is still a lot of good stuff there and your comments would be missed. I always look to see what you are going to say. Don’t stop. Just ignore the trolls.

    By the way, if you do choose to engage with him, you might ask him why he wants your personal information. Is he just setting you up for an ad hominem argument or is it something more sinister? You know, NC is a very popular site that does challenge the establishment. I’ll bet half the lurkers and some percentage of the posters are up to no good at all.

    Comment by Ellen Anderson — September 23, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

    • Russ,

      I would post something on NC to give you back-up against skippy (and now Yves) but I’m banned from making comments there.
      A while ago, I noticed that no one was getting anywhere when they tried to reason with or debate Pilkington and so I launched an all-out, ad hominem attack against him that Yves apparently did not appreciate and so she deleted my comment, then banned me from making further comments.

      Anyway, a couple of other commenters are offering back up, so maybe I’m not needed after all.

      Good luck.

      Comment by Frank Lavarre — September 23, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

      • Geez, I didn’t know I was getting all the rejects and fugitives here. 🙂

        Thanks for trying. (And maybe I’ll be joining you soon.)

        The Warren cult is especially annoying, and it’s bizarre how Yves keeps flogging it even as she keeps insisting that Warren’s going nowhere.

        But to make sure you throw that laptop, I’ll repeat my favorite moonie quote of all, from a certain “MichaelC”:

        I’m a big fan of Warren, but I don’t know what she is.

        I think that says it all, for all these Better Elite cultists.

        Comment by Russ — September 23, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

      • “I’m a big fan of Warren, but I don’t know what she is.”

        LOL. (I missed that one, but it’s typical.)

        Thanks, Russ.

        Yves (to attempter) “There are lots of choices between black and white, and most of the time, the best solution to a problem does not lie as the extremes.”

        Ah, so Yves is falliing back on the old shades of gray argument. Everyone’s an accomplice therefore no one is guilty, etc The same argument we’ve seen so many times before on Naked Capitism by advocates of the pro-bankster, anti-moralist position, such as Anonymous “water runs downhill” Jones, Philip Pilkington, and others.

        Ever wonder why Yves never criticized those two in particular, but choses to single out you and and DownSouth for criticism instead?

        (It’s probably because she agrees with their anti-moralist position.)

        Anyway, I’ll keep reading NC for as long as you keep posting there, otherwise I’m done with it.

        Comment by Frank Lavarre — September 23, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

      • Yes, the black/white/gray lie is always the refuge of those looking for a way to sell out. I can’t imagine why anyone would want her version of “gray”, though. In case Yves didn’t notice, the power structure is all about black-and-white as well.

        Once again we’re reminded of what Jesus said about the lukewarm…

        Comment by Russ — September 24, 2011 @ 3:20 am

    • Thanks for trying, Ellen. That’s really messed up, that you’re blocked.

      I think the idiot thinks it’s scoring a point that I’m not a farmer, but just grow a garden, work at a farmers’ market, etc. I’d cultivate more land if the land wasn’t being held hostage. (I’ve said all that before plenty of times, and I’m sure he knows it.)

      I’m not exactly sure what that’s supposed to prove – what kind of “expert”, exactly, does one have to be in order to develop ideas? (Not to mention that the cult of expertise is part of what I’ve set out to challenge. Respect for merit, moral authority based upon it, yes. Cultism and hierarchy, no.)

      Comment by Russ — September 23, 2011 @ 4:29 pm

      • I just posted this at NC, let’s see if it makes it through:

        “I found the entire spat silly, and chose to ignore it for that reason, but now that you’ve weighed in Yves, I went back and had a look at its origins. Here’s how it started:

        skippy says:
        September 4, 2011 at 5:35 am

        First three comments are on the status of the internet vs the rest of links…me lament!

