Volatility

March 1, 2012

Notes on Strategy and Tactics (1 of 2)

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We’ve long agonized over the right mix of loyalty to principle and what works in practice. Let me stress that in revolutionary times, which these are, as a rule the right practice is the right (radical) principle.
 
(When we say radical, we must always keep in mind that we mean radical only from the point of view of the status quo. Objectively, it’s today’s status quo which is radical, extreme, unnatural, inefficient and impractical from the point of view of helping people live more happily, anti-human. Positive democracy, rebuilding community, anti-corporatism and anti-statism, as radical as these are from the system point of view, in fact comprise a far more moderate, common sense, rational, practical way of life. This is “radical” only from the perspective of the Status Quo Lie, which seeks to turn reality upside down.)
 
Under today’s extreme conditions, where the criminals are becoming more and more aggressive, while their techniques of corruption and co-optation become more and more refined, the issue of principle and tactics becomes ever more fraught. It’s a difficult tightrope.
 
The Occupy movement has starkly presented the dilemma.. This is especially difficult because what it really means – shall it ultimately be transformational or merely reformist – is still up for grabs. It’s within this environment that we confront easy questions like supporting the Democratic Party (No), and relatively easy ones like alliances with unions and liberal NGOs (perhaps, but never surrender physical power or dictation of the agenda, always have a Plan B ready to go in the event of an attempted hijacking, and always make a truly democratic appeal to their rank and file), as well as difficult ones like how to maximize democracy within a functioning executive structure. (How democratic the OWS structure really is has been contested.)
 
Meanwhile we have the mournful spectacle of movement activists temporizing with the corporate system and even selling out completely. This example may be a good opportunity for me to suggest a basic ethical rule. While this system forces us into innumerable distasteful “compromises” (since we’re forced they’re not really compromises, but coerced actions), no one’s ever entitled to become an active criminal. We may be forced to shop at Walmart, we may even have to take a normal “job” working for it, but no one’s entitled to take the job of aggressively propagating its lies, as Allen has voluntarily done here. That’s the same thing as becoming a riot cop or private thug.
 
(This issue will come up for me personally if, as expected, we move our farmers’ market to the parking lot of a TBTF Wall Street bank. We believe this move to a much more centrally located, more highly visible location is necessary if the market is to survive at all. As I see my position so far, I’ll work there, within reason bite my lip, but under no circumstances will I participate in any active pro-bank PR. I don’t regard that as a good position by any stretch of the imagination, but I think it’s the best I can do under the circumstances. If the move required active propaganda collaboration, I’d prefer to take our chances at the old site. In their essence Wall Street and farmers’ markets are fundamental enemies. In the end one or the other must perish completely.)
 
With that introduction, I’ll offer a few more suggestions, ways to look at ethical dilemmas.
 
One criterion I’ve often written about is the question of whether or not a proposed reform action is on a vector toward real democracy, or whether it would keep us mired in the criminal system. Obvious examples of the latter are calls to “reform” Wall Street, Big Ag, private health insurance, or to “reform” the Democratic Party by electing “better Democrats”. Since these are fundamentally criminal structures, they can’t be reformed any more than an incorrigible individual psychopath can be. They have to be abolished completely.
 
I’ll add that this kind of system reformism is empirically proven to fail. Just to give the most glaring example, history will never again offer such a favorable environment for “progressive” politics, a “better” Democratic party, and system-reformist policy like reforming Wall Street, than 2009 presented. The Dems had a de facto one-party dictatorship, Wall Street and corporatism itself were on the ropes structurally and politically, Obama was elected with a vast, open-ended mandate for “change”, and the people were ardent for radical reform. They thirsted for it. Reformists will never see a moment like that again for the rest of history.
 
So what happened? The “reform” Leaders committed treason across the board. Led by Obama, they aggressively propped up Wall Street and the rest of the system while repressing all bottom-up energy for change. In the most symbolically rich example, within days of the election Obama moved to destroy his grassroots organization by assimilating it to the Democratic Party hierarchy. This was as clear-cut as it gets, to anyone who was paying attention. That set the pace for Obama’s anti-democratic and anti-human agenda to this day. Everything has followed the same pattern.
 
The centerpiece of the Obama agenda was “health care reform”. In practice this was a bailout of the health insurance rackets, which were on the verge of collapse. Obama presided over a joint Democratic Party/ liberal NGO front to suppress single-payer (which the people favor), propagate the “public option” bait-and-switch, and force the beleaguered people to pay protection money, a government-thug-enforced poll tax, to buy worthless “insurance” policies. So there’s just a few examples of worthless and malignant system reformism.
 
