Class War Spurs Violent Clashes in Europe -- Why Are Americans Just Letting the Super Rich Win?

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Fidel

Absentia is right on in that post. The US establishment has managed to divert, defuse and ameliorate much of Americans' social conscience toward individual cases of pain and suffering and joy. When describing the pain and suffering, the newz media focus on special cases of extreme pain, and usually one that comes with a happy or near-happy ending, or one that says to Americans, this is the way it has to be. Americans spirit for helping the poor is world renowned. In fact, I would say billions of people around the world are the same way and have built-in drives for sharing and contributing to the greater good. Very many Americans are just like us in this regard. They can be very caring and generous people, I've seen it up close. And Americans love happy endings. They like backing the underdog. And the corporate newz media gives them the happy endings and underdog wins the day feel good stories, like 24/7.

How could anything be wrong, really? We all know about the dumbing down of America. We even think it's happening in Canada to some extent. The truth is that there are very many well educated and intelligent Americans. Tens of millions of them in fact. How could they not be aware of the things their government has done around the world? What European country of the 1930s might this also describe?

NDPP

Are You Proud of Your Country? I'm Not!  by Timothy V Gatto

http://www.countercurrents.org/gatto190111.htm

"We must start with how this nation got the way it has become...'

 

absentia

The few (probably more like hundred thousands than millions, but i'm only guessing) who do know, who are aware, detached enough to understand what's going on, and articulate enough to express it, do express it - in books. The only time they have an audience of more than the 10-20,000 who buy their book is during the publicity tour, when they get a 10 minute spot on a few tv and radio shows, maybe the odd lecture at a university. Otherwise, they're totally isolated. And even if anyone gets to hear their thoughts, those thoughts are treated (by the news announcers, hosts, MC's, even critics) as far too esoteric for the general public - and in any case, it will be shunted away out of sight, way out of public attention or debate. The corporate stranglehold is well established, encompassing and uncompromising. 

How it happened - how it was done - i know; i watched and noted every step since about 1975, but it would take a while to explain. The main component is the gradual, subtle perversion of language. It's certainly happened and is still happening here, and will end in the same result, though in a different style. 

NDPP

absentia wrote:

How it happened - how it was done - i know; i watched and noted every step since about 1975, but it would take a while to explain. The main component is the gradual, subtle perversion of language. It's certainly happened and is still happening here, and will end in the same result, though in a different style. 

NDPP

I agree that the hollowing out of the language is a central feature.

and take all the time you need...

absentia

Are you serious?

I'd have to collect some thoughts for a detailed chronicle, but the main components are education, religion, entertainment and advertising. (Hijacking the electoral process and money supply are straightforward. Just graft, really.)

Advertising is the key. There is almost no limit to the subliminal content you can pack into a single minute. Advertising is so pervasive, and North Americans, particularly children, spend so much time in front of the tube, that the artificial social relationships, the world view, built up from a quite coherent philosophy of consumer control, slowly became the template - the accepted norm - on which people based their observation of real life - not the other way around. We also assumed the language of advertising: no libel, nothing indecent, nothing racist or sexist... nothing you can take to court, and yet... people are obviously divided into winners and losers; some people are entitled to look down on, mock, take advantage of, even abuse certain others. Somehow the meaning of words is either gone or changed beyond recognition.

Entertainment follows much the same pattern, except with a good deal more complexity. (and notable, laudable exceptions, small rebellions and smaller victories) Through movies and games, the young can be desensitized, predisposed to aggression and avarice, turned against particular minorities. It's not difficult: we come equipped with all the instincts and impulses; the job of civilization is to teach us how to deal with the negative impulses. Nullify the civilizing influences. At the same time, keep paying lip-service to social responsibility, virtue and co-operation. Teach people two compelling but mutually contradictory principles of behaviour and they're guaranteed to grow up with psychological issues: if 1% become psychotic, that's a small price for the 20% suitable for the military; if 10% are depressed and 20% have low self-esteem, and 40% suffer anxiety, insecurities, etc, that's fine, because they will spend a large portion of their income on compensatory products and services. If the homicide and suicide rates soar, if domestic violence, alcohol and drug use go through the roof - well, so what? The elite can use those stats to advantage, while the middle and lower classes get the bill. 

