A World with no Money (can we survive capitalism?)

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A World with no Money (can we survive capitalism?)

Postby Serpent on July 2nd, 2019, 10:31 am 

[new thread, split from Post-Truth thread]


Lozza » July 1st, 2019, 11:14 pm wrote:
Those countries [democracies where people are not allowed to vote] are good examples of political labels meaning nothing.

Like much of the United States. The increasingly ruthless Republican state legislatures have disenfranchised millions of US citizens - right out in full view of everybody, with impunity. The Democrats squawk about it, but have no power to fix it.

We don't live in democracies either, we live in what I would term "democratic aristocracies" since we vote for representatives of wealth instead of representatives of the people.

This has been so since the Magna Carta. It was so, even in Athens, that first time around. The face of the aristocracy adapts to new news-magazine formats; the privilege behind it doesn't change. A few clever journalists of each generation, who look behind the facade, write books about how it really works - knowing full well that those books will be read by the same 50,000 people who already know - but
publishing a book gets you on mass media talk shows and provides an opportunity to tell the non-reading public.

Our illusion of democracy is no different or better than anyone else's, but we've had thriving industrialization and capitalism to drive our illusions of "democracy". As a collective, we conflate the two (democracy and capitalism) to be the same thing,

There is a very good reason for that! This is the single central concept on which the Western (military-industrial-intelligence) propaganda machine has most concentrated. The indivisibility of capitalism from democracy has been a pivotal tenet of western education and public communications, reinforced at every opportunity, in every medium and certainly by every candidate in every election.
In real life, functional democracy tends inevitably toward socialism as the majority of people vote for the things they need and desire. The cleaner (relatively less corrupt) the political process is, the more that country invests in public services, welfare, health, education, etc. (see Scandinavia)
That could not be allowed to happen in the US. So, from the mid-50's [McCarthy, JE Hoover et al] onward, socialism was identified with the bad old commies - with Stalinist atrocity.
You can date a good deal of the attrition of language to that era.
By 1970, it was impossible to discuss American politics in any objective or accurate terms: the vocabulary was no longer available.

and though they compliment each other,

They don't, actually. It was easy to convince Americans of that, because their industry profited greatly from the war; they were in a boom cycle; lots of chocolate sauce to trickle down. The generation imprinted then is only now beginning to lose its influence on public perception. Countries that suffered extensive loss and damage had a quite different post-war experience.
Income and wealth disparity are inherently anti-democratic. The animals who own the farm are always more equal than the animals who pull the plough.
But they have smart rats working in their PR department.
Michelle Obama is smart enough to know better, and any American can look up the difference in income between a Koch brother and a pipeline worker, and translate that into relative political clout
- and yet
can still make a speech about hard work accomplishing anything, and even sort of believe it.

The disconnect is in the connotations of the language that's used ...and used selectively.

And it is one huge, effective disconnect, perpetuated by all media product, "fantasy" and "reality" and the whole big grey blur engulfing both concepts.

Two quick post-scripts: Yesterday, on a different forum, I participated in a discussion with three other posters, entirely in word salad - and I'm not entirely sure I'm the only one who was doing it on purpose.

If you get the chance and haven't already, watch an oldish movie called Bulworth https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/bulworth-1998
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Lozza on July 2nd, 2019, 2:48 pm 

Serpent » July 3rd, 2019, 1:31 am wrote:
Lozza » July 1st, 2019, 11:14 pm wrote:
Those countries [democracies where people are not allowed to vote] are good examples of political labels meaning nothing.

Like much of the United States. The increasingly ruthless Republican state legislatures have disenfranchised millions of US citizens - right out in full view of everybody, with impunity. The Democrats squawk about it, but have no power to fix it.


No power in opposition, but even when in power, powerless, for they serve the same masters as the Republicans. The "squawking" is precisely that....it just gets people attracted to those issues to vote for them, but those things won't be implemented, as they serve the same masters. But I agree that politicians have become much more brazen about their contempt for the masses and social issues.

We don't live in democracies either, we live in what I would term "democratic aristocracies" since we vote for representatives of wealth instead of representatives of the people.

This has been so since the Magna Carta. It was so, even in Athens, that first time around. The face of the aristocracy adapts to new news-magazine formats; the privilege behind it doesn't change. A few clever journalists of each generation, who look behind the facade, write books about how it really works - knowing full well that those books will be read by the same 50,000 people who already know - but
publishing a book gets you on mass media talk shows and provides an opportunity to tell the non-reading public.


No, it's been since the advent of currency, some 8,000 years ago by the Sumerians, in various forms, but there has always been intermediaries between wealth and the masses, it just got formalized and systematized by the Romans and Greeks....can't remember which was first, although the Egyptians also had a vague sense of government with their intermediaries... https://www.ancient.eu/Egyptian_Government/


Our illusion of democracy is no different or better than anyone else's, but we've had thriving industrialization and capitalism to drive our illusions of "democracy". As a collective, we conflate the two (democracy and capitalism) to be the same thing,

There is a very good reason for that! This is the single central concept on which the Western (military-industrial-intelligence) propaganda machine has most concentrated. The indivisibility of capitalism from democracy has been a pivotal tenet of western education and public communications, reinforced at every opportunity, in every medium and certainly by every candidate in every election.


You have total agreement from me with that observation.


In real life, functional democracy tends inevitably toward socialism as the majority of people vote for the things they need and desire. The cleaner (relatively less corrupt) the political process is, the more that country invests in public services, welfare, health, education, etc. (see Scandinavia).


I don't need to, as here in Australia we had government owning all water reserves, telecommunications, postal system and energy except petroleum and gas, but they controlled the electricity, and also had a bank. Everything has been sold to corporates by both sides of the political arena, so now we pay through the nose for everything while we are held to ransom by the corporates. We also have medicare...free health for ALL and until the 1990's, free university for all. Now uni students incur debt instead. Medicare has been around since the mid 1970's, but will prove to be a problem once us "baby-boomers" start going to nursing homes, as that's currently funded by government, though asset tested....those with properties can put them down as a deposit, leaving nothing for their children while grimly griping the last vestiges of life, with no quality of life.

That could not be allowed to happen in the US. So, from the mid-50's [McCarthy, JE Hoover et al] onward, socialism was identified with the bad old commies - with Stalinist atrocity.
You can date a good deal of the attrition of language to that era.
By 1970, it was impossible to discuss American politics in any objective or accurate terms: the vocabulary was no longer available.


Yes, that's true. At another forum I was talking to a physicist who thought he had a good grounding on human behavior and politics, when in fact, he was like a Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory, with the same emotional age (3), but nowhere as bright as the fictional character. Point being, he still uses that rhetoric from the Cold War (and he's American, of course), in this day and age. The frustration for me was, due to his complete lack of insight, there was no explaining to him what he was doing. Some others would see it, but most would see his perspective as they too possessed poor personal insight from a low EQ, despite their high IQ and academic achievements.

and though they compliment each other,

They don't, actually. It was easy to convince Americans of that, because their industry profited greatly from the war; they were in a boom cycle; lots of chocolate sauce to trickle down. The generation imprinted then is only now beginning to lose its influence on public perception. Countries that suffered extensive loss and damage had a quite different post-war experience.


My understanding of the US economy at the end of WWII is similar, but there are differences too. Yes, the US war machine had been making big profits, as well as industries feeding the war with other supplies. Those profits would have dried up immediately, if it wasn't for the Korean War, then the Vietnam War immediately after. That's what kept the US economy ticking. And because those industries thrived, their employees had money to spend, so other industries fed from that, further expanding the economy. WWII is the cause of the US Economy becoming a war-based economy.

Then the really big one...the advent of credit for the working person, which had never been available before. This alone created a 30 year boom period, basically, for the US and its counterparts. Yes there were ebbs and flows, but nothing like this boom period has ever been seen before, and will never be seen again.

For other countries, Axis powers first, Japan and Germany had billions (in today's money) fed into them to bring their economies up from decimation. The West learned its lesson post WWI, whereby they placed impossible reparations on Germany in the Treaty of Versailles, forcing Germany to pay extremely high reparations as well losing some agricultural and industrial lands. All this made Germany, already poverty stricken from the WWI and soon, worse, from the Great Depression, a breeding ground for the disenfranchised who wanted to create problems, like Hitler. So Germany was fed lots of money after WWII, as was Japan, in order to not make the same mistake as made post WWI.

But if we go on the Bush/Cheney model, we go in, destroy the infrastructure, then send in American companies to "rebuild", when what they are actually doing, is building nothing more than shells of buildings with no fixtures or equipment..such was the state of any hospitals built by US companies, particularly Cheney's...Haliburton. We of course, after raping them of the 2nd largest oil field on the planet (an estimated 50 billion barrels of oil) and killing 4 million people, make them pay for these shells that we refer to as "rebuilding", while we also stole all the gold bullion they had, just for good measure. We have found better ways of making money from war than just the making of bullets and equipment. We have completely shafted them, and yet, still don't understand why the USA is not just hated but vehemently hated by most of the ROTW. Go figure!

The allies had it differently, England and Australia were put into debt with a company by the name of Lend Lease. I can't talk of England in relation to this next issue, but in Australia, we had something like 6-8 car companies, though relatively small ones. GM and Ford came in, put the smaller car companies out of business and opened their doors, claiming to be the only "Australian car company", when they were both US companies, that initially just assembled cars here, then after a little while, because an Aussie or 2 had some influence in the car design, the cars were also manufactured here...by American companies calling themselves Australian. Then of course, we had to sell minerals to the US for peanuts, and when Bob Hawke went to meet with Ronald Raygun to tell him we were going green and so not selling uranium to them any more, Bob returned from his visit stating that we WERE selling uranium, and that was the last word uttered on the topic. Strangely, his hair had turned white in the 2 weeks he was away in the USA having his mind changed for him about uranium.

Income and wealth disparity are inherently anti-democratic. The animals who own the farm are always more equal than the animals who pull the plough.
But they have smart rats working in their PR department.


True. Great book! Thoroughly enjoyed the read.

Michelle Obama is smart enough to know better, and any American can look up the difference in income between a Koch brother and a pipeline worker, and translate that into relative political clout
- and yet
can still make a speech about hard work accomplishing anything, and even sort of believe it.


I don't understand why you expected anything different. Sounds to me like you were sucker-punched by a sense of hope and that Obama was an intelligent and articulate guy, even charming. Yes, but he was a politician, and politicians are professional liars.

The disconnect is in the connotations of the language that's used ...and used selectively.

And it is one huge, effective disconnect, perpetuated by all media product, "fantasy" and "reality" and the whole big grey blur engulfing both concepts.


Yes again. It hasn't permeated the fabric of society, it IS the fabric.

Two quick post-scripts: Yesterday, on a different forum, I participated in a discussion with three other posters, entirely in word salad - and I'm not entirely sure I'm the only one who was doing it on purpose.



Hahaha! I may as well use word salad...the sorts of people that populate forums like this, by and large, don't understand the stuff you and I are talking about.

If you get the chance and haven't already, watch an oldish movie called Bulworth https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/bulworth-1998


Seen it, but don't know the point you wish to make about it. I had to read an overview to refresh my memory, but I've seen it.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Serpent on July 2nd, 2019, 4:56 pm 

Lozza » July 2nd, 2019, 1:48 pm wrote:[ The Democrats squawk about it, but have no power to fix it. ]

No power in opposition, but even when in power, powerless,

Because, in the US, election procedure is under state jurisdiction. The blue states have relatively fair rules and practices, while the red states have egregious voter suppression; therefore, it's easier for a Republican candidate in a predominantly Democrat district to unseat his rival than the reverse; therefore, the Republican party always has an advantage: it's far more difficult for for Democrats to get a Congressional majority.
The other deciding factor is the whipping practice: Republicans toe the party line, spout the party line, get behind the party line - or get the heave-ho. What little I saw of the Democratic candidates' debates was eerily reminiscent of a Monty Python scene

And that's ironically exactly because they're not originally all fished from the same pool by the same manipulative overlords: they actually have some legitimacy: do represent real constituents.
At the entry level. At that level, there are fifty-odd political parties - predictably, the majority are lunatic fringe, but still diverse.
Once you make your way up the spawning rapids, money is a larger and larger component of each campaign, until at the top, it can well be the deciding factor. The more propaganda you can buy, or your sponsors can recruit, the better your chances.

[aristocracy]
No, it's been since the advent of currency, some 8,000 years ago by the Sumerians, in various forms, but there has always been intermediaries between wealth and the masses, it just got formalized and systematized by the Romans and Greeks....

There have been lots of government by elites, with a civil service, secular or clerical, yes. But most of them didn't pretend to be democratic, or to abide by a constitution which places limits on the power of rulers and grants explicit rights to citizens.


I don't need to, as here in Australia we had government owning all water reserves, telecommunications, postal system and energy except petroleum and gas, but they controlled the electricity, and also had a bank. Everything has been sold to corporates by both sides of the political arena, so now we pay through the nose for everything while we are held to ransom by the corporates. We also have medicare...free health for ALL and until the 1990's, free university for all. Now uni students incur debt instead. Medicare has been around since the mid 1970's, but will prove to be a problem once us "baby-boomers" start going to nursing homes, as that's currently funded by government, though asset tested....those with properties can put them down as a deposit, leaving nothing for their children while grimly griping the last vestiges of life, with no quality of life.