By contrast, I’ve argued that time banking, while technically reformist, is on a vector toward full economic democracy. That’s because it’s explicitly subversive of “the market” and the money economy, it explicitly repudiates the privileging of capital over labor, it explicitly rejects capitalist measures of the value of various kinds of work and alleged work, and it implicitly rejects all capitalist measures of value. While most of its current practitioners consciously see it as a supplement to capitalism (and thus a “reform” measure), this is just a subjective feature. We’re only a change of consciousness away from using time banking as a potent vector away from capitalism completely.
 
So to sum up, where one’s in doubt a question to ask is, would a proposal, if achieved, mean real progress along a vector toward true democracy, or would it leave us more mired in corporatism and statism than ever?
 
In part 2 I’ll suggest several more such criteria for strategic and tactical choices.
 
 
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21 Comments

  1. So to sum up, where one’s in doubt a question to ask is, would a proposal, if achieved, mean real progress along a vector toward true democracy, or would it leave us more mired in corporatism and statism than ever?

    A vector has both magnitude and direction. You identify the direction (“toward true democracy”), but the magnitude is unclear because “real progress” is in the eye of the beholder. This is the same problem so-called “progressives” have and what results in the kind of treason you describe above.

    Maybe the vector needs to be towards the elimination of corporatism and statism (i.e., the status quo)? Consider that the term “true democracy” implies a particular type of state and, therefore, statism. As a practical matter, I remain concerned by the fact that the vast majority of people don’t want a vote, they just want to hang out and live a happy life, and a democracy that very few exercise cannot be true democracy (and, in fact, will look much the same as what we have today). Focus on tearing down the current apparatus and do so in the way that encourages everyone to take responsibility for his participation in society.

    Comment by Tao Jonesing — March 1, 2012 @ 11:52 pm

    • I don’t know what you mean by the term democracy here, but as always I mean relocalized council democracy with real equality of opportunity for political participation on the part of all citizens. This opportunity means showing up for the regular assemblies, speaking if one wishes, and directly voting on policy, as a citizen. Within this hostile system, it means direct action and prefigurative council formation. It does not mean fraudulent “opportunity” like “anyone has the opportunity to run for office (as long as he has or can get money)”, let alone kettled “voting” in kangaroo elections.

      That’s the traditional definition of democracy, thus the distinguishing term “republic” for bogus hijacked forms.

      So I mean just what you said, self-rule which maximizes citizen participation.

      I agree that a real vector includes magnitude. I encompassed that in the proposition that a course of action has to increase direct action and direct citizen participation in politics.

      By contrast, to merely mouth the words “voting equals participation”, the way a “progressive” would, has zero magnitude and is a lie. It’s either stagnant or inertial toward further corporate escalation and intensification.

      Comment by Russ — March 2, 2012 @ 9:30 am

      • I would suggest using a term other than democracy. The word is too powerful in the imagination to overcome the much more simplistic meanings it holds today and has in the past. That is one reason I suggest focusing on what we are walking away from than what we are walking towards.

        I was using “democracy” in the traditional sense, not today’s meaning. I don’t think the traditional meaning necessarily includes relocalization.

        Comment by Tao Jonesing — March 2, 2012 @ 9:48 am

      • That’s interesting, because I’ve long been thinking the opposite – that since democracy and anarchism are roughly synonymous, and since the one has an overwhelmingly positive connotation while the other has a negative (of course most people have no idea what either really means), it’s better to identify as a fighter for democracy than as an “anarchist”.

        (I know you didn’t call for using the term anarchist, but I’m not sure what the other alternatives might be. I want to be at least as affirmative as negative. Always: “Smash the corporations, toward the goal of..”)

        I know that propagating the real definition of democracy over the modern sham version will be a hard struggle, but I think it’s an essential part of our educational work. If we’re not going to directly fight terminological and conceptual co-optation there, then where?

        As for relocalization being necessary for democracy (I never claimed it was sufficient), that seems self-evident to me. By definition “representative” power concentrated up a hierarchy (which is where one must go if one moves away from reposing all power at the local level) is becoming undemocratic.

        Comment by Russ — March 2, 2012 @ 10:46 am

    • Tao said; “As a practical matter, I remain concerned by the fact that the vast majority of people don’t want a vote, they just want to hang out and live a happy life, and a democracy that very few exercise cannot be true democracy (and, in fact, will look much the same as what we have today). Focus on tearing down the current apparatus and do so in the way that encourages everyone to take responsibility for his participation in society.”

