Sunday, March 10, 2013

Uncommonly Good

Greetings good citizen,

I have no idea what we’re going to do when this fine fellow moves on from our midst.

He has consistently expressed with unusual (and enviable) clarity the real issues facing our civilization and done so unflinchingly.

Look up the word courage and you’d find his picture next to it.

To say he is an ‘inspiration’ is an understatement.

Even his opening paragraphs cut right to the point:
Whether public education contributes to the Common Good depends, of course, on what kind of education it is, to whom it is available, and what we take to be the Common Good. There’s no need to tarry on the fact that these are highly contested matters, have been throughout history, and continue to be so today.

One of the great achievements of American democracy has been the introduction of mass public education, from children to advanced research universities. And in some respects that leadership position has been maintained. Unfortunately, not all. Public education is under serious attack, one component of the attack on any rational and humane concept of the Common Good, sometimes in ways that are not only shocking, but also spell disaster for the species.

All of this falls within the general assault on the population in the past generation, the so-called “neoliberal era.” I’ll return to these matters, of great significance and import.

The ‘liberalization’ of trade relations that has effectively ended global capitalism (turning it into a global monopoly) and crucified the global economy.

Um, he points to (without specifically saying so) the twin ‘illusions’ of liberty and prosperity and how the corporate owned media dispenses ‘dis-information’ (which benefits the oligarchs.)
Two crucial changes were financialization, with a huge explosion of speculative financial flows, and de-industrialization. Production didn't cease. It just began to be off-shored anywhere where you could get terrible working conditions and no environmental constraints, with huge profits for the Masters. Within the US that set off a vicious cycle, leading to sharp concentration of wealth, which translates at once to concentration of political power, increasingly in the financial sector. That in turn leads to legislation that carries the vicious cycle forward, including sharp tax reduction for the rich and deregulation, with repeated financial crises from the ‘80s, each worse than the last. [The Reagan ‘revolution’] The current one is so far the worst of all. And others are likely in what a director of the Bank of England calls a “doom loop.”

There are solutions, but they do not fit the needs of the Masters, for whom the crises are no problem, they are bailed out by the Nanny State. Today corporate profits are breaking new records and the financial managers who created the current crisis are enjoying huge bonuses. Meanwhile, for the large majority, wages and income have practically stagnated in the last 30-odd years. By today, it has reached the point that 400 individuals have more wealth than the bottom 180 million Americans.

In parallel, the cost of elections has skyrocketed, driving both parties even deeper into the pockets of those with the money, corporations and the super-rich. Political representatives become even more beholden to those who paid for their victories. One consequence is that by now, the poorest 70% have literally no influence over policy. As you move up the income/wealth ladder influence increases, and at the very top, a tiny percent, the Masters get what they want.

Or as I like to phrase it, the deliberate mismanagement of our planet’s resources for the benefit of the privileged few.

How we remove these parasites from our midst is simple, we unite and purge them…but they will endeavor to use our lack of information against us.

Yes, the oligarchs have been ‘careful’ not to show their faces and only the faces of their proxies are in jeopardy.

It will take a lot of ‘sifting’ to ferret out the guilty. Removing their hands from the levers of power is the easy part, stopping them from committing further atrocities will be the difficult part.

Thanks to the human proclivity for stupidity, the guilty will enjoy the use of their proxies long after they’ve lost the ability to reward them.

This is the danger of ‘entrenchment’. The name alone will be enough to compel otherwise good people to perform treacherous acts…as we see repeatedly in Harry Potter.

Thus we must be ruthless in rooting out the turncoats who would risk the stability of civilization itself to curry favor with those who would cheat even them.

Funny how the ‘proclivity for stupidity’ is a self-fulfilling loop.

The sad part is how the greedy conspire to strengthen this ‘failure of reason’.

If we were all ‘born smart’ we wouldn’t be having this sad discussion.

Perhaps that is the last obstacle for natural selection to overcome. Oddly we are born with the ‘seed of wisdom’ (or at least most of us are…it is what the conservo-whackos are trying to snuff out via ‘quibbling’.)

We instinctively know the difference between right and wrong. Yet ‘political expedience’ twists our inborn views to favor the unscrupulous.

Throw ‘spirit in the sky’ into the mix and pretty soon even otherwise ration adults no longer know which end is up…

Once you realize you are parroting the words of those who would stick it to you in a heartbeat, you somewhat regain your bearings.

But if they fool you into thinking they are your ‘friends’…then you’ve got trouble…possibly bigger than you know.

With that chilling thought, thank you for letting me inside your head,


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