You get the idea.

Education hasn't succombed completely, but it's just a matter of reducing the available public money, making the schools dependent on corporate goodwill, getting tame officials to squash student dissent (indeed, political activity of any kind; even talk and thought where possible), training the students, even before they get into first grade, to comformity, tribalism, winners/losers perception and intolerance of ideals; replacing old teachers with differently programmed young ones and pounding, relentlessly, on the theme of practicality: employment as the ultimate purpose of learning. 

Religion didn't need to be won over or subverted. Churches have always been on the side of power and wealth; it was just a matter of teaming up: business and government gave organized religion a free ride and bigger voice; prelates swayed their flocks to vote correctly and support the right causes.

 

 

George Victor

"Why Are Americans Just Letting the Super Rich Win?" (from the European/American polarity described in the thread title).

Absentia:

"How it happened - how it was done - i know; i watched and noted every step since about 1975, but it would take a while to explain. The main component is the gradual, subtle perversion of language. It's certainly happened and is still happening here, and will end in the same result, though in a different style."

 

Several forces at work. A tectonic economic shift and the steady work of neo-cons and evangelicals. They have their sources of inspiration. The average masses would like the comfort of belief in something. Marx doesn't cut it any more. And, heck, if the "left" can't come to that understanding a third of the century from the beginning of the "culture wars" - as the thread title makes clear - what chance for alternatives?  

George Victor

Sorry, I just cross posted with you.

absentia

Oh, the F(orces)O(f)E(vil) were more clever than the Marxists, ever, and stronger. Right about the time they decided (oy yes, decided; it's documented, but i can't put my fist on it just at the moment) to turn America into an unthinking consumer society, they were given (by God, no doubt) Stalin and Senator MacCarthy in quick succession.

There was never going to be a serious socialist movement in the US after that circus. Talking about any ideology or political philosophy at this late stage would be self-destructive. The opposition (i see it as an incoherent mass uprising) won't be led by ideas but by anger and frustrations - the only two growth industries in NA.

 

George Victor

absentia wrote:

The few (probably more like hundred thousands than millions, but i'm only guessing) who do know, who are aware, detached enough to understand what's going on, and articulate enough to express it, do express it - in books. The only time they have an audience of more than the 10-20,000 who buy their book is during the publicity tour, when they get a 10 minute spot on a few tv and radio shows, maybe the odd lecture at a university. Otherwise, they're totally isolated. And even if anyone gets to hear their thoughts, those thoughts are treated (by the news announcers, hosts, MC's, even critics) as far too esoteric for the general public - and in any case, it will be shunted away out of sight, way out of public attention or debate. The corporate stranglehold is well established, encompassing and uncompromising. 

How it happened - how it was done - i know; i watched and noted every step since about 1975, but it would take a while to explain. The main component is the gradual, subtle perversion of language. It's certainly happened and is still happening here, and will end in the same result, though in a different style. 

 

Yet there have been all those knowledgeable, articulate folk who could have rung the alarm.  Only a couple stuck with it.  I'll never forget when Peter Gzowski attacked - very unfairly - Noam Chomsky, whom he was interviewing, and whose ideas clearly bothered the hell out of him. It was the only time that I can recall when Gzowski lost it, and lots of listeners reminded Peter of what he'd done.   The event fits your general "explanation" of the transition, which I'm just itching to accept. But then I have to accept that the university crowd aren't ever going to get around to tellin' it like it is, they're too busy conforming, accumulating pernsions, the CAUT is just a big bargaining unit...and that scares the crap out of me. And, yet, the popularizers of ideas, the Saul Bellows, really just went with the flow didn't they?  I am not into his Letters yet, but am expecting some really cynical stuff.  That is, we're told in the intro that this young guy from Quebec brought a helluva love for ideas with him to the University of Chicago, but was all his reading just used to impress with learned dialogue? 