      Yes, the practical matter… reality!

      That reveals the direction of the vector — to make people first realize how dysfunctional they have been made. Many are waking up to the dysfunction but do not understand how it has all come about. How did they get shaped and formed into such a weak and dependent state? Many are now ready for that lesson so the teacher must appear. The lesson, the magnitude of the vector, is to explain the process and dismantle the aggregate generational corruption that made them so — to reclaim and revise or rebuild the major corruptly co-opted institutions — the Fed, the electoral process, the media, etc. The revision is the new truly democratic form of government that must be hammered out along the way. The new and improved moral code.

      All of this made more difficult than it is by the reality — there is that nasty word again — that most folks would rather diddle on their iphones and watch TV. The balance of prudent vs not so prudent is not an accident. That to has to be explained in the magnitude of the reclaim and revise vector. Folks have to learn what narcissistic sell out over paid blow hard traitorous unpatriotic losers their Hollywood idols are.

      Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

      Comment by i on the ball patriot — March 2, 2012 @ 6:01 pm

      • We sure have a big educational mission ahead of us. But it’ll have to include the fact that things like the Fed and the electoral process were never co-opted or corrupted (the Fed has been “corrupted”? really?), but are functioning as intended.

        I suppose it can be argued that the media has been corrupted, but I think that’s a moot point. There’s certainly no redeeming it within the bounds of this system. We need completely alternative media.

        Comment by Russ — March 3, 2012 @ 3:04 am

  2. I said reclaim, revise, and REBUILD.

    Yes! The FED co-opted the prior banking system(S) through corruption. The Constitution co-opted previous electoral systems and created a REPRESENTATIVE republic through corruption — a representative republic which really only represented the all white, all male, and many slave owners who created it. And yes, these institutions, all, have been further corrupted and co-opted since their inception.

    The “big education mission ahead of us” will require a longer time frame — the 1% have been at this for a long while. As a result we are born into, much like dysfunctional children, a system of murderous slavery. Not that the scam rule of law means anything but there is no statute of limitations on murder. Reclaim, revise, and rebuild! The new and improved moral code will require that we base it on much broader brush thinking.

    Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

    Comment by i on the ball patriot — March 3, 2012 @ 8:21 am

    • I’d dispute that banking and electoral systems ever had a constructive, democratic, humanist “proper use” which was then corrupted.

      In principle, electoralism means elites abscond with the people’s sovereignty, scurrying up a hierarchical ladder with it and then pulling the ladder up behind them. In practice, this has always been done for the aggrandizement of power and wealth. Madison and Hamilton admitted as much in the Federalist papers, while Samuel Adams, anticipating Robespierre, declared that dissent vs. a “republic” is treason.

      (I shouldn’t insult Robespierre that way, however. Adams said that in the sordid context of the gutter currency and debt scams he and his friends ran which provoked Shay’s Rebellion.)

      Meanwhile centralized banking means the people’s economic sovereignty is usurped. Elite banksters then own the people’s currency. It’s robbery in principle, and, needless to say, always in practice.

      Comment by Russ — March 3, 2012 @ 11:57 am

      • “I’d dispute that banking and electoral systems ever had a constructive, democratic, humanist “proper use” which was then corrupted.”

        Storing hay in a barn, or crops in a root cellar are considered banking operations (food banking) of the past. Folks getting together and deciding who would harvest, who would plant, what to plant, what might be tithed to the community, etc. were electoral decisions made by the group (and a loose form of time banking). Any deceptive subverting of those past processes, at the time, or of them conceptually in the future stands as a corruption of them. A co-option of the ideal of the process and using that ideal as a decoy cover for the deception. Capitalism and free markets are ideals that do not exist in reality, they have been hijacked and subverted into non existence so as to mask corruption.