Canada has a similar history - gaining very good social services and civil liberties from the immediate post-war years through to the late 70's. Then came the conservative backlash. Selling our assets, without consultation or a share of the proceeds; contracting out everything from hydro to garbage collection - which invariably, and everywhere, means that cost rises as quality declines. After a fairly decent Liberal interval, there's one of those massacres underway in Ontario right now. Health care and education are getting the worst slashes, but I'm pretty sure public broadcasting will lose some more blood.


My understanding of the US economy at the end of WWII is similar, but there are differences too. Yes, the US war machine had been making big profits, as well as industries feeding the war with other supplies.

That, too. But I meant that the US infrastructure, population and productive capability and concentrated wealth were undamaged, while Europe, the far East and Russia were waist-deep in ruins and corpses. Canada and Australia got off lightly, too; had plenty of food - but were way behind the US in manufacturing, and suffered higher casualties; lost a lot of young men from small populations. With that, the US could dominate all the world's industry and finance. Plus, they gained political and military control of a wide-spread geographical (strategic; coercive) empire, just as England's was disintegrating, so they picked up a few incidental (unofficial economic) colonies. Further, they were emboldened by those victories to take control of South and central America, to turn a dozen flourishing, potentially socialist nations into the "shithole countries" from which they now won't accept refugees.

But if we go on the Bush/Cheney model, we go in, destroy the infrastructure, then send in American companies to "rebuild", when what they are actually doing, is building nothing more than shells of buildings with no fixtures or equipment..such was the state of any hospitals built by US companies, particularly Cheney's...Haliburton. We of course, after raping them of the 2nd largest oil field on the planet (an estimated 50 billion barrels of oil) and killing 4 million people, make them pay for these shells that we refer to as "rebuilding", while we also stole all the gold bullion they had, just for good measure. We have found better ways of making money from war than just the making of bullets and equipment. We have completely shafted them, and yet, still don't understand why the USA is not just hated but vehemently hated by most of the ROTW. Go figure!

More and bigger empire-building - the logical extension of the same policy. And the economic colonization of the world continues:
... GM and Ford came in, put the smaller car companies out of business and opened their doors, claiming to be the only "Australian car company", when they were both US companies, that initially just assembled cars here, then after a little while, because an Aussie or 2 had some influence in the car design, the cars were also manufactured here...by American companies calling themselves Australian. Then of course, we had to sell minerals to the US for peanuts, and when Bob Hawke went to meet with Ronald Raygun to tell him we were going green and so not selling uranium to them any more, Bob returned from his visit stating that we WERE selling uranium, and that was the last word uttered on the topic. Strangely, his hair had turned white in the 2 weeks he was away in the USA having his mind changed for him about uranium.

but the propaganda fed to Americans is:
- We are making the world safe for democracy;
- helping other nations build their economies; investing in their future;
- nation-building and liberating all over the place.
and then:
- free trade - on our terms, of course - with our puny allies, we're doing them a favour ...
and:
- Competition from overseas is putting pressure on our industries; we'll have to lower wages, cutt corporate taxes, lay off people, bust up the unions, stop enforcing workers' rights or safety, bail out and subsidize inefficient industries...
but then, some of those other nations actually get ahold of their own industry; so
- big tariffs to protect the jobs of American (robots)

Then the really big one...the advent of credit for the working person, which had never been available before. This alone created a 30 year boom period, basically, for the US and its counterparts. Yes there were ebbs and flows, but nothing like this boom period has ever been seen before, and will never be seen again.

And one of the fundamental, inescapable truths that can never be uttered publicly: debt-driven economy must grow or collapse. But there is no scope on a finite planet for infinite growth.


[ Michelle Obama... even sort of believe it.]

I don't understand why you expected anything different.

I didn't. It was merely an example of how effective the brainwashing is: even people with excellent education and inside access are in its thrall, long after you'd expect them to come to their senses.

It hasn't permeated the fabric of society, it IS the fabric.

Marshall McLuhan strikes again!

[Bulworth]

Seen it, but don't know the point you wish to make about it.

Just another illustration: Those who know attempt to communicate what they know, to no avail:
there is no viable medium for this message.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Lozza on July 3rd, 2019, 3:35 am 

Serpent » July 3rd, 2019, 7:56 am wrote:
Lozza » July 2nd, 2019, 1:48 pm wrote:[ The Democrats squawk about it, but have no power to fix it. ]

No power in opposition, but even when in power, powerless,

Because, in the US, election procedure is under state jurisdiction. The blue states have relatively fair rules and practices, while the red states have egregious voter suppression; therefore, it's easier for a Republican candidate in a predominantly Democrat district to unseat his rival than the reverse; therefore, the Republican party always has an advantage: it's far more difficult for for Democrats to get a Congressional majority.
The other deciding factor is the whipping practice: Republicans toe the party line, spout the party line, get behind the party line - or get the heave-ho. What little I saw of the Democratic candidates' debates was eerily reminiscent of a Monty Python scene


Life of Brian...classic! Thanks for explaining their process for me, I wasn't aware of those details.

[aristocracy]
No, it's been since the advent of currency, some 8,000 years ago by the Sumerians, in various forms, but there has always been intermediaries between wealth and the masses, it just got formalized and systematized by the Romans and Greeks....

There have been lots of government by elites, with a civil service, secular or clerical, yes. But most of them didn't pretend to be democratic, or to abide by a constitution which places limits on the power of rulers and grants explicit rights to citizens.


Well, that seems to be the problem, doesn't it? America PRETENDS to be democratic, no differently than the USSR called themselves "democratic socialists", where you got to vote for Party leaders in a one Party system. Ok, the USA is a two Party system, but as far as "democracy" is concerned, it's still a misnomer. Democracy is government FOR the people BY the people, not the changing of rulers over the people by election, which is how our "democracies" function and how the USSR functioned and how China still functions (a dictatorial bureaucracy). So constitutions and bills of rights are just lip service on paper....how long did it take for African-Americans to get the vote, despite slavery not being condoned in their constitution or Bill of Rights? I rest my case...lol.

I know the Constitution is America's holy Bible, every American I've ever spoken to hangs their hat on it. It's bullshit. That's why I call people that believe in the system "true believers" as it's no different to religion...I pick and choose the parts I like, fuck the rest of it, meanwhile defending it as a holy script (that I mostly ignore).

Canada has a similar history - gaining very good social services and civil liberties from the immediate post-war years through to the late 70's. Then came the conservative backlash. Selling our assets, without consultation or a share of the proceeds; contracting out everything from hydro to garbage collection - which invariably, and everywhere, means that cost rises as quality declines. After a fairly decent Liberal interval, there's one of those massacres underway in Ontario right now. Health care and education are getting the worst slashes, but I'm pretty sure public broadcasting will lose some more blood.


Yes, it's just more of the same. But here, all this happened under BOTH wings of the bird, it didn't matter whether they were left or right wing, everything was just sold-off wholesale. Even roadworks is now contracted out, and where I live, it took them 20 years to complete a 2 km section of roadwork because the contracted company went belly-up. 20 years! They're not just corrupt, they're incompetent!

My understanding of the US economy at the end of WWII is similar, but there are differences too. Yes, the US war machine had been making big profits, as well as industries feeding the war with other supplies.

That, too. But I meant that the US infrastructure, population and productive capability and concentrated wealth were undamaged, while Europe, the far East and Russia were waist-deep in ruins and corpses. Canada and Australia got off lightly, too; had plenty of food - but were way behind the US in manufacturing, and suffered higher casualties; lost a lot of young men from small populations. With that, the US could dominate all the world's industry and finance. Plus, they gained political and military control of a wide-spread geographical (strategic; coercive) empire, just as England's was disintegrating, so they picked up a few incidental (unofficial economic) colonies. Further, they were emboldened by those victories to take control of South and central America, to turn a dozen flourishing, potentially socialist nations into the "shithole countries" from which they now won't accept refugees.


That's a very good point about the domination in manufacturing and finance, I hadn't viewed it in that context. Thanks! Yes, what they did in South America is outrageous...they like to call themselves the "good guys", but the opposite is more true, with the proof in their actions.


but the propaganda fed to Americans is:
- We are making the world safe for democracy;
- helping other nations build their economies; investing in their future;
- nation-building and liberating all over the place.
and then:
- free trade - on our terms, of course - with our puny allies, we're doing them a favour ...
and:
- Competition from overseas is putting pressure on our industries; we'll have to lower wages, cutt corporate taxes, lay off people, bust up the unions, stop enforcing workers' rights or safety, bail out and subsidize inefficient industries...
but then, some of those other nations actually get ahold of their own industry; so
- big tariffs to protect the jobs of American (robots)


Correct in every way.

And one of the fundamental, inescapable truths that can never be uttered publicly: debt-driven economy must grow or collapse. But there is no scope on a finite planet for infinite growth.


Who wants to know the truth when rose-colored glasses are far more comfortable?

[ Michelle Obama... even sort of believe it.]

I don't understand why you expected anything different.

I didn't. It was merely an example of how effective the brainwashing is: even people with excellent education and inside access are in its thrall, long after you'd expect them to come to their senses.


Because absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Though I take your points about their system and acknowledge that your take is more accurate than mine in the details, I still maintain the lack of difference between the two parties when it comes to being in office. Clinton was no less corrupt than any Republicans before him, and Obama, well, what an asshole he was. You know of course that Wall Street funded something like 30% of his first election campaign that cost about $2 billion for him to buy the White House. Go figure, Ben Bernanke, one of the architects of the Sub-Prime Loan fiasco, instead of spending the rest of his life in jail, got the job as head of the Federal Reserve.

I appreciate the differences you have outlined, but when it comes to being POTUS, I can see no difference whatsoever between the two. They are corrupt, even sociopathic, and all seem to be drawn from the same well of scum.

It hasn't permeated the fabric of society, it IS the fabric.

Marshall McLuhan strikes again!


I had to look him up. Thank you, I take that as high praise, indeed. :)

Just another illustration: Those who know attempt to communicate what they know, to no avail:
there is no viable medium for this message.


Sadly true. Another good film, though a little off-track to our discussion, but still relevant in the big scheme of all things political, is Wag The Dog. And I also enjoyed Syriana for how it depicts the disenfranchised being recruited for terrorism...very insightful.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Serpent on July 3rd, 2019, 9:00 am 

We've seen Wag the Dog enough times that "I want credit!" is one of our household tag-lines -
along with "What have the Romans ever done for us?"
(and the ever-popular "Run!")
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby TheVat on July 3rd, 2019, 12:43 pm 

Lozza wrote:

I know the Constitution is America's holy Bible, every American I've ever spoken to hangs their hat on it. It's bullshit. That's why I call people that believe in the system "true believers" as it's no different to religion...I pick and choose the parts I like, fuck the rest of it, meanwhile defending it as a holy script (that I mostly ignore).


I don't know how many Americans you've talked to, but I think you'd find considerable agreement (myself included) that the Constitution, while a worthy statement of democratic principles, has been poorly implemented by a Congress (and Judiciary) which has been dominated by a wealthy elite. To the degree that we're pretty close to a plutocracy right now - campaign finance reform is desperately needed.

I think you're right, that the Truest Believers are the ones that seize upon a single article or amendment, elevate it to divine edict, while ignoring the rest of them. Living here in the U.S., I'd put that group at around 30%. But that 30% gets out to vote disproportionately, way more than any other. Most of them vote from self-interest ("Waaah! I want my TAX CUT! TAX CUT!"), rather than any of the core principles. A surprising number would scrap the Establishment Clause (freedom of worship) if they could, because they see the U.S. as a Christian Nation, and all other faiths as a threat to their social order. The present assault on abortion and reproductive rights is largely driven by a theocratic impulse, and not on any genuine concern for equal protection for zygotes and embryos.

The problem with capitalism, underlying all this, is that it's a purely economic theory and has no moral content whatsoever. (Unless "greed is good!" is an ethical postulate, which I rather doubt) So, to have rational and human capitalism, you really need some kind of ideology that will provide the moral oversight - to borrow EF Schumacher's famous phrase, "Economics as if people mattered." And our system, in the USA, seems to be an epic failure in this regard, though we've had a few small victories in breaking up monopolies, holding polluters accountable, ensuring workplace safety, etc. But the victories are scattered pretty thinly through a festering stew of corruption.

At this point in my life, I can still hope that the Millennials wake up from their electronic slumbers, realize what's going on, and begin preparing large pots of hot tar and bags of feathers for our ruthless oligarchs.

Cheers.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby TheVat on July 3rd, 2019, 12:44 pm 

(edited due to excessive giddiness) (but thanks for the "like")
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Serpent on July 3rd, 2019, 2:11 pm 

Sooooo - you're not attending The Big Parade?
Will you, then, join me and my humble ilk in fervent prayer:
"To Whom it may concern:
Send that which blesseth the ground of Mumbai and cause it to descend also upon the House of White on this its most sacred day of commemoration.
Salud "
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Lozza on July 3rd, 2019, 7:59 pm 

TheVat » July 4th, 2019, 3:43 am wrote:
I don't know how many Americans you've talked to, but I think you'd find considerable agreement (myself included) that the Constitution, while a worthy statement of democratic principles, has been poorly implemented by a Congress (and Judiciary) which has been dominated by a wealthy elite. To the degree that we're pretty close to a plutocracy right now - campaign finance reform is desperately needed.