(And ideas aside...how was the worker supposed to fight a corporation that could suddenly move anywhere on the goddam planet where the profits were biggest and best?)

absentia

I always get a kick out of a corporate media talking head (especially Steve Paiken, just because i'm mad at him for attacking them in the first place*) getting his comeuppence from a smart leftie. But i can imagine the smart leftie becoming pretty fed up with being attacked all the time, while hardly anyone is listening. (If i wrote a book, i'd want to go on Allan Gregg.) They write books that are read by the same people - i mean, the people who read Chomsky's books read McQuaig's and Hurtig's - who already know and have no influence. Such publications are still allowed by the powers, because it's not getting to the mass of people, not having any effect.

(*unless he's doing it on purpose to give them a chance to repeat their message more forcefully.... that'd be subtle)

One of the things the FOE did very well was to defuse intellect, by making it seem pretentious, irrelevant, risible. Advertising again, of course. Remember all those cartoon heads of Einstein, selling candy and burgers and discount furniture? Remember all the mini-stories where the smart kid gets hit with a water-balloon while the hero - the dumb jock - gets both the girl and the beer? (This is the guy who buys the brand of beer that's coldest.)  The intelligence-bashing was ubiquitous, relentless and effective. My kids, in highschool (couple of decades ago, already), would rather have died than be seen by their peers showing an interest in any form of knowledge. They were not subjected to systematic, aggressive ignorance in the home - only in their social life and culture. They're doing okay now: apolitcal, apathetic, free of both ideas and ideals.

wage zombie

The American Dream by The Provocateur Network

Accessible youtube cartoon about how money is debt.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

absentia wrote:
Doing something has become very difficult. Made so on purpose, with a definite agenda, over a long period of time.

It's a good point but, in fact, class war never ends. Therefore, it's kind of a mistake to LAMENT its presence. It's like, ultimately, lamenting gravity. It is. That's how the whole thing works. I mean, ffs, we live in a class society, that's what classes do. And ruling classes most of all. The task , for those who resist, is to help build class consciousness precisely among those who lack it. And, ultimately, the aim is to build enough revolutionary conscionsness to make it so. There are rather ploddingly boring old style marxist terminology but if someone can come up with better terms then im all ears.

It's somewhat encouraging in fact, when the ruling powers/classes fight so hard against ordinary people, carry out all sorts of economic and political atrocities against the citizenry. Why? Am I repeating the questionable idea that things must get better before they get worse? No. But vicious class war by the super-rich (better, on "behalf" of the super-rich by all their servants, paid and unpaid) indicates that they are feeling it. The post-war bribery of sections of the working class based on the super-profits of dominant imperialist countries has come to an end. So they are obliged to bare their fangs and show more direct kinds of class war.

Anyway, a good point from absentia. It is difficult to carry out collective political struggle with the aim of overturning the capitalist applecart, or at least of raising consciousness in that direction. In some ways, as the old Soviet regime textbooks repeated ad nauseum, the ideological struggle part of class struggle has become a more significant part of overall class struggle (consisting of economic, political, and ideological components) and will likely remain so. The battle of IDEAS is critical. This, I think, we all know. But it bears repeating as sometimes people throw up their arms, ideologically speaking, and think that action, any action, is what's needed for change. (see fooz33 upthread before he got booted) Not so, in this writer's humble view. The right kind of action, based on sound principles, with the necessity for an alternative clearly spelled out - more like that.

cueball wrote:
Such upheavals are never something that I would anticipate with anything but foreboding. Hopefully the change is as orderly and bloodless as the collapse of the Soviet Union. One should always hope for the best.

In the 1990's, the Russian population after the collapse of the old SU declined at a rate similar to that under Nazi occupation. I don't have a link but it shouldn't be difficult to find. The regime fell, as well, thanks to tank shells on the Russian Parliament. Fidel mentions this. This shouldn't be forgotten either. What WAS relatively bloodless was the regime's resistance - unlike some capitalist dictatorships like the Nazi regime, etc. - which reduced the violence against the ordinary citizenry. And I agree that this small aspect was important and positive. But the violence of mass impoverishment is rather important as well.

absentia wrote:
Are you serious?