        Skippy..attempter the tubes are a construct of the elites…”Nice Internet we had there for a little while”… whacha gonna do…Faux newbs all over again…sigh.
        Reply

        attempter says:
        September 4, 2011 at 5:44 am

        The tubes were funded and built by the people. They’re public property. Their privatization was embezzlement on the part of the government and theft on the part of corporations.
        Reply
        skippy says:
        September 4, 2011 at 6:41 am

        Privatization[?], people[?], government[?], WOW… ultimate victim status, everyone’s against you. All you do is point fingers, never have I seen you show one ounce of culpability. Strangely…this is the mind set of a zealot, that which you decry.

        Skippy…what are you hiding…eh.

        Attempter made a usual comment, and Skippy singled him out for a mild attack, which attemper responded to, if not baby-gently, it certainly was not even remotely aggressive. Skippy further needled, unnecessarily provocatively in my view, and the rest is history.

        The point here is not whether attempter can be cutting (he can be, so what), because that is very old news. The question is whether he is consistent in his critique, and he is. The argument became personal because Skippy prodded it in that direction. Attempter may well have been unwise to have engaged, but hell, who hasn’t failed in that regard? I know I have on multiple occasions. Attempter has actually apologized for engaging (albeit with another insult thrown in there). However, since the entire thing has been peppered with personal insults from both sides, and as such is very usual in these sorts of ‘disagreements’, to single either side out is to ignore the particular history of this particular spat. My reading is that Skippy started it. (And my god, what a tedious thing to have to point out!)

        I feel childish even posting this, but when things degenerate to this point we are all somehow affected to the negative. But hey, shit happens.

        Yves, aren’t you being hypocritical? Your posture is, more or less, “It’s all shades of grey, yet attempter is naive enough to see the world in black and white terms, which is the only crime I see here.” If there is only grey and attempter has made the young man’s error of passionate zealotry, isn’t the mature, shades-of-grey attitude to let the silliness fizzle out? Why take sides at all?

        My reading is that people don’t want genuine change, even those who believe that is precisely what they are calling for. Attempter calls for change in an uncompromising and unyielding way. Why shouldn’t he? He is tireless and unsympathetic in these pages. You meet him in another, richer guise at his blog, but here, the face we are presented with is pretty hard core, seen from the perspective of NC and the majority (I suspect) of its readership. Middle class guilt and all that. Hence, it seems to me, Yves sides with Skippy. Attempter is too consistently critical even of Yves’ more cherished views and leanings.

        Could the argument have been more maturely conducted? Of course. Have both parties engaged in personal attacks? Yes. But on balance, and on the way this fight started, siding with Skippy is poor judgment. Not only that, but this is an argument about nothing at all. It boils down to this asinine stupidity: attemper acts like the god of moral perfection around here, and I’m calling him on it, and I won’t back down until he categorically admits he’s as imperfect as the rest of us!” Sorry, Skippy, but that’s a pointless battle, a waste of everyone’s time.

        Flame on!”

        I decided a long time ago that NC is all about little-by-little reformism and is elitist to its core, so only sporadically engage there. The tide is too strong. It’s like swimming up a waterfall. The tiny hope I entertain is that the well-timed and well written comment will reach someone was what drove me back again and again. I’m no longer sure even that small crumb is there. Therefore the effort is wasted.

        Yves has chosen sides. She’s establishment, but wants to be cool, radical, accurate, hard hitting, no nonsense, and so on. She will not and cannot advocate, even remotely, the path of deliberate resistance and opting out of the system to build something entirely new. That’s ok, but I think, Russ, that your energies are better engaged here. That lady is not for turning! Furthermore, you are coaxed into a stance of permanent aggression by virtue of the blog’s basic position, and that of the majority of its readership. That does you no favours either, hurts your message. The opposition to your message is too visceral. It’s as if you have to up the ante to get even one hundredth of your intent to hit target. But as you increase your intensity, so NC delpoys its endless fund of resistance. Some battles can’t be won by fighting them head on. If this is even a battle in the first place. It’s really about building a better system, which will mean, one day, ‘look at this, we can do things this way.’ Until that point, only a tiny minority will want to build the new thing. The rest will think you crazy.