The basic point that I'm alluding to, is that the planet is a plutocracy in practice, while everyone uses the term "democracy". Money rules all.

I think you're right, that the Truest Believers are the ones that seize upon a single article or amendment, elevate it to divine edict, while ignoring the rest of them. Living here in the U.S., I'd put that group at around 30%. But that 30% gets out to vote disproportionately, way more than any other. Most of them vote from self-interest ("Waaah! I want my TAX CUT! TAX CUT!"), rather than any of the core principles. A surprising number would scrap the Establishment Clause (freedom of worship) if they could, because they see the U.S. as a Christian Nation, and all other faiths as a threat to their social order. The present assault on abortion and reproductive rights is largely driven by a theocratic impulse, and not on any genuine concern for equal protection for zygotes and embryos.


Sorry, I'm prone to a modicum of exaggeration when I'm on my high horse...lol. Clearly, I've predominately spoken to the estimated 30%, who are apparently quite vocal.

The problem with capitalism, underlying all this, is that it's a purely economic theory and has no moral content whatsoever. (Unless "greed is good!" is an ethical postulate, which I rather doubt) So, to have rational and human capitalism, you really need some kind of ideology that will provide the moral oversight - to borrow EF Schumacher's famous phrase, "Economics as if people mattered." And our system, in the USA, seems to be an epic failure in this regard, though we've had a few small victories in breaking up monopolies, holding polluters accountable, ensuring workplace safety, etc. But the victories are scattered pretty thinly through a festering stew of corruption.


That's exactly right. The victories add up to nothing much more than tokenism, don't they?

Morality and money...now there's a Utopian ideal. Again, you're absolutely correct, but we may as well persue the eradication of currency and/or corporations for all the good it would do. It just can't happen. Money appeals to humanity's most base emotions of selfishness and greed, so much so, that in practice, morality becomes a contradiction to money. Our sense of morality is what the sociopaths appeal to, which is why "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". No-one recruits terrorists, everyone recruits freedom fighters, calling the enemy "terrorists" in doing so. We are manipulated by our emotions, sold items we don't need by our emotions, etc.

At this point in my life, I can still hope that the Millennials wake up from their electronic slumbers, realize what's going on, and begin preparing large pots of hot tar and bags of feathers for our ruthless oligarchs.

Cheers.


No other generation has awoken from their slumber, so I have no reason for such hope, unfortunately. My hope is to meet my demise before seeing us drop into the abyss. The Western nations are gearing-up for conflict, both internal and external. Internal from the impending mass unemployment and externally for geopolitical positioning for the access to resources. Why? Only money, to satisfy those base emotions. It's our history for the past 8,000 years since the advent of currency.

What does the Bible say? The love of money is the root of all evil...strange that we humans love inanimate objects more than each other, isn't it? I wonder if it's due to inanimate objects not being able to talk back...lol.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Serpent on July 3rd, 2019, 9:43 pm 

Lozza » July 3rd, 2019, 6:59 pm wrote:That's exactly right. The victories add up to nothing much more than tokenism, don't they?

I honestly don't believe so. I'm a pessimist - used to be the arch-pessimist around here. But I can't simply write off the victories as flukes or indulgence: I think they're real and represent a real, substantial, important, worthwhile and possibly - just possibly - hanging by the finest gossamer thread - redeeming facet of human nature.

Morality and money...now there's a Utopian ideal.

No; of course they're incompatible. But only one of them is necessary.

... we may as well persue the eradication of currency and/or corporations for all the good it would do. It just can't happen.

It must happen.
Dinosaurs roamed the earth, etc etc for +/-160,000,000 years, and for all of that time, they were solidly real and present in the world. See any around lately?
Money has existed as currency for +/- 6,000 years and is already losing its substance, its reality. It was a hiccup of social evolution, that's all - a fad, like garlic pills or spike-heeled shoes, only more toxic.

Morality is something quite different. It can be misunderstood, misused and mislabelled, sure, but a fundamental sense of right and wrong - call it ethics, good sportsmanship or common courtesy - a sense of fairness, we cannot do without.

It's very possible that most of us won't survive the next three decades. I'm quite sure that our civilization, as it currently stands, cannot. But something will, and I believe it will include some people, who will go on to the next adventure, whatever that's going to be....
They'll probably mess up again. But I don't believe it's inevitable.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Lozza on July 3rd, 2019, 11:49 pm 

Serpent » July 4th, 2019, 12:43 pm wrote:
Lozza » July 3rd, 2019, 6:59 pm wrote:That's exactly right. The victories add up to nothing much more than tokenism, don't they?

I honestly don't believe so. I'm a pessimist - used to be the arch-pessimist around here. But I can't simply write off the victories as flukes or indulgence: I think they're real and represent a real, substantial, important, worthwhile and possibly - just possibly - hanging by the finest gossamer thread - redeeming facet of human nature.


"Arch-pessimist"...I had a hearty laugh at that term, thank you. In fact, can I change my moniker to that and you guys can call me "Archie" for short?...lol

I'm not suggesting that humanity has no redeeming features, far from it. I'm saying that the authorities and big business can't be trusted.

Morality and money...now there's a Utopian ideal.

No; of course they're incompatible. But only one of them is necessary.


I concur. But wealth never will.

... we may as well persue the eradication of currency and/or corporations for all the good it would do. It just can't happen.

It must happen.
Dinosaurs roamed the earth, etc etc for +/-160,000,000 years, and for all of that time, they were solidly real and present in the world. See any around lately?
Money has existed as currency for +/- 6,000 years and is already losing its substance, its reality. It was a hiccup of social evolution, that's all - a fad, like garlic pills or spike-heeled shoes, only more toxic.


It's a hiccup in time, but not in the context of what we call "civilization", where it's been a dominant and pervasive tool. I don't perceive money as losing substance, it has lost value, but the two are not the same. Money drives the world.

Morality is something quite different. It can be misunderstood, misused and mislabelled, sure, but a fundamental sense of right and wrong - call it ethics, good sportsmanship or common courtesy - a sense of fairness, we cannot do without.


That's also very true. But try explaining that to a white-collar sociopath in government or big business, whose profile perfectly fits those job descriptions.

It's very possible that most of us won't survive the next three decades. I'm quite sure that our civilization, as it currently stands, cannot. But something will, and I believe it will include some people, who will go on to the next adventure, whatever that's going to be....
They'll probably mess up again. But I don't believe it's inevitable.


Well, that's also an interesting point, since there are researchers that believe that this current manifestation of civilization is quite possibly the 3rd or 4th time that humanity has been at this point, only to implode. Either way, my point is that a civilization based upon materialism CANNOT get far, in a cosmic context, for it is doomed from the beginning to eventually implode upon itself with population outstripping resources, exponentially, due to the excessive waste of resources for nothing but profit, driving excessive consumerism with an ever-growing population. It's collective madness!

As a species, to get anywhere, we have to come to terms with the fact that we require global co-operation rather than friction, and to form a global civilization whereby currency has no place. That eliminates consumerism, wealth accumulation, corporations, copyrights, patents and host of other things. This then opens the door to the sharing of ideas and technologies, with the conservation of our resources and a cleaner planet as by-products. Utopian and unrealistic, but only because the small few that run things, like it the way it is and are not about to relinquish one cent.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Serpent on July 4th, 2019, 10:23 am 

Lozza » July 3rd, 2019, 10:49 pm wrote:"Arch-pessimist"...I had a hearty laugh at that term, thank you. In fact, can I change my moniker to that and you guys can call me "Archie" for short?...lol

There is no way on Whoever's green earth that I'm changing my handle to mehitabel!

I'm not suggesting that humanity has no redeeming features, far from it. I'm saying that the authorities and big business can't be trusted.

Of course not: they have to be eliminated. Every couple-three centuries, we have to trundle them to the town square and cut off their heads. Takes them a while to grow new one, during which intervals we invent things like labour unions, public schools and parliaments.

[Morality and money incompatible.]

I concur. But wealth never will.

Wealth doesn't get a say. Wealth is ephemeral. What do you suppose will happen inside those $jillion walled compounds when the accounts in Singapore and the Virgin Islands are wiped out? When international currency collapses along with the governments and legal structures and economies that support it? Do the servants keep tugging on their forelocks and fetching drinks when they haven't paid in three or four months? Do the water deliveries for the swimming pool keep coming when the roads are washed out by flash flood? Wealth is a folie a des millions, an invisible robe: an illusion kept alive by mutual consent.
(like religion and governance)

It's [money] a hiccup in time, but not in the context of what we call "civilization", where it's been a dominant and pervasive tool. I don't perceive money as losing substance, it has lost value, but the two are not the same.

Add "Civilization" to the brackets above. It's a form of social organization. It's been in vogue for roughly 7,000 of the 30,000 years of recorded human societies. During that short period, twenty or so different civilizations have collapsed or been toppled. Civilization is vincible and mutable: nothing in it is beyond our capability to change.
By currency losing substance, I'm referring to plastic money, electronic money, projected money (stock certificates, dividends; promissory notes,) gambling chips, food stamps, coupons, lottery tickets... all the forms of currency that can be rendered void by the stroke of pen or swipe of a magnet; a very large portion of the world's wealth, as well its trading currency, does not exist in any physical form.

Money drives the world.

That's the second biggest lie ever perpetrated on humankind. A very, very close second.

[ a sense of fairness, we cannot do without. ]
That's also very true. But try explaining that to a white-collar sociopath in government or big business, whose profile perfectly fits those job descriptions.

I don't. I just give him a pair of work-gloves (I'm a compassionate sans-culotte) drive him out to the cotton field and hand him a sack.
Next generation, I'm a lot more careful which lies the children are acting out.

Either way, my point is that a civilization based upon materialism CANNOT get far, in a cosmic context, for it is doomed from the beginning to eventually implode upon itself with population outstripping resources, exponentially, due to the excessive waste of resources for nothing but profit, driving excessive consumerism with an ever-growing population. It's collective madness!

This much is self-evident.
But - Incurable? I'm only 99% certain.

As a species, to get anywhere, we have to come to terms with the fact that we require global co-operation rather than friction, and to form a global civilization whereby currency has no place.

Devoutly to be wished. Elsewhere on this forum, I have advocated a course of action that could get us from the edge of extinction to a reasonable life in two generations, but it wasn't unanimously adopted.
We see the result.
The most likely alternative is a near-extinction event, the likes of which the world has seen a couple of times before, leaving a few isolated pockets of humanity to start anew. This time, though, with caches of seed, information and tools thoughtfully squirelled away for them by the very best of us.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Lozza on July 4th, 2019, 9:15 pm 

Serpent » July 5th, 2019, 1:23 am wrote:[quote="[url=http://www.sciencechatforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=346684#p346684]

I'm not suggesting that humanity has no redeeming features, far from it. I'm saying that the authorities and big business can't be trusted.

Of course not: they have to be eliminated. Every couple-three centuries, we have to trundle them to the town square and cut off their heads. Takes them a while to grow new one, during which intervals we invent things like labour unions, public schools and parliaments.


Labour unions and public schools weren't born out of revolution, and they are only relatively recent phenomena. Though I agree with the sentiment, I don't agree with its future likelihood.

[Morality and money incompatible.]

I concur. But wealth never will.

Wealth doesn't get a say.


How do they not get a say, when everything is owned by wealth? Virtually everything said comes from them.

Wealth is ephemeral.


Philosophically, sure. But in terms of our day-to-day lives, no, it's quite real. Try telling your creditors that it's ephemeral when you default on a repayment...your ephemeral car or home may disappear, but you'll still be left with your ephemeral debt, lawfully enforced.

What do you suppose will happen inside those $jillion walled compounds when the accounts in Singapore and the Virgin Islands are wiped out?


I'd first like to know what you envisage will occur in order for all that ephemeral money to suddenly disappear. A global electrical blackout? What?

When international currency collapses along with the governments and legal structures and economies that support it? Do the servants keep tugging on their forelocks and fetching drinks when they haven't paid in three or four months? Do the water deliveries for the swimming pool keep coming when the roads are washed out by flash flood? Wealth is a folie a des millions, an invisible robe: an illusion kept alive by mutual consent.
(like religion and governance)


In principle I agree, but we don't live in principle. Money is a construct, so when it collapses, it gets reconstructed.

It's [money] a hiccup in time, but not in the context of what we call "civilization", where it's been a dominant and pervasive tool. I don't perceive money as losing substance, it has lost value, but the two are not the same.

Add "Civilization" to the brackets above. It's a form of social organization. It's been in vogue for roughly 7,000 of the 30,000 years of recorded human societies. During that short period, twenty or so different civilizations have collapsed or been toppled. Civilization is vincible and mutable: nothing in it is beyond our capability to change.