I'd have to collect some thoughts for a detailed chronicle, but the main components are education, religion, entertainment and advertising. (Hijacking the electoral process and money supply are straightforward. Just graft, really.)

What I have called above the ideological struggle (aspect of class struggle). I very much agree here.

absentia wrote:
Advertising is the key ...

Actually, the proper term is marketing as advertising is part of (capitalist) marketing. And I would not emphasize, as you have, "subliminal" content. I think it works a little differently. See Michael Dawson's The Consumer Trap and his blog over here .... http://www.consumertrap.com/ He's quite brilliant and essential reading for any leftist critic of capitalism. I also strongly agree with you underlining the effect on children.

There is one bit of learning in Dawson's book that really ought to be repeated and every leftist ought to learn. The marketing and advertising industry in the USA is one of the big 5 (military, auto, finance, health/pharma, and marketing/advertising) and it is around 1 or 2 trillion dollars a year. yea, trillion. Gigantic sums of money are devoted to understanding every nuance of human psychology as it is related to persuading people to buy this or that product. While that money isn't mostly devoted to selling political ideas, passivity, and so on, there are those consequences that flow from this industry. It's a juggernaut. When I say that we need to do OUR homework, it's in this context I mean. It's important to understand the gigantic efforts that are made to create dutiful consumers whose every thought as it relates to purchasing actions and decisions is better and better understood by the class enemy.

However, I think it should be added that anyone who, preemtively, chooses to abandon all talk of alternatives to this juggernaut is taking a path to failure. Recognition of a problem - say, use an idividual example like alcoholism - is the first step, then alternatives (treatments such as abstinence, or perhaps moderation, etc.) considered and then one chosen and acted upon. The claim that socialist alternative, in particular, have failed is a tiresome lie that is disproved by what is going on in Latin AMerica among the ALBA countries. If they can do it, so can we.

Anyway, there is crapload of links on this thread that I'd like to investigate. More, perhaps, to follow.

 

 

 

Fidel

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Old article, making the rounds on facebook

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1249465620080812

I think if the general public ever were to wake up I think most of them would have more success fighting with their dollars than they would with bricks, or with votes.

Good article. But I think that it's far too late for the American public to wake from their electoral slumber. They have too few dollars to fight back with in the dollar democracy. We the people would have to hire a high-priced lobbyist in order for their voices to be heard in Washington.

It was checkmate for the corporatocracy some time ago. They don't need to point to the Chilean or Icelandic or even Thai models for neoliberal success now. Today it's Latvia. Tomorrow it will be some other country where things run smoothly for two or three years before collapsing. Before long the whole world will be controlled by non-elected bankers and other financiers,  and by those with fingers on launch buttons for nukes orbiting the planet as backup to enforcing austerity measures designed to "fix" what they break on purpose. They want to give new meaning to the phrase, the invisible hand of laissez-faire.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Seems to me that the concept of mutual aid needs to be promoted. The idea that societies in all realms of nature thrive when they work cooperatively is a powerful idea that bears repeating.  I think that the Mirror Neuron studies talked about in the article above may hold the key to developing messaging that will help overcome the effects of the constant barrage of the propaganda machine. Given my handle on this site I of course think it should be renamed the Mutual Aid Neuron. I also think that if people start to develop an alternate economy as this one fails it will send the strongest messages of hope. People can develop their own syndicates that are internally cooperative but capable of enjoying the state protections for corporations. As the economy hollows out individuals need to join together to create their own ways of making a living.  I am retirement age so it is not going to be me doing it but I think that syndicates can become an alternative for our kids who are faced with endless part time employment for franchise owners.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

This is a much better post than Fidel's advertisement for surrender.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Supplemental:

Of all the links, the Chris Hedges one I liked best.

Hedges wrote:
The poor are supposed to be poor. The poor should not be a drain on the resources of the state or the oligarchic elite. Equality, in this new legal paradigm, means we are all treated alike, no matter what our circumstances. This new interpretation of equality, under which the poor are abandoned and the powerful are unchecked, has demolished the system of regulations, legal restraints and services that once protected the underclass from wealthy and corporate predators.