        You just made an excellent comment below (and your new post) with your response to Tao regarding the poisoning of the word democracy. I would say that the language problem of imprecision of meaning you speak of also exists here betwixt and between us. Again, the longer time frame reveals the story…

        Language is first and foremost a deception created as a tool of dominance. It too was first created as an ideal to favor and forward the social/evolutionary position of the group that created the language — the ALLIANCE of those that spoke the language. The language served to combine the effects of their cannibalizing (and again we have to accept here our dog eat dog cannibalistic base human nature) to make them one big unified stronger cannibal so as to become dominant over their immediate environment of all other organisms — human and non human.
        Like all of the other tools of dominance language was also co-opted and corrupted from within and used to deceive other members internally within the alliance. Rinse and repeat throughout evolution and here we are today…

        Yes those at the top of the “hierarchy” — the <1% aberrant immorally depraved few — seek to poison the word democracy, but that is just the tip of the ice berg, they intentionally and incrementally are poisoning ALL language, and have through this poisoned language and the co-option of media, reshaped the culture and made most of us the dependent dysfunctional children like lemmings that I mentioned above. This represents a subversion of the American ALLIANCE (now beyond repair from within I believe). I have mentioned before that alliance is a better word than government for defining kindred spirits, as it suggests like purpose. The word government has also been poisoned by intentional use of the divisive terms; private sector and government sector. A good ‘alliance’ would have the one sector with all members in agreement as to how they would go about getting their needs met. It would be arrived at by direct democracy (my chosen modifier of the word democracy) and would not be a hierarchy but rather it would be what I would call a levelarchy.

        From my comment above; “This reclaim and revise or rebuild the major corruptly co-opted institutions — the Fed, the electoral process, the media, etc. The revision is the new truly democratic form of government that must be hammered out along the way. The new and improved moral code.”

        Reclaiming revising and rebuilding the language is an integral part of gaining control of the media. Election boycotts are the gathering focal point to facilitate the hammering out of the new alliance.

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

        Comment by i on the ball patriot — March 4, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

      • I think this use of the term alliance is excellent. It stresses:

        1. Community and friendship

        2. In action toward a goal.

        That’s the essence of a human, democratic community.

        Comment by Russ — March 5, 2012 @ 4:19 am

  3. Along the lines suggested by above commenters, Tom Hickey (philosopher, my favorite economics interpreter), who blogs at

    http://mikenormaneconomics.blogspot.com/

    linked to the Mirowski’s blurb referencing/promoting a recent book:

    Mumbo Jumble: The underwhelming response of the American economics profession to the crisis
    Philip Mirowski, 28 February 2012
    http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/philip-mirowski/mumbo-jumble-underwhelming-response-of-american-economics-profession-to-c

    Thought you might find this of interest as it points to the obvious impasses existing in the real world. While tv/movies/videp have been much more effective than audio/radio, printi (including blogs) in facilitating communication in the developed societies of the world, IMHO, obvious success(es) as regards incessant promotion of appeals of greed, wealth, and diversions of attention to the general public by myth purveyors have been facilitated by psychological factors of which humans may be uniquely capable/susceptible.

    On a personal note, I once had a conversation with a (Christian fundamentalist?) relative in which she mentioned that her religion involved the concept that ‘God’ placed resources on earth in order exclusively/eventually for (hu)mankind to utilize as it sees fit. That sounded as reasonable as L Blankfein’s claim to the effect that GS’s deceitful swindling of customers (‘sophisticated’ pension fund managers) reflected that they were ‘doing God’s work’. How do you deal with such as that?

    Comment by William Wilson — March 3, 2012 @ 10:32 am

    • “How do you deal with that?”

      Short answer; Stay focused on the causative rich! — Don’t despair, pull the rich man’s hair!

      Longer answer; stay with the long term time frame — deception has been around for a while — and explain the dynamics of the development of religion emanating from myth, magic and fantasy; how it is a deception that always has a good and evil component to rationalize its God (us the good guys, doing God’s work), and its evil (them the bad guys), how it has been co-opted over and over again to rationalize wars, control the masses, etc., that it relies heavily on the fact that we most all want or need something to believe in and that life is truly a mystery, that the pricks that are stealing his/her lunch are phonies wearing their Christianity on their sleeves — think GB here, etc.

      Your Christian friend is probably a true believer, most likely won’t give up his or her faith (I have a Jehovah Witness brother), but will respond to a pitch of pointing out Blankfein’s hypocrisy. Blankfein knows the religious formative dynamic well and is tongue and cheek toying with the public. He is a truly evil, morally depraved, prick!

      Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

      Comment by i on the ball patriot — March 3, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

    • If that theology leads one to recognize that corporations and states, not being human, have no rights and can have no prerogatives, then it’s far better than, for example, “progressivism”. Lots of ways to skin a cat.

      Some, though unfortunately not many, do draw that conclusion. But for the rest it’s just empty words. Still, it might be worth telling them a corporation’s not a person.