I don't know that I'd use the word "vogue", like it's a fashion item. It's a system of loose co-operation, allowing people to be more than subsistence farmers or hunters and gatherers. Civilization is what allows technologies to be developed, creates greater diversity in needs and developments, people educated and secured. Civilization is a social evolution, not a fad.

By currency losing substance, I'm referring to plastic money, electronic money, projected money (stock certificates, dividends; promissory notes,) gambling chips, food stamps, coupons, lottery tickets... all the forms of currency that can be rendered void by the stroke of pen or swipe of a magnet; a very large portion of the world's wealth, as well its trading currency, does not exist in any physical form.


Money has never had "substance", it's a concept of agreed value for a currency for the purpose of trade, allowing me to buy a portion of a cow instead of the whole thing as I had to under a barter system.

When a currency collapses, it's the value of the currency that has collapsed, not the concept of currency. WWII Germany is a good example, whereby the value of money became meaningless with bizarre inflation rates. But did the concept of money collapse? No, it just got reconstituted after the war...just add water...lol

Money drives the world.

That's the second biggest lie ever perpetrated on humankind. A very, very close second.


I'll bite, what's the biggest lie?

I'd like to know what you mean by money as the 2nd biggest lie.

[ a sense of fairness, we cannot do without. ]
That's also very true. But try explaining that to a white-collar sociopath in government or big business, whose profile perfectly fits those job descriptions.

I don't. I just give him a pair of work-gloves (I'm a compassionate sans-culotte) drive him out to the cotton field and hand him a sack.
Next generation, I'm a lot more careful which lies the children are acting out.


That's all very nice if you're omnipotent, or playing Sim City, but we cannot oversee these things.

As a species, to get anywhere, we have to come to terms with the fact that we require global co-operation rather than friction, and to form a global civilization whereby currency has no place.

Devoutly to be wished. Elsewhere on this forum, I have advocated a course of action that could get us from the edge of extinction to a reasonable life in two generations, but it wasn't unanimously adopted.
We see the result.


Hahaha! Here's a plausible compromise...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondragon_Corporation


The most likely alternative is a near-extinction event, the likes of which the world has seen a couple of times before, leaving a few isolated pockets of humanity to start anew. This time, though, with caches of seed, information and tools thoughtfully squirelled away for them by the very best of us.


Now we're on the same page. What technologies would you squirrel away? I can't see that anything more than basic tools would be of any use...even a screwdriver would be of no use, as once you run out of screws, you're screwed.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Serpent on July 5th, 2019, 1:14 am 

Lozza » July 4th, 2019, 8:15 pm wrote:Labour unions and public schools weren't born out of revolution, and they are only relatively recent phenomena.

They were just examples of good ideas that had a chance to grow while the overlords were in remission. After a revolution, and before the next regime has become corrupt. It doesn't have to be a revolution; any major upheaval will do: economic crash, regency, some kinds of war - that is, the kind not waged and controlled by the overlords - even a cultural or technological shift.

Though I agree with the sentiment, I don't agree with its future likelihood.

It doesn't matter. This coming upheaval is unprecedented. None of the institutions will survive it; reform will be an obsolete concept.

How do they not get a say, when everything is owned by wealth? Virtually everything said comes from them.

Comes - present tense. It's a short moment, the present.
How much clout does the Czar have? Or the Emperor of China?

[Wealth is ephemeral]

Philosophically, sure.

No, literally. Signatures on pieces of paper; numbers on a computer screen. One person is rich only because the other people let him act rich. Indeed, they're constantly terrified that we'll figure it out. If you default, they can send the baliffs after your stuff. If everybody defaults, they're up Shitz' Creek.

I'd first like to know what you envisage will occur in order for all that ephemeral money to suddenly disappear. A global electrical blackout?

That's a distinct possibility. Internet overload. The USA defaulting. Nuclear war.
I recommend an interesting book by a mathematician named John Casti https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13425643-x-events
There are huge complexity gaps all over the place, that we're largely unaware of
What?

My personal conjecture is pretty grim. I see climate change and proliferating local wars driving larger and larger crowds of people out of all the places where they can no longer survive, exerting pressure on already stressed resources and law enforcement and border authorities; extreme weather events displacing large numbers of people even countries that that think they have wealth; more and more of them putting the fatheads in charge because fatheads always say they know how to cope, but they don't; meanwhile, their cronies are having a feeding frenzy, hoovering up all the wealth of their countries before it's gone, but the money's worthless if nobody can work or buy stuff, and all the fatheads know how to do is try to contain people, which has nearly reached its limit already, so they'll start shooting people, and some of them will shoot back, and some of the militias will shoot back, and those skirmishes will escalate into civil wars, military juntas, turnstile regime-changes, people in concentration camps, refugee camps, makeshift encampments of every kind getting sick from bad water and no food, all the while rain keeps falling, dams breaching, oceans rising, storms pounding coasts, washing out cities and farmlands, roads and bridges in some places while in other places drought parches and forests and grainfields burn...
Lots and lots of dying. No law. No wealth. No control.
The breakdown of the hydro grid (which was a bad idea in the first place) will be incidental, go unnoticed, almost, unless it happens early on.

Money is a construct, so when it collapses, it gets reconstructed.

If there is a framework in which it can have a function, and a support structure. Money is not a stand-alone item like a pyramid: it can only exist if there is government to back it and a compliant population to give it substance [produce, consume, abide and pay taxes]

I don't know that I'd use the word "vogue", like it's a fashion item.

Okay, I'm a bit flippant - only to balance the undue reverence civilization usually receives.

It's a system of loose co-operation, allowing people to be more than subsistence farmers or hunters and gatherers.

Reservations. There is nothing loose about civilized co-operation: the compliance of citizens is rigidly enforced. The majority are given no option.
A hunter-gatherer is self-reliant, earns his status in the tribe through competence, reliability and integrity; has a voice in the council, makes his own schedule and life-style except when participating in a group endeavour. How is a serf or pariah or coolie more than that?
Civilization, in fact, reduces most men [There is a long essay; dogs are mentioned.] and all women to servility, while elevating a few to unearned prominence. Some have been relatively benign and permissive, while some were flat-out brutal, but they've all relied on stratification and coercion, which invariably leads to ruptures.
Civilization is what allows technologies to be developed, creates greater diversity in needs and developments, people educated and secured. Civilization is a social evolution, not a fad.

In a way, this is true. In practice, it has been sketchy and varied; much of it has been detrimental to humans and lethal to everything else.
There is no law of physics to dictate how a group of people numbering more than 10,000 (I've read that's the magic threshold for technology and innovation; I wonder if it isn't also the threshold of collective insanity) need to be organized. The next one - or the next dozen, might be different.
Of course, i would have preferred to evolve into a better arrangement.

Money has never had "substance", it's a concept of agreed value for a currency for the purpose of trade, allowing me to buy a portion of a cow instead of the whole thing as I had to under a barter system.

Yes. But there was an actual cow, even if you were tricked into paying double the agreed price for your portion which turned out to be more whey than butter.
The more abstract money becomes, and the things that are bought and sold with it, the more cheating can take place. Ultimately, however, some peon ends up having to do the actual work or killing his actual cow, to pay for all the profits made by people who've never stepped in anything worse than spilled martini.

When a currency collapses, it's the value of the currency that has collapsed, not the concept of currency.

Oh, the concept doesn't go anywhere. But a concept doesn't buy anything, either.
After a local calamity, there are outside agencies to reconstruct things as they were. In the US when the stock market blows up, government and working population are there to absorb and repair the damage; when a nation is defeated in war, the victors come in and rebuild it in their own image; after a revolution, the new regime copies and trades with its neighbours.
When the economy supporting speculative wealth (not gold, not cattle, not land, not silk - but debt - the promise of other men's future work) is global, the collapse has no natural barriers. It doesn't stop. There is no FDR, no Marshall Plan, no Haliburton - no reconstruction.

I'll bite, what's the biggest lie?

Institutional religion. The world's most amazingly successful con.

I'd like to know what you mean by money as the 2nd biggest lie.

I'll take that ugly old cow off your hands and give you not one, not two, but three magic beans.

It's arbitrary. Whoever has the power sets whatever value they want on it. And they can do all kinds of tricks with it: nobody has the slightest idea what is meant by news items like : "The fire caused 1.8 million dollars of damage." or what a hedge fund is.

That's all very nice if you're omnipotent, or playing Sim City, but we cannot oversee these things.

Nor are we tasked with reasoning a sociopath out of the corner office we need for the hydroponic garden. It's all hypothetical. I'm just sayin.
Hahaha! Here's a plausible compromise...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondragon_Corporation

There is a surprising number of functioning communal enterprises all over the world. We're not all rabid.

Now we're on the same page. What technologies would you squirrel away?

For the Inheritors? I have nothing personal for them But I know a couple of examples of smart, earnest, well-intentioned people looking out for the future.
https://www.croptrust.org/our-work/svalbard-global-seed-vault/
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ypw5jb/survivor-library
There are a number of books, of which I like this one https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15798335-scatter-adapt-and-remember

I can't see that anything more than basic tools would be of any use...even a screwdriver would be of no use, as once you run out of screws, you're screwed.

True. There are quite a lot of screws around, though, new and used. A good deal of what people will have to use is going need disassembly. A crowbar is essential. Axe, hammer, scissors, needles, rake and spade. Loom and potter's wheel might be good to have. Don't bother carrying the chainsaw very far and, for heaven's sake, leave the leaf-blower.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Lozza on July 5th, 2019, 1:25 pm 

Serpent » July 5th, 2019, 4:14 pm wrote:
Lozza » July 4th, 2019, 8:15 pm wrote:Labour unions and public schools weren't born out of revolution, and they are only relatively recent phenomena.

They were just examples of good ideas that had a chance to grow while the overlords were in remission. After a revolution, and before the next regime has become corrupt. It doesn't have to be a revolution; any major upheaval will do: economic crash, regency, some kinds of war - that is, the kind not waged and controlled by the overlords - even a cultural or technological shift.


Okay, I see where you're coming from. But I would suggest that labour unions are a natural by-product of industrialization...once industry became big enough to have large numbers of employees, it doesn't take a genius to work out that if the workforce co-operates, as a united front they can wield some power against their employer.

Though I agree with the sentiment, I don't agree with its future likelihood.

It doesn't matter. This coming upheaval is unprecedented. None of the institutions will survive it; reform will be an obsolete concept.


Possibly. You've outlined a rather specific scenario that has specific conditions. I'm not saying it's not plausible, for it's very possible, but there's a large range of possible scenarios in the not too distant future.

Philosophically, sure.

No, literally. Signatures on pieces of paper; numbers on a computer screen. One person is rich only because the other people let him act rich. Indeed, they're constantly terrified that we'll figure it out. If you default, they can send the baliffs after your stuff. If everybody defaults, they're up Shitz' Creek.


Ever been part of a union meeting? If you want to see people behave not just like sheep, but timid sheep, go to one. There's always a couple of alphas, but the rest just go with the flow and won't stand up for anything that they perceive might jeopardize their job. They have to see that the majority are travelling in a particular direction before they will commit to that direction.

That's why "democracy" works so well for the ruling elite...people don't like to buck the system and are far more comfortable going along with the majority.

My personal conjecture is pretty grim. I see climate change and proliferating local wars driving larger and larger crowds of people out of all the places where they can no longer survive, exerting pressure on already stressed resources and law enforcement and border authorities; extreme weather events displacing large numbers of people even countries that that think they have wealth; more and more of them putting the fatheads in charge because fatheads always say they know how to cope, but they don't; meanwhile, their cronies are having a feeding frenzy, hoovering up all the wealth of their countries before it's gone, but the money's worthless if nobody can work or buy stuff, and all the fatheads know how to do is try to contain people, which has nearly reached its limit already, so they'll start shooting people, and some of them will shoot back, and some of the militias will shoot back, and those skirmishes will escalate into civil wars, military juntas, turnstile regime-changes, people in concentration camps, refugee camps, makeshift encampments of every kind getting sick from bad water and no food, all the while rain keeps falling, dams breaching, oceans rising, storms pounding coasts, washing out cities and farmlands, roads and bridges in some places while in other places drought parches and forests and grainfields burn...
Lots and lots of dying. No law. No wealth. No control.
The breakdown of the hydro grid (which was a bad idea in the first place) will be incidental, go unnoticed, almost, unless it happens early on.


Silly question on my part, I forgot you were about the environment...so as Bill Murray once said, it's "dogs and cats living together in the streets...pandemonium.!"...lol...I get the picture. But like I said earlier, this is a fairly specific scenario. It can't be a extinction event, nor a near extinction event, for there's still too much infrastructure and "leadership" around. So it's more of a gradual, possible rising sea levels from climate change scenario, which is very viable, but I believe there a host of differing scenarios equally as possible in the near future, ranging from global war to the demise of the Western Empire. Climate change is a very real threat, I just don't know which will occur first. Since we're all gearing up for war, I tend to think that's our pressing concern at the moment.

Money is a construct, so when it collapses, it gets reconstructed.