This new interpretation of equality in which the poor are abandoned and the powerful (and rich) are unchecked is well put and completely true. That's capitalism for ya.

Hedges wrote:
The creation of a permanent, insecure and frightened underclass is the most effective weapon to thwart rebellion and resistance as our economy worsens.

Every schoolteacher knows, if they're not brainwashed themselves, that those children who are scared or frightened cannot learn properly. The model of teaching from fear is an object of scorn by knowledgeable educators, and rightly so. So too in society. People need hope sometimes as much as they need bread.

But I also want to add ... No. The most effective weapon are the ideological ones in which those who should fight back are convinced, sometimes by people who pretend to or believe that they are friends and allies, that TINA and it is hopeless to fight back. Remember what Woody said...

 

Woody Guthrie wrote:
* I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling. ... I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood.
I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work.
And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you. I could hire out to the other side, the big money side, and get several dollars every week just to quit singing my own kind of songs and to sing the kind that knock you down still farther and the ones that poke fun at you even more and the ones that make you think you've not any sense at all. But I decided a long time ago that I'd starve to death before I'd sing any such songs as that. The radio waves and your movies and your jukeboxes and your songbooks are already loaded down and running over with such no good songs as that anyhow.

o Statement quoted in Prophet Singer: The Voice And Vision of Woody Guthrie (2007) by Mark Allan Jackson. There are a few slight variants of this statement, which seems to have originated in a performance monologue.

Hedges wrote:
The beating down of workers, exacerbated by the prospect that unemployment benefits will not be renewed for millions of Americans and that public sector unions will soon be broken, has transformed those in the working class from full members of society, able to participate in its debates, the economy and governance, into terrified people in fragmented pools preoccupied with the struggle of private existence.

"Pools" is the literal term that the (Lib/Cons - no difference) federal government in Canada now uses to describe the "precaritariat" or precarious workers who are much of its staff. PSAC activists mockingly refer to this atrocity as a "cesspool". They're right. People in such pools are treated like liquid shit. Better that there be pools of blood for ... (unnamed) Canadians should be outraged over this destruction of our civil service.

There is one problem with what Hedges writes here. In the 1930's, faced with the horrors of another inevitable capitalist crisis, people impoverished by that crisis were able to fight back and improve their situation. Of course, the military defeat of fascism was a critical factor in improving the lives of millions of people. For many it was simply life or death. But the point is that people under attack by capitalism, whether crisis or the terrorism of fascism, WERE able to fight back and prevail. And Hedges doesn't make use of this historic fact in his little piece. Perhaps he should.

I would add that what people "have" now, material possessions and quality of life, is more than what people had in the 1930's. People have "more" to lose and they can expect to live longer. Impoverishment is relative. Mind you, if life expectancy drops, as it did in Russia in the 1990's, or as it may do with the epidemic of obeisity here in North America, then this idea (that people worse off fought well and therefore people better off should fight back better, etc.) goes out the window.

Hedges wrote:
Those who are economically broken usually cease to be concerned with civic virtues. They will, history has demonstrated, serve any system, no matter how evil, and do anything for a salary, job security and the protection of their families.

Again, not true. Why is he repeating this over and over again?

If the corporations and their political minions declare war on the citizenry then it's high time that the citizenry declare war in return. This much should be obvious. I understand if Hedges is reluctant to call for what's needed. Such a call might be considered illegal - now or in the near future.

Fidel

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Seems to me that the concept of mutual aid needs to be promoted. The idea that societies in all realms of nature thrive when they work cooperatively is a powerful idea that bears repeating.  I think that the Mirror Neuron studies talked about in the article above may hold the key to developing messaging that will help overcome the effects of the constant barrage of the propaganda machine. Given my handle on this site I of course think it should be renamed the Mutual Aid Neuron. I also think that if people start to develop an alternate economy as this one fails it will send the strongest messages of hope. People can develop their own syndicates that are internally cooperative but capable of enjoying the state protections for corporations. As the economy hollows out individuals need to join together to create their own ways of making a living.  I am retirement age so it is not going to be me doing it but I think that syndicates can become an alternative for our kids who are faced with endless part time employment for franchise owners.