      Speaking of theology, that’s all “the economics profession” is (and a dismal one indeed, in the most wretched and contemptible sense of that word). They haven’t suffered for their crimes because committing them is their job. They’re not there to help make society prosperous. They’re there to help the finance tyranny loot the globe.

      Comment by Russ — March 3, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

  4. In trying to come up with something more concrete than “democracy,” I recalled Jefferson’s ward system and stumbled upon this article/post, which seems well-researched and is a decent read:

    http://www.per-fidem.org/codex/wardrepublic.html

    A ward republic certainly seeks to localize political power. I imagine that it wouldn’t go far enough in that a central authority would remain, but the concept may be a better starting point than democracy, which is a bit amorphous and malleable.

    Comment by Tao Jonesing — March 3, 2012 @ 11:37 am

    • Thanks for looking this up, Tao.

      Wow –

      Hart sees a system in which the federal and state governments establish goals and standards of citizen welfare (i.e. social justice, education, civil rights) to be reached throughout the republic. Local republics would be responsible for achieving these goals in the manner that they believe best suits their situation. The federal and state governments would provide support in various forms to help the local republics achieve these goals. In other words, the national government establishes the ends and the local governments devise the means to achieve those ends. The reader should contrast this idea with the present system of school finance in Texas where local schools are funded by local tax revenue. The Jeffersonian ideal, as envisioned by Hart, would maintain local control of schools while ensuring that every local republic has the resources needed to achieve the goals set by national and state government. Citizen participation would be maintained through “regular town meetings [which] would enable all citizens to participate in the decisions regarding the matters of common good that affect their lives.” Hart points out that television and internet broadcasts can make these town meetings “virtual.”

      That’s not at all the way Arendt makes it sound in On Revolution. That’s yet another hijacked travesty, but perhaps an even more potent one than the voting scam, as far as astroturfing phony “participation” which allegedly legitimizes policy dictated by elites.

      I think we’ve had more than enough a “national government…establishing our ends”.

      What happens at this town meeting when I urge us to reject the “end” being handed down from on high?

      (Of course I don’t assume that Gary Hart is accurately representing Jefferson’s idea.)

      I’m still not understanding what’s amorphous and malleable about relocalized democracy, and confederation stemming from it. If you want to argue that you don’t think it would work, fine. (Meanwhile, we already know capitalism and representative government don’t work.)

      But I don’t see what’s conceptually unclear about it.

      Comment by Russ — March 3, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

      • First, democracy is a loaded word. You can put any adjective in front of “democracy” that you want– true, relocalized, etc.– and all you do, at best, is twiddle with the meaning of the powerful word being modified.

        Second, democracy is an iconic word and, thus, means different things to different people. Like freedom and liberty, democracy is in the eye of the beholder. That’s why I say the term is amorphous and malleable. At best, I know what the word means to me but I don’t really know what it means to you.

        Third, what democracy means to many of us is subject to manipulation by the very powers that have managed to con the American masses to label our current system as a democracy. By adopting the word as the label for what you want to accomplish, you both limit your ability to accomplish it and provide a means by which others can capture and pervert it.

        And regardless of how you spin it, democracy implies a state, another loaded word. The collective you describe need not be a state.

        Another way of putting things: your goals are clear, but the democracy label can and will obscure them. The word looms too large in the popular imagination for most people to see beyond it and fully grasp what you are trying to accomplish (this was skippy’s problem, I believe). This is kind of the inverse of masking a corrupt, centrally controlled system by calling it a “free market.”

        Comment by Tao Jonesing — March 3, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

      • 1. I’m sorry to hear that adjectives can’t possibly work to convey meaning if a word is proclaimed to be “loaded”. Sort of like how we’re supposed to give up on saving a piece of land for any purpose once vandals have damaged it in any way. That’s the way it often goes – the criminals simply vandalize something, which is supposed to then be an accomplished fact which permanently quashes all dissent.

        Well, like I said if we’re not going to fight for the term democracy then it seems there’s no term worth fighting for, and the only thing necessary to send us running would be any attempt to co-opt any term – organic, sustainable, local, etc. We might as well throw in the towel on language itself. Humpty Dumpty has won once and for all, forever.

        Fortunately for my own capacity to continue with a can-do mindset, I don’t think things are that far gone. I think we can redeem the term democracy, and I’m certainly going to try.

        2. Democracy is an iconic word, and therefore what? “Free markets” are iconic, yet we fight for a true conceptualization of it and a true use of that term. Like I said, I’m going to fight for the true concept and term democracy.