If there is a framework in which it can have a function, and a support structure. Money is not a stand-alone item like a pyramid: it can only exist if there is government to back it and a compliant population to give it substance [produce, consume, abide and pay taxes]


That's true. But here's the problem...the only way you can get rid of the idea of money, is that money must disappear for a generation or two, so there's no memory of it and how it functions. People are used to functioning with money, they are familiar with it, they have emotional attachments to the idea of it. So if there's a good size colony left, they will undoubtedly re-establish currency of some form. I'm sure you've had conversations with people about how currency is a curse and that it should be eradicated, only for them to firstly ask how we exist without it, and then when you explain that everything is provided for by the fruits of our labours and that we share most things, they say something dumb like, "Well, I'd like 20 Ferrari's!" (I had a genius say that very thing to me)....they just don't get the concept. Secondly, it's incredibly emotionally confronting to be conditioned to use and "desire" money, to then be told, it doesn't exist anymore, nor will it ever. People have a tendency to stick with what they're familiar with, regardless of how illogical it may be, because predominately, people subjectively reason, not objectively reason.

I don't know that I'd use the word "vogue", like it's a fashion item.

Okay, I'm a bit flippant - only to balance the undue reverence civilization usually receives.


Cool, I like flippant, as I enjoy doing the same. I just needed to check.

It's a system of loose co-operation, allowing people to be more than subsistence farmers or hunters and gatherers.

Reservations. There is nothing loose about civilized co-operation: the compliance of citizens is rigidly enforced. The majority are given no option.


I would beg to differ. Society exists on the basic, general good will of the people, which governance takes advantage of. That's why revolution isn't more frequent than it is, as people will endure a lot of rubbish for years, decades and even centuries before they revolt. Stalin killed (depending on where you read the figures) about 20 million or more of his own people. No revolt. People are good-willed sheep. Sheeple. The governments that have a tight hold over their populations is a reflection of the personalities in government, not a reflection of how a population functions. We don't actually need government, which isn't to say we don't need a few basic laws, but society doesn't need to be ruled over to function, it just needs a little direction and/or true leadership.

A hunter-gatherer is self-reliant, earns his status in the tribe through competence, reliability and integrity; has a voice in the council, makes his own schedule and life-style except when participating in a group endeavour. How is a serf or pariah or coolie more than that?
Civilization, in fact, reduces most men [There is a long essay; dogs are mentioned.] and all women to servility, while elevating a few to unearned prominence. Some have been relatively benign and permissive, while some were flat-out brutal, but they've all relied on stratification and coercion, which invariably leads to ruptures.


I would suggest that it is money that makes the masses servile, in conjunction with being sheeple.

Civilization is what allows technologies to be developed, creates greater diversity in needs and developments, people educated and secured. Civilization is a social evolution, not a fad.

In a way, this is true. In practice, it has been sketchy and varied; much of it has been detrimental to humans and lethal to everything else.


It's lethal to everyone else when we are wasting resources for the accumulation of wealth and using consumerism. Remove those things, and currency, and I believe we would see a different picture.

Money has never had "substance", it's a concept of agreed value for a currency for the purpose of trade, allowing me to buy a portion of a cow instead of the whole thing as I had to under a barter system.

Yes. But there was an actual cow, even if you were tricked into paying double the agreed price for your portion which turned out to be more whey than butter.


You're actually referring to credit, not money per se.

When a currency collapses, it's the value of the currency that has collapsed, not the concept of currency.

Oh, the concept doesn't go anywhere. But a concept doesn't buy anything, either.
After a local calamity, there are outside agencies to reconstruct things as they were. In the US when the stock market blows up, government and working population are there to absorb and repair the damage; when a nation is defeated in war, the victors come in and rebuild it in their own image; after a revolution, the new regime copies and trades with its neighbours.
When the economy supporting speculative wealth (not gold, not cattle, not land, not silk - but debt - the promise of other men's future work) is global, the collapse has no natural barriers. It doesn't stop. There is no FDR, no Marshall Plan, no Haliburton - no reconstruction.


Now you're implying that we are dependent upon the existence of money. We don't need money to build or rebuild, but we go back to it for the reasons I outlined earlier in this post...we have an emotional attachment to it and are familiar with how "the system" works with money. We don't like too much change, so we don't like to make too much of a departure from what are familiar with. That's why I said that currency needs to be absent for a generation or two, so there is no memory of it. Then the concept disappears, as does all the emotional attachments and familiarity.

I'll bite, what's the biggest lie?

Institutional religion. The world's most amazingly successful con.


I thought so. But again, remove money from the equation, then suddenly there's no real issue with organized religion. People are going to believe what they believe regardless, but money is the heart and soul of corruption.

I'd like to know what you mean by money as the 2nd biggest lie.

I'll take that ugly old cow off your hands and give you not one, not two, but three magic beans.


lolol. Okay, I'm with you.

It's arbitrary. Whoever has the power sets whatever value they want on it. And they can do all kinds of tricks with it: nobody has the slightest idea what is meant by news items like : "The fire caused 1.8 million dollars of damage." or what a hedge fund is.


It's the size of the insurance claim, and a hedge fund is an offshore investment that engages in speculation using borrowed capital. But try working out how a leveraged buyout works...that's complicated. :)
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Serpent on July 5th, 2019, 4:53 pm 

Okay, I see where you're coming from. But I would suggest that labour unions are a natural by-product of industrialization...once industry became big enough to have large numbers of employees, it doesn't take a genius to work out that if the workforce co-operates, as a united front they can wield some power against their employer.

It does take a kind of collective genius. Of course, that particular form of social organization was a response to industry, as the underground railroad was a response to slavery and farmers' co-ops were a response to gouging by produce distributors.
Don't get bogged down in a particular detail: these are merely some of the many, many examples of citizens getting together to help themselves - something they never have an opportunity to do during the periods of tightest control by the elite. During these lulls, also, we see people-friendly governments that institute reform, like anti-trust legislation, women's suffrage and old age security.
When the next generation of elite tightens its hold, it does everything in its power to undo the good that was done in the interim, and they always do a lot of damage - but cannot eradicate the ideas.

Ever been part of a union meeting?

I helped establish a brand new one. It wasn't much use; the meeting were mostly spent bickering. But simply by existing, we got the ability to join a real one, which already had the power to affect some of the changes we badly needed - worker safety issues, mainly.
I'm not disputing that humans are a pain in every part of the anatomy to reason with. And yet, and yet... there are those who persist, persuade, encourage and chivvy, work and sacrifice to get good things done. Some of them even get elected to public office and continue getting good things done. Ending child labour wasn't easy; universal health insurance wasn't easy; due process and proof and guilt before hanging people wasn't easy. But somebody got those things done and we benefit.
I'm just saying, don't throw the champions out with the scum.

That's why "democracy" works so well for the ruling elite...people don't like to buck the system and are far more comfortable going along with the majority.

Yes, of course. That's what makes civilization possible.
It makes us vulnerable to stampede, as well as mutual co-operation.
But like I said earlier, this is a fairly specific scenario. It can't be a extinction event, nor a near extinction event, for there's still too much infrastructure and "leadership" around.

I don't think so. The fatheads in the big chairs may be as ruthless and more powerful as their empire-building forebears, but their competence and intelligence is declining. As they resort to nepotism and cronyism for their inner circle, they also lack the intelligent evil of viziers like Cheney. They're more like the last emperors of Rome with every election, and every election pivots on fewer issues, or even a single idiotic notion/slogan/conceit.
Here's one take on just such a fathead https://lfpress.com/opinion/columnists/dyer-the-brexit-cult-continues-mad-march-to-economic-catastrophe-in-the-uk

I believe there a host of differing scenarios equally as possible in the near future, ranging from global war to the demise of the Western Empire. Climate change is a very real threat, I just don't know which will occur first. Since we're all gearing up for war, I tend to think that's our pressing concern at the moment.

Could be. Just my personal vision.

But here's the problem...the only way you can get rid of the idea of money, is that money must disappear for a generation or two, so there's no memory of it and how it functions.

They can remember it, in the post-apocalypse world I envision, but the support structure is missing. No banks, no mint, no mechanism for setting a value on any currency. When they trade with neighbouring enclaves, they'll be reduced to barter. Eggs, screws, pumpkin seeds, beer - whatever they have for whatever they need.
How they set up the new economy won't be left to the moron who wants cars he can't fuel: for quite a long time, there will be little of the familiar left; life will be too difficult to indulge in comforting fictions. The leaders will be hard-headed pragmatists with forceful personalities. Crichton, not Loam https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050100/
As i said, I'm convinced they'll mess it up again - but only 99% convinced.

Society exists on the basic, general good will of the people, which governance takes advantage of.

Yes, but the people (I don't much care for that pejorative) are largely unaware of this. Scared, obedient. That's why revolution isn't more frequent than it is, - fear, not good-will and co-operation - fear and delusion. Coercion judiciously laced with propaganda. But whether it's loose or rigid, its lower classes are invariably reduced by civilization as compared to primitive organizations.
We don't actually need government, which isn't to say we don't need a few basic laws, but society doesn't need to be ruled over to function, it just needs a little direction and/or true leadership.

Under a population of 3000, I agree. When you get into large numbers, we have more kinds of things to regulate than most of the citizens have time or knowledge to cope with.

I would suggest that it is money that makes the masses servile, in conjunction with being sheeple.

Okay, but didn't you tell me a couple of posts ago that money is a fundamental adjunct of civilization? Isn't the institution of money a function of the civilized administration?

It's lethal to everyone else when we are wasting resources for the accumulation of wealth and using consumerism. Remove those things, and currency, and I believe we would see a different picture.

Well, sure! But civilizations have two more facets besides expanding economy: the other two pillar of power: religion and military. they, too, seek to extend and enlarge their purview.

You're actually referring to credit, not money per se.

Yes, I'm still harping on the insubstantiality of modern "wealth".

Now you're implying that we are dependent upon the existence of money. We don't need money to build or rebuild,

No,no,no. This was a response to
When a currency collapses, it's the value of the currency that has collapsed, not the concept of currency. WWII Germany is a good example, whereby the value of money became meaningless with bizarre inflation rates. But did the concept of money collapse? No, it just got reconstituted after the war...just add water...lol

I wasn't talking about houses and barns, but monetary economies. After a local collapse, the financial structure is rebuilt in order to re-integrate that failed or damaged nation into the world economy. When the world economy collapses, there is no agency left to reconstitute the currencies.


But again, remove money from the equation, then suddenly there's no real issue with organized religion. People are going to believe what they believe regardless, but money is the heart and soul of corruption.

No, I think it goes far deeper. And the motives of the spiritual manipulators are sinister and convoluted than simple greed. The lust for power is utterly seduced and ensorcelled by the prospect of controlling other people from the inside. That goes directly o the heart of Darkness.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Lozza on July 6th, 2019, 6:18 am 

Serpent » July 6th, 2019, 7:53 am wrote:It does take a kind of collective genius.


Well, if we're calling "genius" the capacity to formulate an elegant idea, maybe, but realistically, it just takes a little observation and reasoning.

Don't get bogged down in a particular detail:


Spoil all my fun! What else do we have to talk about? We're only comparing notes and perceptions in a respectful manner, we're not actually debating anything other than some of the minor details. :)

- but cannot eradicate the ideas.


You can if you eradicate the population, or so much of the population that as you describe later in your post, things are so tough that current ideas are forgotten for pragmatic survival. It's just unfortunate that it requires such extreme situations.

And yet, and yet... there are those who persist, persuade, encourage and chivvy, work and sacrifice to get good things done.


Yes, that's what I meant by "alphas".

But like I said earlier, this is a fairly specific scenario. It can't be a extinction event, nor a near extinction event, for there's still too much infrastructure and "leadership" around.

I don't think so. The fatheads in the big chairs may be as ruthless and more powerful as their empire-building forebears, but their competence and intelligence is declining. As they resort to nepotism and cronyism for their inner circle, they also lack the intelligent evil of viziers like Cheney. They're more like the last emperors of Rome with every election, and every election pivots on fewer issues, or even a single idiotic notion/slogan/conceit.


Yes and no. Yes, there certainly seems to be a lot of similarities between our society and the last years of the Roman Empire, whereby the ruling elite became so self-indulgent that they paid no attention to governance. But nepotism and cronyism are age old. And as far as intelligence and competence, politicians aren't leaders, they're lackeys...the true leaders are people we never hear of or see publicly, except those few of us that are interested to look. They are "old money", like the Du Ponts and Rockerfellers, or Rothschilds. They are the string-pullers for their puppets that we see and hear. Old money remains behind the scenes, as they desire no publicity, for publicity means accountability, and that's untenable. It's also why "old money" doesn't like "new money", as new money has a habit of being somewhat flamboyant in enjoying its new found wealth, thus drawing attention upon itself. Old money doesn't like attention at all and so doesn't like the possibility of coming under scrutiny accidentally because of that new money flamboyance.



Does anyone know what Brexit is actually about? Everything I've read is less than illuminating and places all the focus on the politicians, not the issue.