        Like we always say, only collapse will wake the majority up, and even then, the bickering about who is to blame will be the mother of all cacophonies.

        Comment by Toby — September 24, 2011 @ 2:43 am

  9. Thanks, Toby. That got absurd. It looks like Yves was looking for a pretext for an ambush. Have you ever seen such tendentious and moronic “arguments” from her? I especially like how big bad attempter is a “bully”. These days it’s pretty much impossible for an anarchist to be a bully (who could I possibly bully even in theory?). OTC, almost by definition we’re bound to be the victims of it. I suppose I should be flattered that my communication is sometimes effective enough that supporters of power are capable of seeing me that way. It reminds me of the fundamental slavishness of Randroids, who call themselves superior even as they incessantly whine about how the poor are oppressing them. I guess I’m that kind of bully, criticizing the oppressed, downtrodden EU supporters and such. (And it’s just adorable downthread where she presumes to lecture me on the state of “leftism”. That’s coming from someone who regularly conflates “liberal” with “left”, and often “Democrat” as well. I think that would be like me lecturing her on the technicalities of CDOs.) Fuck it.

    You’re right about NC. By now it’s mostly a drain rather than a stimulus to thought. I had already been planning to take a break from it. Looks like I stuck around a week too long!

    Ah well, I’ll leave them to wallow in ever-increasing ads, Pilkington, the Warren cult, and Mosler bonds.

    Comment by Russ — September 24, 2011 @ 3:18 am

    • Yves blocked my comment, and wrote me a mail threatening to ban me. She interpreted my “Flame on!” as an incitement to you to get even more aggressive. I responded to her mail telling her that was poor judgment of me by her. I won’t go into the other details, since I respect her right to privacy, but my reading is that she is not going to budge an inch on treating NC as her blog. Which is of course perfectly fair and justified, only, I think it could be more than yet another enterprise for generating hits (quality to one side). I don’t think one can be servant to both what’s actually right and arguably so, speaking generally and over time, and to the audience. Like I said, she’s chosen sides.

      I shall think hard about how to respond to this.

      Comment by Toby — September 24, 2011 @ 4:58 am

      • It’s up to you. Whatever you do is fine with me.

        You could call her bluff and repost without the “flame on” line.

        In general, I don’t think the position of: Some real journalism, some half-assed reformist advocacy, and some hippie-punching, is going to be a tenable one in the long run. It probably won’t be tenable for long at all.

        Comment by Russ — September 24, 2011 @ 5:03 am

  10. I am afraid that we are missing the point – when Yves accused me of stealing from her she said something like “You wouldn’t try to sneak into a night club without paying, would you?” The lightbulb went off in my naive head – she sees herself as providing entertainment. When we get too serious we ruin the experience for the majority of her “customers.” She did describe us as customers and said she had been advised that 30% of her customers should be fired.

    The high level of the discourse when attempter, down south and maju comment is why she doesn’t fire them. When it starts to get shrill she cuts them off. Most successful bloggers actually do that. So we are engaged in a different enterprise from a lot of the mainstream bloggers. They are providing us with entertainment and we are taking it more seriously than it is intended to be. I think a lot of educating does happen at NC and I will continue to read it. (I will leave the ads turned on!)

    Comment by Ellen Anderson — September 24, 2011 @ 8:06 am

    • That’s my realization today; NC is a business first, and a pressure towards reform/change second. But to my mind you cannot marry the two if it is, as in my case, business/money/the deeper paradigm which needs to be revolutionized. I saw NC as one part of the momentum that is global, though incipient, that is feeling its way towards that revolution; no one ‘owns’ that. And isn’t this is a perfect demonstration of why money/business and science don’t mix. To be a seeker after truth one has to be humble. One cannot take Yves’ approach and be humble about where the facts take you.