        (Just a glance at your blog demonstrates how you want the right concept of what “capitalism” really is. If anything, I think that’s an even tougher task than restoring the term democracy.

        Plus, your whole argument here contradicts your argument there that language is eternally a bone of contention. In that case, it’s self-evident we should fight for it. Or did you mean this only deterministically, and as a kind of Regressive ideology which is the reverse of “progressivism” – that language is doomed to become ever more corrupt and terminally the weapon of organized crime, and never of the people?)

        Democracy is certainly not “in the eye of the beholder”. This isn’t a squishy relativist blog. The meaning of the democratic movement throughout history is clear. It means the struggle of citizens to actually exercise their rightful economic and political sovereignty. An example of a movement achievement was the near-universal triumph (at least in the West) of that idea in the 18th century.

        Since then hierarchy’s main project has been to hijack the idea, to exercise its stolen power under some democratic disguise. Like the ancient Greeks already knew, democracy and tyranny are at one conceptual pole together (overt, self-confident aristocracy is at the opposite pole), with the latter masquerading as the former and claiming to derive its legitimacy from it. Since the 18th century democracy has struggled against every form of tyranny claiming to act as the executor of the general will, from representative pseudo-democracy to classical fascism to neoliberal corporate fascism.

        But democracy itself clearly fights for the people to directly exercise sovereignty. The core characteristics of democracy are direct action and self-management, economically by those who work, politically by the entire community.

        This is democracy. Those who use the term in that sense are, put it bluntly, right. Those who use it for corrupt tyrannically usurping forms are not just wrong, but are collaborating, wittingly or unwittingly. The point of fighting to redeem the term is to end the unwitting misuse of the term, and misconception of what democracy is.

        3. That’s true of every term. You seem to be calling for a complete end to communication, since there will never be a broadly understandable and appealing term which won’t be vulnerable to the corruption you describe. If we can’t even fight for important terms, how can we expect to fight for anything? I think you just don’t care for the term, out of some personal distaste.

        That’s why you hurl the epithet “spin” at me. Well, I don’t see myself as “spinning” anything. I’m trying to restore the true meaning to a corrupted, but extremely important, word and concept.

        Meanwhile it’s false that democracy means a “state”. While a democratic community could be said to have a kind of governance, and therefore a kind of “government”, it most definitely does NOT have a state, by any meaningful definition of that term. By any meaningful definition a state is a formal hierarchical structure with top-down policy dictation. (Hart’s version of ward government would qualify. Indeed according to him these ward assemblies were to be exactly like how Lenin and Trotsky wanted soviets and trade unions to function – purely as ornamental executors of top-down policy fiat.) Democracy, by any meaningful definition, dispenses with all such hierarchy.

        But you already indicated your own relativism where it comes to these terms, so I guess if you want to call a democratic community assembly a “state”, you’re going to do it.

        (As for skippy, I think you’re giving him way too much credit. He never had the slightest issue with my regular arguments, until I applied those exact same arguments to the telecoms. For whatever reason, there I seemed to touch a sensitive spot.

        However, given how he then kept stalking me from thread to thread, and how Smith then “intervened” in a tendentious, misrepresentational way, seemingly according to a preset plan, I think it’s possible she put him up to it. She’d previously asked me to post critical comments in various places.

        Either way, I attribute zero integrity to skippy’s “position”.)

        I think I’ll turn this comment into a blog post.

        Comment by Russ — March 4, 2012 @ 2:23 am

  5. I have a simple reply to to people like the fundamentalist christian lady mentioned above. While there may be some merit to the idea that God created the Earth and everything on it for the benefit of the human race, consumerism/materialism goes directly against God. It competes with God in every way, and in fact is a religion of its own. There’s no way you can reconcile the greedy, rapacious practices this woman has been told are virtuous with a true worship of God.
    One of the nice things about the Rapture theory, is that it sort of lends itself nicely to a “who cares?” attitude. After all, the world’s going to end any moment!
    Well, they aren’t all that bad. Look at Vernon Hershberger-and Salatin seems to have his head on straight, too.

    So glad to see you writing more frequently, Russ.

    Comment by DualPersonality — March 6, 2012 @ 7:54 am

  6. […] In an earlier post I proposed two guidelines for action. One is that actions which are intrinsically reformist be judged according to whether or not […]

    Pingback by Notes on Strategy and Tactics (2 of 2) « Volatility — March 8, 2012 @ 3:28 am

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