Personally, I speculate that there are at least two main issues, and I'm sure many more, but these are the two that I've been able to find some credence in:

For whatever reason, I couldn't get this picture to transfer, so here's the link to it...
http://www.zimbio.com/photos/Prince+Cha ... Rothschild

The guy being poked in the chest (Prince Charles), his family is worth an estimated $245 Trillion. The guy doing the poking (Evelyn Rothschild), his family is worth an estimated $370 Trillion. Their business interests are extensive and diverse, so it's difficult to work out where their difference lies, but what is obvious is that their business interests instead of being aligned, are now competing. That photo was taken before Brexit reared its head. However, I do tend to speculate that their business differences may have something to do with the second issue I find credence in;

Impending war. There hasn't been a century where there hasn't been major war between competing empires. Last century was WWI and WWII, the Napoleonic wars (amongst many others) of the 19th Century, etc. For the last 65 years since WWII, we have been taking lollipops from children...we pick our skirmishes with nations that have not the industrial, economic, military or technological strength to compete with us. We do this for resources, geopolitical positioning against other large empires, and for our own technological and economic development. The other large empires have been doing similarly.

However the time is fast looming whereby our large empires have become so large, that we are going to have to directly compete with each other, as we all need the same resources and there's just not enough to go around. Someone has to be beaten into submission, so that the other may control the resources. So instead of taking lollipops from children, we'll be fighting other big boys with big boy's toys, for those lollipops. And the children with the lollipops won't be supportive of us, as we stole their lollipops, while China has bought them....China has been romping around the planet buying-up, so they do things for oil like offer a decent market price and add the sweetener of a choice of one of three options; the building a of a new school, a new hospital or a new port for free. Strangely, many have liked doing business that way instead of having 3 battleships parked at the entrance to their port with the USA saying, "give it to us, or else," or putting into place puppet dictators subjugating the population. So no-one is going to support the Western Empire, we're hated rather intensely. Meanwhile Russia with friendly business relations with China, will pick up the much of the crumbs...Vlad also owns the leases on the Syrian ports, preventing the US from getting its ill-gotten oil to the European markets, that he has a 15% share of...regardless what you think of him as an individual, he's a shrewd operator.

So quite possibly, the British royal family and the Rosthchilds are competing for the same markets, as both finance war and the tools of war. I know that Prince William is the "pin-up boy" for some arms factories in the UK, for example.

Then there's the fact that the UK is an island nation that has never perceived itself as a part of the European continent. And if there is the kind of war that I'm speculating, then they would perceive themselves as being able to cut a different deal than the Europeans, if only because they are an island nation, and perhaps keep some sovereignty, as it's unlikely that the Western Empire will win this war. The Asian Empire will be new bully on the block.

Sorry I've digressed a great deal, but it's a very big picture that I'm trying to paint in a few paragraphs.

Could be. Just my personal vision.


Oh, granted, as is mine. And very plausible, as I said. In fact, it's probably quite inevitable, I just think we'll have war first. But then, a meteor could strike tonight, the San Andreas Fault could drop the US West Coast into the ocean tomorrow, or something could trigger a massive and fast climate change in the next few days, who knows? I'm no scientist, so although I can see some of the writing on the wall, I can't decipher much of it other than it bodes poorly for our collective future. I can't put a time-frame on it, so I avoid attempting to do so. I personally find it much easier to put approximate time-frames on human behavior.

But here's the problem...the only way you can get rid of the idea of money, is that money must disappear for a generation or two, so there's no memory of it and how it functions.

They can remember it, in the post-apocalypse world I envision, but the support structure is missing. No banks, no mint, no mechanism for setting a value on any currency. When they trade with neighbouring enclaves, they'll be reduced to barter. Eggs, screws, pumpkin seeds, beer - whatever they have for whatever they need.
How they set up the new economy won't be left to the moron who wants cars he can't fuel: for quite a long time, there will be little of the familiar left; life will be too difficult to indulge in comforting fictions. The leaders will be hard-headed pragmatists with forceful personalities. Crichton, not Loam https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050100/
As i said, I'm convinced they'll mess it up again - but only 99% convinced.


Yes, I appreciate all that. My issue is that currency shouldn't become a system ever again, for the cycle then only returns, and we end up destroying ourselves, warring over our resources and being divisive yet again, or destroying the entire planet along with ourselves. Therefore the idea of currency and the subsequent materialism that accompanies it, must die. You're as bad as me for using films to demonstrate a concept...good! lol

But whether it's loose or rigid, its lower classes are invariably reduced by civilization as compared to primitive organizations.


Not quite. You're ignoring the variance in the human condition. Large numbers of people living in close proximity only highlights this variance, but is not the cause of it.

We don't actually need government, which isn't to say we don't need a few basic laws, but society doesn't need to be ruled over to function, it just needs a little direction and/or true leadership.

Under a population of 3000, I agree. When you get into large numbers, we have more kinds of things to regulate than most of the citizens have time or knowledge to cope with.


That's under systems of currency. Most of the laws we have today are based on the protection of property or financial interests. If there's no such thing as money, then suddenly the kind of bureaucracy required is minimal.

I would suggest that it is money that makes the masses servile, in conjunction with being sheeple.

Okay, but didn't you tell me a couple of posts ago that money is a fundamental adjunct of civilization? Isn't the institution of money a function of the civilized administration?


I don't believe so. You may have interpreted something I said as meaning that though...I'd have to see the exact wording to know for sure...lol....my dotage.

It's lethal to everyone else when we are wasting resources for the accumulation of wealth and using consumerism. Remove those things, and currency, and I believe we would see a different picture.

Well, sure! But civilizations have two more facets besides expanding economy: the other two pillar of power: religion and military. they, too, seek to extend and enlarge their purview.


I'm about to defend religion, but I first need to let you know that I'm not religious, but ignostic. The issue you've identified with the military and religion is this...they have become political entities. If religion didn't exist, some other form of political entity would replace it, as humans like being members of clubs of like-minded people, as we're gregarious by nature. This has been key to human survival through the ages. We don't have long sharp claws or fangs, we're slow and weak for our size, but what we are good at is a level of co-operation for survival, which allows us to both plan and work together as a team. That's how we survived against the wild world before we became "civilized". Point being, if there's no religion, there's something else in its place.

I wasn't talking about houses and barns, but monetary economies. After a local collapse, the financial structure is rebuilt in order to re-integrate that failed or damaged nation into the world economy. When the world economy collapses, there is no agency left to reconstitute the currencies.


Ah, I see. You would need a near extinction level event for that to happen, so that there's no electrical grid anywhere at all, nor the hope to re-establish one, as well as the institutions being destroyed. BTW, there is no world economy. There's the Western Economy, the Asian Economy and the Russian Economy...Russia and China don't involve themselves too much in our economy, as they have no desire to be victims of the IMF or World Bank, which is part of the reason we regard them as the "enemy", apart from the fact they are competing with us for limited resources. (I switch terms from "economies" to "empires" and visa versa, frequently, depending on the context of the discussion).

But again, remove money from the equation, then suddenly there's no real issue with organized religion. People are going to believe what they believe regardless, but money is the heart and soul of corruption.

No, I think it goes far deeper. And the motives of the spiritual manipulators are sinister and convoluted than simple greed. The lust for power is utterly seduced and ensorcelled by the prospect of controlling other people from the inside. That goes directly o the heart of Darkness.


Well, I think you're describing the individual misuse of power, rather than any basic tenet of a religion. The human problem is quite simple to identify, but impossible to solve. We function emotionally. This produces greed, lust, lust for power, prestige, position, favor, you name it. And that's whether or not money exists, and before we get to the variances of people and their individual motivations for anything or their aptitude to achieve their "goals". The only answer is for us to all become Vulcans overnight, which ain't about to happen. The only way resolve the human condition, is to not be human. And don't think for a second that cloning could be an answer, as "sameness" is an illusory notion and doesn't account for the programming that occurs by the experience of living, creating the very differences that "sameness" would be attempting to eliminate. In a way. we could say that we are doomed to be human, and as such, being human we are doomed.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Serpent on July 6th, 2019, 11:34 am 

I'm going to do some severe pollarding to avoid terminal tedium.


Lozza » July 6th, 2019, 5:18 am wrote:Well, if we're calling "genius" the capacity to formulate an elegant idea, maybe, but realistically, it just takes a little observation and reasoning.

Just??? How rare and precious are those capabilities?

we're not actually debating anything other than some of the minor details.

Okay. Move on to public education. That's a biggie, as paradigm shifts go.

[they can't eradicate the ideas]

You can if you eradicate the population,

But the fatheads don't have any interest in eradicating populations: on the contrary, they want a surplus population (hence violent opposition to reproductive rights) that's too insecure and dumb to question their methods. In context, that comment of mine was regarding such progressive social innovations as old age pension and desegregated public transit. Once the population is gone, no ideas will matter. No fatheads will matter.

there certainly seems to be a lot of similarities between our society and the last years of the Roman Empire, whereby the ruling elite became so self-indulgent that they paid no attention to governance.

Negligent governance is all right: society self-regulates, given the freedom to do so. Fathead governance is not merely incompetent, but intrusive, invasive, destructive. The self-indulgence of a Caligula is not something that happens behind closed palace doors: the senate actually has to vote for bills introduced by his horse; the people have to pay for his byooooteeful bridge; the soldiers have to die for whatever arguments he picks with his rivals, or just diving for seashells.

But nepotism and cronyism are age old.

And always signal decline.

Does anyone know what Brexit is actually about?

For the voters? MEGA.


The Asian Empire will be new bully on the block.

Their reign will be short, unless they're very much smarter than the Western was. There is some indication of smarts - unfortunately, there is far too much of the coercion, as well.


Yes, I appreciate all that. My issue is that currency shouldn't become a system ever again, for the cycle then only returns, and we end up destroying ourselves, warring over our resources and being divisive yet again, or destroying the entire planet along with ourselves. Therefore the idea of currency and the subsequent materialism that accompanies it, must die. You're as bad as me for using films to demonstrate a concept...good! lol

We're not the first people to have considered these problems or extrapolated what they saw to how it might play out in the future. In fact the novel I'm currently avoiding (Why do you think I'm at the damn keyboard, day and night?) work on would make a dandy movie. But won't.

[But whether it's loose or rigid, its lower classes are invariably reduced by civilization as compared to primitive organizations.]
Not quite.

Show me a civilization that had no underclass - that weight-bearing layer of the pyramid that gets covered by sand and never seen. The South American ones come closest to egalitarian, but they all have a strongly enforced and internalized by early indoctrination hierarchy. The kiss-up-kick-down structure. Somebody - usually dogs, children and women - becomes the designated victim of the most humiliated and frustrated men, but you can vary that by the introduction of an ethnic minority.

You're ignoring the variance in the human condition.

I'm not sure what that means.

Large numbers of people living in close proximity only highlights this variance, but is not the cause of it.

Civilization is a lot more than numbers and proximity.
But, now you mention it, proximity and numbers may well be a major factor in, if not the ultimate cause of, this very specific madness: rats are experimentally proven susceptible to the same malady.

[we have more kinds of things to regulate]
That's under systems of currency. Most of the laws we have today are based on the protection of property or financial interests. If there's no such thing as money, then suddenly the kind of bureaucracy required is minimal.

In low-tech cultures, minimal: adjudicating disputes between citizens, basic safety code for shelter and traffic, food storage and distribution in times of shortage; co-operative projects [infrastructure] firefighters, flood relief, medics - civil defense. The more people, the more of those issue will arise, the more administration. The more mechanical [e.g. traffic] and scientific [e.g. medicine] stuff the society has to deal with, the more administration of them requires specialized knowledge.
Of course I agree that without having to protect the money, most of the legislation, judiciary and law-enforcement would be redundant; 90% of antisocial behaviour would be eliminated.

I would suggest that it is money that makes the masses servile, in conjunction with being sheeple.

We'll have to table that one.

I'm about to defend religion, but I first need to let you know that I'm not religious, but ignostic. The issue you've identified with the military and religion is this...they have become political entities.

Obviously. The three pillars of any civilization: army, church, administration.
(I did say "institutional")

If religion didn't exist, some other form of political entity would replace it, as humans like being members of clubs of like-minded people, as we're gregarious by nature.

There is nothing religious about that. The role of churches doe overlap with the role of other institutions in societies, but the religious impulse is separate from the institution.
Superstition - faith - is a fundamentally different psychological drive from the social impulse. Manipulating that part of the human psyche is a different kind of power from simply leading people toward something they rationally want - like territory or privilege or companionship. Though this kind of manipulation is similar, and requires similar insight and skill to propaganda and advertising, its reach is deeper into the subconscious, and thus more insidious.


if there's no religion, there's something else in its place.

Nothing can take place of magic.
Well, I think you're describing the individual misuse of power, rather than any basic tenet of a religion.

The actual tenets don't matter. They're interchangeable. What matters is the magic: convincing people that you control the magic; convincing people that they, too, can control some little bit of the magic.

You would need a near extinction level event for that to happen, so that there's no electrical grid anywhere at all, nor the hope to re-establish one, as well as the institutions being destroyed

Like I said, those dominoes are all standing each on another's toes.
. BTW, there is no world economy.

If thou sayest so. Not quite how I see it.

In a way. we could say that we are doomed to be human, and as such, being human we are doomed.