      Comment by Toby — September 24, 2011 @ 10:03 am

  11. It’s entertainment, pure and simple. If it instructs from time to time, all the better. But I am pretty sure that people who chose to make their careers on Wall Street become ‘seekers after the truth’ rarely, if ever.

    Comment by Ellen Anderson — September 24, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

  12. Russ,

    Would it be possible to get your email address in order to send you a message related to the discussion above, and recent events?

    Or I could just post the message here, but I have some pretty harsh things to say about skippy, Yves and NC, and you might prefer that I keep it private, or at least let you read it first, before posting to your blog?

    Whatever you prefer is fine with me.

    Comment by Frank Lavarre — September 24, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

    • You can post any opinion you like, Frank. Although if you’re just doing it to take my side, that’s not necessary. I reckon NC will end up where it deserves.

      (I deleted your e-mail because I already have it from your comments and I figured you wouldn’t want spambots or whatever using it. But if you want others to see it I can put it back.)

      Comment by Russ — September 24, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

      • I tried posting the message a couple of times under your latest topic “A Brief Thought”, but I was having trouble. First the message was there but when I checked back a few minutes later, it was gone.

        I used 3 or 4 links in order to back up my argument. Could this be why the message didn’t go through?
        If so, I’ll remove the links and try again, or maybe post them separately.

        I may try to post it one more time before going to bed.

        Comment by Frank Lavarre — September 25, 2011 @ 1:26 am

      • If there’s two or more links, it goes into moderation. (That’s the anti-spam default, which I’ve kept. That’s the only moderation I have.)

        The comment’s up now.

        Comment by Russ — September 25, 2011 @ 2:29 am

    • A couple of questions/observations:

      (1) Frank said, “but I have some pretty harsh things to say about skippy, Yves and NC, and you might prefer that I keep it private…” Who do you believe actually cares what you think about Yves, NC or anyone else? Why would they care?

      (2) What’s the obsession with NC? You guys spend a lot of time complaining about the site and Yves. If you don’t like it… why not just not post there and leave it at that? No harm, no foul.

      (3) Although Yves uses a pseudonym, her real name and occupation are well known. In addition, she’s on TV and the web (in interviews) on a regular basis. So, there’s a face and real name to put with her opinions. What is Russ’s real name? If you believe in your views, why not tell the world who you are? Don’t you want to claim credit for these brilliant observations?

      (4) Is this site gaining traction? I count 33 comments from just 6 posters in this thread: 15 from Russ, 6 from Ellen Anderson, 6 from Frank Lavarre, and a couple of cats and dogs. Is this the state of The Revolution after a few years of blogging?

      Comment by kjell halvorsen — September 26, 2011 @ 11:11 pm

      • Given all the logic you claim to hold, your being here or commenting makes no sense. Did Smith ask you to come over here and troll? (I only ask that because in the past she asked me to comment on other sites. I wasn’t going to bring that up, but these are now multiple trolling incidents.)

        And I’ll have the record state that your comment, like that of the other trolls, is 100% non-responsive to the post. I’m not surprised – what could a lump like you possibly say?

        As for the “substance” of your comment:

        1. This blog does not “spend a lot of time complaining about the site “. We had a brief discussion of it following the latest in Smith’s ongoing reinvention as a mercenary reformist and purging of assertive dissent from that reformist line.

        2. I won’t be posting there any longer. I wouldn’t lower myself to it. Meanwhile, as you read in your intensive study of this blog you claim to find so insignificant, some of the commenters here said they’ve actually been banned from there.

        Needless to say, your “no harm no foul” is absurd. In my case, Smith retroactively censored at least one thread and then told several lies about my being repeatedly, personally attacked by another commenter. Yes, I certainly consider those fouls.

        3. I never said a word about Smith’s pseudonym, as you recognized if you’re able to read. As for what I call myself, that’s my choice and my pleasure. If you don’t like it, fuck off.