Really good idea. Excellent. And they would probably try to strangle it in the cradle like they did with enacting 170 repressive pieces of anti-labour legislations in Canada since 1980 if that most excellent idea ever begins teething. Sorry to be such a party pooper as they say. Bad day and just too cognizant of recent Canadian history I guess.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Go back to bed and hide under your covers until the coming of Jack to the throne.

In the meantime I am serious that people need to think outside the box and find the seams in the existing laws and structures to hide their true cooperative nature.  I don't believe in violence and I am skeptical of change coming from our faux democracy so my only hope is that the people themselves will find ways to work together.  Sorry for the slight bit of optimism instead of merely focusing on how fucked our country is becoming.

Fidel

I didn't say it was a bad idea just that we should be prepared for more of the Liberal, Tory same old story is all. And we know how that one ends as a rule. Canada is becoming like a big, slow-moving corporate bureaucracy where nothing changes for lllllong periods of time with a lot of corporate tax breaks and toadying to US imperialism in between.

absentia

I would like to be optimistic - i really would. I would like to believe that violence can be averted... perhaps through Rifkin's "empathic civilization"; technology and information sharing around the globe by the cell-phone generation, all that good stuff. And i can even see it coming on. Only, i think, too late, too weak, and - this is the worst thing: already anticipated by the FOE.

They staged a triumphant dress-rehearsal in TO last summer: they've prepared for the consequences of, not only what they have done to the people, but what they intend to do. That also showed their weakness, though: once you have to resort to repression by strom-troopers, you're playing your last hand. Hedges is right on the money about what they have done, but i don't know his most recent thinking (My bad - i was miffed about that anti-atheist business. Plus, let's face it, he's not a fun read.), whether he's taken account of the ethnic and regional elements.

What they don't seem to anticipate - ever - is the explosion that comes when unremitting pressure has no place to go. In the US, it's worse than here: more volatile, more imminent and less predictable, because they have more millions of invisible, armed people, and because they're screwing their military and law-enforcement personnel.

George Victor

absentia wrote:

I would like to be optimistic - i really would. I would like to believe that violence can be averted... perhaps through Rifkin's "empathic civilization"; technology and information sharing around the globe by the cell-phone generation, all that good stuff. And i can even see it coming on. Only, i think, too late, too weak, and - this is the worst thing: already anticipated by the FOE.

They staged a triumphant dress-rehearsal in TO last summer: they've prepared for the consequences of, not only what they have done to the people, but what they intend to do. That also showed their weakness, though: once you have to resort to repression by strom-troopers, you're playing your last hand. Hedges is right on the money about what they have done, but i don't know his most recent thinking (My bad - i was miffed about that anti-atheist business. Plus, let's face it, he's not a fun read.), whether he's taken account of the ethnic and regional elements.

What they don't seem to anticipate - ever - is the explosion that comes when unremitting pressure has no place to go. In the US, it's worse than here: more volatile, more imminent and less predictable, because they have more millions of invisible, armed people, and because they're screwing their military and law-enforcement personnel.

 

 

From "don't think of an elephant! : George Lakoff's little book, under "What the Right Wants", the reader finds it's "nothing less than a radical revolution in how America and the rest of the world functions. The vehemence of the culture war provoked and maintained by conservatives is no accident. For strict father morality to gain and maintain political power, disunity is required.

"First, there is economic disunity, the two-tier economy with the 'unworthy' poor remaining poor and serving the 'deserving' rich. But to stay in power the conservatives need the support of many of the poor. That is, they need a significant percentage of the poor and middle class to vote against their economic interests...What they have done is to create, via framing and language, a link between strict father morality in the family and religion on the one hand and conservative politics on the other. This conceptual link must be so emotionally strong that it can overcome economic self-interest.