Okay. 99.44%

My pruning shears are not that sharp, as it turns out....
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Lozza on July 7th, 2019, 6:48 am 

Serpent » July 7th, 2019, 2:34 am wrote:
[they can't eradicate the ideas]

You can if you eradicate the population,

But the fatheads don't have any interest in eradicating populations: on the contrary, they want a surplus population (hence violent opposition to reproductive rights) that's too insecure and dumb to question their methods. In context, that comment of mine was regarding such progressive social innovations as old age pension and desegregated public transit. Once the population is gone, no ideas will matter. No fatheads will matter.


My bad, I wasn't clear and shouldn't have said "if you..." making it imply a human decision. I was meaning a catastrophic event, not a political decision.

But nepotism and cronyism are age old.

And always signal decline.


No, they're ever-present as it's a natural human behavior. It's just more noticeable when an empire is in decline as everyone is looking for reasons for the decline at their leadership, so when there's more focus on leadership, the foibles of that leadership are noticed more due to the extra attention.

The Asian Empire will be new bully on the block.

Their reign will be short, unless they're very much smarter than the Western was. There is some indication of smarts - unfortunately, there is far too much of the coercion, as well.


I'm always amused when people suggest that when talking of an empire that has endured thousands of years. The Chinese are smart, patient and industrious. It's the Western Empire that is a blip in history, not their's.

[But whether it's loose or rigid, its lower classes are invariably reduced by civilization as compared to primitive organizations.]
Not quite.

Show me a civilization that had no underclass - that weight-bearing layer of the pyramid that gets covered by sand and never seen. The South American ones come closest to egalitarian, but they all have a strongly enforced and internalized by early indoctrination hierarchy. The kiss-up-kick-down structure. Somebody - usually dogs, children and women - becomes the designated victim of the most humiliated and frustrated men, but you can vary that by the introduction of an ethnic minority.


I didn't say or imply that there's no underclass. It'll be explained when I answer the next bit.

You're ignoring the variance in the human condition.

I'm not sure what that means.


In every population there is a large variance between people, ranging from IQ ranges, emotional and psychological conditions, personalities, motivations and talents. Some are born that just can never function. Add to that, there are subtle degrees of difference when you look at the broader population between those of the same apparent aptitude.

So statistically, there MUST always be an "underclass", because we're all a little different from each other. The current statistic is that basically 6% of our population cannot function, this includes those born developmentally delayed (retarded in the old vernacular) as well as those born with severs psychiatric conditions. This is before we get to those that develop psychiatric conditions during life. Or those becoming in some way incapacitated medically, physically or mentally and are no longer able to care for themselves. That's the extreme end of the spectrum, but the 94% that are left are subtle degrees of variance until we get to the very top of the functioning ladder.

Large numbers of people living in close proximity only highlights this variance, but is not the cause of it.

Civilization is a lot more than numbers and proximity.
But, now you mention it, proximity and numbers may well be a major factor in, if not the ultimate cause of, this very specific madness: rats are experimentally proven susceptible to the same malady.


As for the pressures of the civilization we live in, it certainly is its own form of madness. But money drives most of this dysfunction, because without money we can't pay rent, our bills, have a car, etc. Then there's the pressure to keep making the same level or money, or more, just to maintain the life-styles we have established and our financial obligations. And because we live in a "I, me, my" society of the individual, those pressures increase for we isolated within the collective now...computers, smart phones etc, have actually isolated us from those closest to us, while we prefer to communicate with those we have never met...like you and I are doing now...lol.

Remove money from the equation and we suddenly reduce a lot of these pressures. We can't eliminate "pressure", for actually, a little pressure is a good thing to help us function at our best, nor can we discount the unexpected either...fires, floods, etc. So there will always be some form of pressure upon being alive. But I agree that our current format for society being based upon money, creates its own madness.

In low-tech cultures, minimal: adjudicating disputes between citizens, basic safety code for shelter and traffic, food storage and distribution in times of shortage; co-operative projects [infrastructure] firefighters, flood relief, medics - civil defense. The more people, the more of those issue will arise, the more administration. The more mechanical [e.g. traffic] and scientific [e.g. medicine] stuff the society has to deal with, the more administration of them requires specialized knowledge.
Of course I agree that without having to protect the money, most of the legislation, judiciary and law-enforcement would be redundant; 90% of antisocial behavior would be eliminated.


Yes, of course there needs to be some bureaucracy available to co-ordinate those services. But if there's no money and we're functioning as an organized co-operative, then there are no private cars, so no need for traffic control, but a very effective public transport system. Individual cars is a waste of resources....it pains me to say that, as I'm a car-lover. No need for a taxation department, since money doesn't exist to tax, no need for a lot of lawyers, as most laws and legal cases revolve around money in some way, so even the legal system gets freed-up significantly as there are no law suits, no patents (as a patent is about the exclusivity of financial reward), no copyrights (same as patents, it's about financial exclusivity), lots of things just disappear because money disappears.

If nothing else, it's an interesting thought exercise. I found it fascinating, as well as confronting, to ponder the absence of money on a global society. Think of this...all things being equal, why is there unemployment? Because labour has a cost. If there's no cost to labour and I run a school, I can have as many teachers as I like that are qualified and want to teach, which would vastly improve our teacher/student ratios. That's the same for every single industry on the planet.

If religion didn't exist, some other form of political entity would replace it, as humans like being members of clubs of like-minded people, as we're gregarious by nature.

There is nothing religious about that. The role of churches doe overlap with the role of other institutions in societies, but the religious impulse is separate from the institution.
Superstition - faith - is a fundamentally different psychological drive from the social impulse. Manipulating that part of the human psyche is a different kind of power from simply leading people toward something they rationally want - like territory or privilege or companionship. Though this kind of manipulation is similar, and requires similar insight and skill to propaganda and advertising, its reach is deeper into the subconscious, and thus more insidious.


That's certainly the way a lot of it functions today. I don't dispute that. But we can't eliminate the idea of religion from humanity. Think of its beginnings...it was an attempt to interpret the world around us in the absence of science, thus we had sun gods, moon gods, volcano gods, wine gods, sex gods, fertility gods, et al. that people thought needed to be appeased for good weather, crops etc. I'd nearly call it scientific naivety. It's not the idea of religion that is problematic, it's the tendency for humans to misuse power, regardless of its format...religion, government, wealth, unions, sporting clubs, ALL organizations...all have people that are seeking positions of authority and power at just about any cost, even if its only for prestige and not money, then usually it's for influence and/or recognition. Human nature is the problem, not the organization or institution.

Which is why I subscribe to the great philosopher Groucho Marx, when he said, "I don't want to be a member of any club that wants me as a member." ..lol

. BTW, there is no world economy.

If thou sayest so. Not quite how I see it.


I understand. A national economy is one which has the free flow of goods, services and labour, though there may be some subtle differences in taxes between States within that nation, goods, services and labour flow freely throughout. An integrated economy. In a bloc economy, such as the Western Economy that involves Western Europe, the British Commonwealth countries and Nth America, it's the same. There are some bigger differences between tax treatment for importing and exporting, but there is a system of agreements, trade-offs and mechanisms for the free flow of goods, services and labour. An integrated economy.

Now, the "Global Economy"...to term a global economy, there must be the free flow of goods, services and labour GLOBALLY integrated. This is not the case. It's not to say that some trade with China and Russia doesn't exist with some Western nations and businesses, but no-one can suggest that any arrangements that the Western Economy has, involves the free flow of goods, services and labour with the Chinese Economy or the Russian economy. We're NOT integrated. So the term "global economy" really only suggests that every nation in the world has an economy, but falls well short of ticking the other boxes of free flow of goods, services and labour or integration. :Global Economy" is a misnomer.

This is why I talk of these entities as empires..the Western Empire, the Russian Empire and the Asian Empire, which are the largest competing empires currently. I consider it a more accurate description. But the word "empire" has fallen into disrepute due to imperial colonialism and its hangovers, so we use the term "economies" instead.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby TheVat on July 7th, 2019, 9:36 am 

Wondering if the chat about capitalism and money in general is good enough (am following it with great interest, and appreciation of the revivification of this section of PCF) to have its own thread. While it certainly relates to the post-truth topic, I wonder if separating it would give it wings. What would a society without capital, and the concentrations of capital we are familiar with, look like - especially if this didn't simply mean a reversion to primitivism brought on by a Carrington Event (coronal mass ejection from the Sun, on the scale of the 1859 flare) and/or eco catastrophe? Would we need to graduate to nanotechnology cottage industries? A gentle Singularity with benign robot overlords? Loose confederations of quasi-Amish agrarians linked by a wind-powered Web?

Let me know if you all would like a separate space. (I still have access to the admin buttons)
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Lozza on July 7th, 2019, 9:48 am 

TheVat » July 8th, 2019, 12:36 am wrote:Wondering if the chat about capitalism and money in general is good enough (am following it with great interest, and appreciation of the revivification of this section of PCF) to have its own thread. While it certainly relates to the post-truth topic, I wonder if separating it would give it wings. What would a society without capital, and the concentrations of capital we are familiar with, look like - especially if this didn't simply mean a reversion to primitivism brought on by a Carrington Event (coronal mass ejection from the Sun, on the scale of the 1859 flare) and/or eco catastrophe? Would we need to graduate to nanotechnology cottage industries? A gentle Singularity with benign robot overlords? Loose confederations of quasi-Amish agrarians linked by a wind-powered Web?

Let me know if you all would like a separate space. (I still have access to the admin buttons)



Good idea. I know we've (especially me) drifted from the theme of the thread, so it's probably appropriate. Call it "A World With No Money", or something to that effect.
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A World Without Money

Postby Lozza on July 7th, 2019, 11:29 am 

Can you imagine the world functioning with no form of currency of any sort? No money. That would mean no banks, insurance companies, finance companies, corporations, patents, copyrights and a host of other things. That’s the good part. It would also mean that a lot of the things we take for granted wouldn’t exist either, as many things are just a waste of resources, like no personal vehicles amongst a myriad of other items we don’t need. It would be eco-friendly to the planet and it would also be socially friendly to the citizens of the planet…no more warring over resources.

But before any of you respond, please take some time to reflect on the concept, for it’s quite profound and we are all conditioned to liking and desiring money and what it can buy. So for most of us it will be emotionally confronting. For example, I’m a car lover, so not having a personal vehicle is emotionally confronting in that I would have to relinquish that which I have a great attachment to. The same goes for many of the everyday items we possess or desire.

But the benefits are equally as profound. I mentioned a few above, but also consider unemployment. We have unemployment because labour has a cost. But if there is no cost, I can afford as much labour as I want. A good example would be a school being able to employ as many teachers as they like that are qualified and want to teach, vastly improving student/teacher ratios. So too for hospitals with doctors, nurses and other specialists. As a matter of fact, it’s the same for all endeavors.

So, what kind of world do you envisage with this scenario? It’s Utopian, so it won’t happen, but it’s an interesting thought exercise.
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Re: A World with no Money (can we survive capitalism?)

Postby TheVat on July 7th, 2019, 11:33 am 

Lozza reintroduces this new thread, split from the Post-Truth thread.

Will take a bit of time to reflect on the concept, yes.
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Re: A World with no Money (can we survive capitalism?)

Postby Serpent on July 7th, 2019, 12:39 pm 

Here I thought you'd hung up the mantle of power.
Apropos of that empty reply box, so sadly divested of its noble sentiment that I have no doubt is shared by all the signatories to the US Constitution - I should have gone to church today, having been forced to acknowledge the god who granted my prayer and rained on Trump's parade. But I don't know which god was responsible, I invoked so many.

We have drifted a little way from post-truth politics. On that subject, it seems that everyone else has lost interest while Lozza and i have a really quite small difference in perspective. I doubt that will change very much: it's a question of selective focus; i.e. temperament.

Still, I'm game. Any excuse ....
(Word is a harsh mistress.)
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Re: A World Without Money

Postby Serpent on July 7th, 2019, 1:36 pm 

Lozza » July 7th, 2019, 10:29 am wrote:Can you imagine the world functioning with no form of currency of any sort?

Yes. Have done - extensively and intensively.

There are three classic approaches:
1. post-apocalyptic - the one I'm working on atm is about 1000 years post; scars pretty much healed
2. super-technological - a ruled and regulated by central computer (not dystopian: it's a benign AI - the ultimate philosopher-king)
3. naturally evolved - as technological capability renders labour and capital obsolete, personal freedom increases and social status returns to a basis of earned respect, rather than unearned wealth

I can't see the third option until after the first had reduced the human population to some manageable number. There are too many of us right now for the Earth to support and for our own mental and physical health.
The rodents didn't have money to mess them up https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2636191/.

So for most of us it will be emotionally confronting.

For some, yes; for most, i don't think so. The majority of people now (which is not white-collar Anglos, btw), money is a constant source of anxiety. Even for the white-collar Anglos, juggling with money is stressful. Less anxiety wouldn't hurt any of us.

For example, I’m a car lover, so not having a personal vehicle is emotionally confronting in that I would have to relinquish that which I have a great attachment to. The same goes for many of the everyday items we possess or desire.