        4. We have the proper contempt for anyone who assumes quantity equals quality. Smith has systematically sought to degrade the quality of Reclothed Capitalism for some time now, no doubt hoping thereby to attract higher quantity. But in the long run one person who wants to discuss real possibilities is worth infinitely more than a hundred terminal conformists looking for the next Warren cult and Mosler bond. Since that’s evidently what you’re most interested in, I ask again what are you doing here?

        5. If this blog is so miniscule and meaningless, why are trolls coming over here to defend Smith’s “honor”? You contradict your own words. You’re the one who sounds worried.

        As you can see from my latest posts, I’ve moved on. Indeed, I was already detaching from Reclothed Capitalism before I got sucked into an argument which gave the Smith the pretext to attack me.

        The most telling detail was Smith’s repeated sputtering that I’m a “bully”. That’s classic Randroid – those who have the power (in this case, a wealthy blogger with many thousands of readers along with her professional contributors, all espousing a version of system ideology) are nevertheless actually being oppressed by the poor.

        As you yourself point out, this blog is almost imperceptibly small. So by your own logic, isn’t Smith’s whining about how I was “bullying” her and Pilkington just pathetic on their part?

        Comment by Russ — September 27, 2011 @ 6:18 am

      • No, Smith did not ask me to come over here and “troll”. I’ve never had any contact with her whatsoever. (Paranoid much?)

        1. I guess the definition of “a lot” is subjective. Certainly in recent threads there’s been a lot of virtual ink spilled on the alleged evils of NC – but that’s by my definition of “a lot”. And admittedly I’ve only exposed myself to a tiny fraction of the threads here.
        2. So you won’t be posting at NC any longer because you won’t “lower yourself to it”. You had no issues with lowering yourself to it previously… but I suppose opinions do change, as they should. Anyhow, I’m sure NC will manage without you… somehow.
        3. I never claimed you said anything about Smith’s pseudonym, as you recognized if you’re able to read (to use your own words). So, you addressed a strawman on this one. My point in bringing up the fact that Smith’s real name and identity are widely known and that she’s often in the news is merely to point out that she stands behind her views (whether anyone else agrees with them or not) with a real identity. You do not. You hide behind the anonymity of an internet pseudonym. Which, to be clear, is just fine – that’s your prerogative. But… it somewhat diminishes the strength of one’s position if one is unwilling to put a real name and face to that position. If you believe in what you’re saying… why not actually own it? Apparently you’re scared, for whatever reason, to do so. Otherwise… you would identify yourself. But, to be clear, it’s ok to be scared. But you should own it.
        4. I have no real comment on the quality of NC – I don’t take anything on the internet too seriously. It’s one of several sites that I occasionally check in on. In the realm of what I read it’s above-average most of the time – but that’s just my opinion. If it disappeared tomorrow, I would hardly care. So, what am I doing here? Entertaining myself. That should be obvious.
        5. I’m not here to defend Smith’s honor. I’m here, in part, casting doubt on your own (revisit 3 above).

        Yes, this blog is almost imperceptibly small. But NC’s isn’t. And I’ve seen a few of your posts there. And I’m guessing Smith just made a business decision that you and a few others were setting a tone in the comments section that wasn’t the direction she wanted the site to go in. In shorthand, it looks like she just thought, “This guy’s a pain in the ass, has poor internet manners (calls people names, etc.) and he posts a lot, and I don’t want folks who come to the blog to think that I actually agree with any of this stuff or the manner in which it’s being posted.” Is it pathetic? Maybe, maybe not. I don’t really have an opinion or care. It appears that she just thought you and a few others were problem children. Anyhow, it’s largely irrelevant – NC will move on without you. Just as the world will move on without us all after we’re gone. We’re all – including you – completely insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

        In closing, the “fuck yous” and name calling really don’t add to your credibility; they detract from it. Just something to consider.

        Comment by kjell halvorsen — October 1, 2011 @ 2:38 pm


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