"Their method for achieving this has been the cultural civil war - a civil war carried out  with everything short of live ammunition - pitting Americans with strict father morality (called conservatives) against Americans with nurturant parent morality (the hated liberals), who are portrayed as threatening the way of life and the cultural, religious, and personal identities of conservatives."

 

 

What is occurring has been planned and methodically brought about. We have to stop thinking that it's a matter of "What they don't seem to anticipate - ever - is the explosion that comes when unremitting pressure has no place to go." It IS an anticipated result. Unless we are talking about different "they(s)".

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Seems to me that the concept of mutual aid needs to be promoted. The idea that societies in all realms of nature thrive when they work cooperatively is a powerful idea that bears repeating.  I think that the Mirror Neuron studies talked about in the article above may hold the key to developing messaging that will help overcome the effects of the constant barrage of the propaganda machine. Given my handle on this site I of course think it should be renamed the Mutual Aid Neuron. I also think that if people start to develop an alternate economy as this one fails it will send the strongest messages of hope. People can develop their own syndicates that are internally cooperative but capable of enjoying the state protections for corporations. As the economy hollows out individuals need to join together to create their own ways of making a living.  I am retirement age so it is not going to be me doing it but I think that syndicates can become an alternative for our kids who are faced with endless part time employment for franchise owners.

 

This is exactly what's already happening in many places.  Different words maybe, but based on the same general premise, mutal aid, with ecology at it's foundation,  focusing on community and developing alternative economies.   It's happening right now where I live and the buy in and creativity is quite astounding.  People see it for different reasons, whether its ecological issues (like climate change) or even the most basic level of understanding that the overriding economic system is going down.  Usually they're are interconnected. 

In terms of whose doing it and who is the driving force it's not kids (although they are involved to some extent) it is mostly older folks and good many of them retired.  Without them at the wheel that stuff that is happening now wouldn't be.  They not only have the time, but they have resources, they have experience and they have wisdom.  Many I work with know that they will not necessarily see what they're starting come to fruition but that isn't stopping them from working with the younger folk (like me and others) in not only providing knowledge support but physical and other resources.

I dunno maybe my current experience is just a one off an annomoly.   I don't think it is though because as things are developing we keep discovering different people working on the same over arching ideas in other areas.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

That is the type of thing I was talking about.  When I get a new set of knees I hope to be active again in the community.  I would love to help mutual aid based groups hammer out the complex relationships required to sustain a community. Those retired people you are speaking of were probably like myself members of the counter culture when they were young.  Those ideals are not only a major undercurrent in BC they are shared with many of the residents of Washington state.  

relic

There are many roads to a well lived life.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

America’s super rich, new IRS income data show, partied on right through the depth of the Great Recession. And they shared precious little of their good fortune with Uncle Sam.

In 2008, the IRS revealed last week [in May], 400 Americans reported at least $110 million in income on their federal tax returns. These 400, in a year that ended with millions of Americans out of work and home, averaged $270.5 million each, the second-highest U.S. top 400 average income on record.

- [url=http://toomuchonline.org/for-top-400-taxpayers-a-near-record-year/]Sourc...

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=http://www.capgemini.com/news-and-events/news/merrill-lynch-global-wealt... = High Net Worth Individuals[/url]

Quote:
New York, Paris, June 22, 2011 – Global HNWI population and wealth growth reached more stable levels in 2010, with the population of HNWIs increasing 8.3% to 10.9 million and HNWI financial wealth growing 9.7% to reach US$42.7 trillion (compared with 17.1% and 18.9% respectively in 2009). The global population of Ultra-HNWIs grew by 10.2% in 2010 and its wealth by 11.5%.

“The past few years have seen great fluctuations in HNWI wealth and population,” said John Thiel, Head of U.S. Wealth Management and the Private Banking & Investment Group, Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management. “In 2010, we saw growth rates slow down from the higher double-digit levels of 2009 when many markets were quickly returning from significant crisis-related losses.”

The global HNWI population remained highly concentrated in the U.S., Japan and Germany, which together accounted for 53.0% of the world’s HNWIs. The U.S. is still home to the single largest HNW segment in the world, with its 3.1 million HNWIs accounting for 28.6% of the global HNWI population.

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