I don't see why we can't each have a personal vehicle. It won't be a stinky gas-guzzler; it'll be a sleek three-wheeled dune buggy with a photovoltaic skin. It'll be hand-built to your personal specs by a team of student mechanics, for your 18th birthday, and it'll up to you to make it last your lifetime. When you're too mentally feeble to drive, its component are recycled.
Same with all those other things we truly desire for their own sake - not because you can't function in high-pressure society without it, or you need it for status, or you need it to keep up your earning capacity, or it's just another sop to the bottomless psychic hunger of being un-cherished.

But the benefits are equally as profound. I mentioned a few above, but also consider unemployment. We have unemployment because labour has a cost.

And because surplus population is calculated into civilized social structure. Not just to keep the underclass insecure, competing for low wages, but to maintain a constant, reliable supply of cannon-fodder, ready for territorial disputes between overlords.
If nobody owns land and everything, there's no need to fight over it. Save a shitload of resources and manpower on warmongering.
But if there is no cost, I can afford as much labour as I want.

That whole dynamic is already being changed by automation. 90% unemployment is rushing up on the industrial nations, at the same time the very large populations of non-industrial (largely manual-labour economies) nations produce mass migrations.
Whether money breaks down or not, we're facing enormous labour-surplus in the very short term.
Capitalist true believers will tell you that if there's universal welfare or GBI people will sit down and refuse to make an effort. That's utter bullshit. People who are unemployable now are sometimes forced to sit idle, which makes them crazy, so they self-medicate and become stupid as well.
Given a chance to do something valued and useful, people make all kinds of unforced effort. They volunteer on every scale from the International red cross to babysitting for a neighbour to organizing food delivery for shut-ins and reclaiming vacant lots for local vegetable growing. And if they're not sociable, people want to tinker in the garage with inventions, coach kids' baseball, entertain others with magic tricks, groom the Continental Divide Trail, build doghouses, restore antique musical instruments, pickle crabapples - do all the stuff they'd rather do and have no time for.

Divorcing work from money just means letting everybody enjoy early retirement.
Divorcing politics from money might give us excellent civil service and no fathead pols to get in their way.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Serpent on July 7th, 2019, 5:50 pm 

Lozza » July 7th, 2019, 5:48 am wrote: [they can't eradicate the progressive ideas]

My bad, I wasn't clear and shouldn't have said "if you..." making it imply a human decision. I was meaning a catastrophic event, not a political decision.

That's moved so far from what prompted the exchange:
- The Vat -- And our system, in the USA, seems to be an epic failure in this regard, though we've had a few small victories in breaking up monopolies, holding polluters accountable, ensuring workplace safety, etc. But the victories are scattered pretty thinly through a festering stew of corruption.
- Lozza -- The victories add up to nothing much more than tokenism, don't they?

as to have no more relevance.

[The Asian Empire ... reign will be short,]
I'm always amused when people suggest that when talking of an empire that has endured thousands of years. The Chinese are smart, patient and industrious. It's the Western Empire that is a blip in history, not their's.

Yet theirs has been trounced three times in a single century by upstarts. The past is no indication of the future -- said Siddharta to the maharaja.
I only meant it will be a short-lived empire unless they're a lot smarter than everyone else about climate adaptation (I'm aware of some signs that they are) and really smarten up about handling their population (the old dynasties were smarter in this regard). The Hong Kong mess won't do as a style of long-term governance. Modern Chinese may have caught political amnesia from the west, but along with that came those pesky progressive ideas that refuse to die.


In every population there is a large variance between people, ranging from IQ ranges, emotional and psychological conditions, personalities, motivations and talents. Some are born that just can never function. Add to that, there are subtle degrees of difference when you look at the broader population between those of the same apparent aptitude.

None of that has the slightest bearing social stratification in civilized societies. A haemophiliac in the throes of stage III syphilis, if born into an aristocratic family has more privilege, wields more power, than a Paris street urchin with the reflexes of a basketball star and an IQ of 150.
You know this.


As for the pressures of the civilization we live in, it certainly is its own form of madness.

Granted - most amicably. Of course. I'm just wondering whether that whole spiral doesn't start from domestication. The same way dogs are more prone to obesity and neuroses than coyotes.

However, there are many ways that people have relieved some of the stress of urban living - for example, green spaces, banning cars from city center, providing public recreation - and making things accessible regardless of financial or physical ability. We know how to make human life better, it's just always a fight against those who want to hog all the goodies.

But we can't eliminate the idea of religion from humanity. Think of its beginnings...it was an attempt to interpret the world around us in the absence of science,

If the religious impulse began with the question "Why?", you could replace it with science. If it begins with "How can I control [moon, sex, weather, etc]?" you can replace it with technology.
But if the need begins with "I want my mommy!" nothing can take its place.

It's not the idea of religion that is problematic, it's the tendency for humans to misuse power,

Yes. That's what makes power over souls more abusive than power over bodies or even conscious minds. That's why all three institutions are required to consolidate power over a population.

Human nature is the problem, not the organization or institution.

And still I wonder whether human out of nature is the same human. That is: Did something happen to the human character between early agriculture and late industrial decline so that what we describe as human nature isn't natural at all? Is this a psychologically damaged sub-species?

Now, the "Global Economy"...to term a global economy, there must be the free flow of goods, services and labour GLOBALLY integrated. This is not the case. It's not to say that some trade with China and Russia doesn't exist with some Western nations and businesses, but no-one can suggest that any arrangements that the Western Economy has, involves the free flow of goods, services and labour with the Chinese Economy or the Russian economy. We're NOT integrated. So the term "global economy" really only suggests that every nation in the world has an economy, but falls well short of ticking the other boxes of free flow of goods, services and labour or integration. :Global Economy" is a misnomer.

You're interpreting the phrase rationally, as if economy still functioned according to rational principles.
What I meant was that 82 people - unless another one bit the Aubusson since last time I checked - with no strong national loyalties, control most of the wealth.

This is why I talk of these entities as empires..the Western Empire, the Russian Empire and the Asian Empire, which are the largest competing empires currently.

Are you sure? Are you sure they're not competing the way Jenn-Air, Maytag, Amana, Roper, and KitchenAid appliances are competitive brands all owned by Whirlpool, which is owned by.... uh... https://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/whr/ownership-summary
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Re: A World Without Money

Postby Lozza on July 9th, 2019, 12:36 am 

Serpent » July 8th, 2019, 4:36 am wrote:
Lozza » July 7th, 2019, 10:29 am wrote:
So for most of us it will be emotionally confronting.

For some, yes; for most, i don't think so. The majority of people now (which is not white-collar Anglos, btw), money is a constant source of anxiety. Even for the white-collar Anglos, juggling with money is stressful. Less anxiety wouldn't hurt any of us.


Fair point, but I don't believe that that is our audience at this forum, so I'll stick with it being emotionally confronting.

For example, I’m a car lover, so not having a personal vehicle is emotionally confronting in that I would have to relinquish that which I have a great attachment to. The same goes for many of the everyday items we possess or desire.

I don't see why we can't each have a personal vehicle. It won't be a stinky gas-guzzler; it'll be a sleek three-wheeled dune buggy with a photovoltaic skin. It'll be hand-built to your personal specs by a team of student mechanics, for your 18th birthday, and it'll up to you to make it last your lifetime. When you're too mentally feeble to drive, its component are recycled.


In a post-apocalyptic scenario, I agree with you. I haven't actually put any thought into that scenario, I've been thinking in terms of the current planet population, which makes private vehicles an unnecessary use of resources. However in saying that, a post-apocalyptic scenario is far more realistic than the one I have contemplated.

But the benefits are equally as profound. I mentioned a few above, but also consider unemployment. We have unemployment because labour has a cost.

And because surplus population is calculated into civilized social structure. Not just to keep the underclass insecure, competing for low wages, but to maintain a constant, reliable supply of cannon-fodder, ready for territorial disputes between overlords.


That's a little too conspiratorial sounding...don't get me wrong, I love a good conspiracy. I perceive it a little differently...I don't see surplus population being calculated at all, other than government census reports. I see surplus population as a result of the capitalist system, for it's the only outcome one can expect from such a system as big businesses grow ever bigger by absorbing smaller big businesses such as what happened in the late 1980's after the 1987 Stock Market Crash. Corporations that were cashed-up went around buying corporations that were struggling due to their high exposure in the stock market.

In the mechanized world we have recently left, it was quite labour intensive, but as big business has become more technologically adept, enabling them to reduce their workforce to maintain or increase profits, much of this sort of work has disappeared. It's unfair to expect that people that have trained and worked in these more hands-on jobs, to suddenly retrain into a more technical role. For example, panel-beaters aren't being trained anymore as all the panels of a car are cheaper to replace than to repair, unless it's very minor damage. But that's the trend in many of these traditionally labour intensive industries. That's why all the tech-heads talk of all the new work that is derived from the technology, but tech-heads don't consider people that don't have the same sort of technical aptitude as they do.

IMHO, technology is the conspirator here. The masses have always been considered as canon fodder, regardless of their socio-economic status, except if they are in the top 5% of wealth.

If nobody owns land and everything, there's no need to fight over it. Save a shitload of resources and manpower on warmongering.


Precisely! And more! Same if there is no currency in order to accumulate wealth, or ownership of industry for the acquisition of resources for the sole purpose of increasing profits.

But if there is no cost, I can afford as much labour as I want.

That whole dynamic is already being changed by automation. 90% unemployment is rushing up on the industrial nations, at the same time the very large populations of non-industrial (largely manual-labour economies) nations produce mass migrations.
Whether money breaks down or not, we're facing enormous labour-surplus in the very short term.
Capitalist true believers will tell you that if there's universal welfare or GBI people will sit down and refuse to make an effort. That's utter bullshit. People who are unemployable now are sometimes forced to sit idle, which makes them crazy, so they self-medicate and become stupid as well.


Again I concur. "Trickle-down economics"...what a load of utter bullshit! That by making the wealthy wealthier, the working class benefit...and the morons adopted it...it's even being taught at Harvard! So now, even the "expert" economists are advocating trickle-down economics. FFS!...educated idiots.

Given a chance to do something valued and useful, people make all kinds of unforced effort. They volunteer on every scale from the International red cross to babysitting for a neighbour to organizing food delivery for shut-ins and reclaiming vacant lots for local vegetable growing. And if they're not sociable, people want to tinker in the garage with inventions, coach kids' baseball, entertain others with magic tricks, groom the Continental Divide Trail, build doghouses, restore antique musical instruments, pickle crabapples - do all the stuff they'd rather do and have no time for.


Absolutely right! One only needs to think back to being a teenager, contemplating our own future and place in the world to know that what you said is true.

Divorcing work from money just means letting everybody enjoy early retirement.
Divorcing politics from money might give us excellent civil service and no fathead pols to get in their way.


Yes. I would ban the existence of "politicians", who have questionable qualifications and more questionable motivations. We would need planners...people who can plan cities, suburbs, transport systems, technologies and their uses, education, co-ordination of joint projects, distribution of essential services and food, things of that nature.

One of my big bug-bears of this current world is the existence of corporations. A Propriety Limited Company dies when the founder of the company dies. However a corporation has shareholders, so, in human terms, a corporation is actually immortal as shareholders can come and go and change, but as long as there are some, the corporation keeps going, so can only grow bigger and bigger and bigger. In very general terms, it's a vehicle for the accumulation of wealth through the ages, much like a monarchy is, but obviously, both have very different structures and births, but both attempt to achieve the same basic thing...to accumulate and consolidate wealth over the ages...a monarchy for its family, a corporation for its shareholders...which is why some monarchs have been known to refer to their own monarchy as a corporation.
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Lozza on July 9th, 2019, 2:17 am 

The Vat,

The Vat -- And our system, in the USA, seems to be an epic failure in this regard, though we've had a few small victories in breaking up monopolies, holding polluters accountable, ensuring workplace safety, etc. But the victories are scattered pretty thinly through a festering stew of corruption.
- Lozza -- The victories add up to nothing much more than tokenism, don't they?
as to have no more relevance.


Absolutely! Actually, I consider most of the agencies that are supposed to oversee the behavior of business as tokenism. There was a very important phrase that came out in the early 1980's within the Public Service Act, which was, "You must be seen to be...". Most people didn't think too much about it and considered it a relatively benign phrase. I shuddered. If you ponder this phrase, what it says is that the appearance or facade is more important than the actuality...because there are some things that to the uninitiated, may look bad, when actually, you are doing the correct thing. Now it's more important to look good, than to do the right thing, so that no-one complains, regardless of their level of understanding of the issue. This has also been adopted by big business, go figure!

The Internet has exacerbated this, as who can you contact to report unsavory behavior to, of a business that is virtually global and based in a foreign country? There isn't even any tokenism. You might say a Federal authority, well I tried that once, and I don't believe that I've ever encountered anything more convoluted, discouraging people from going through the process.

And lastly, the big one, the deregulation of business and banking, stating that they should be "self-regulatory", in the late 70's or early 80's. Prior to that, since WWII there were subtle ebbs and flows within our economies, but no crashes. After that, we had the '87 crash, '89 crash, the Dot Com Bubble of the 90's, the Sub-Prime Loan fiasco of early this century leading to the Global Financial Crisis and the Crash of 2008.

Yeah, self regulation of vampires in a blood bank is a great idea!
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Re: 'Post-Truth Politics' - Collapse in Information Integrit

Postby Lozza on July 9th, 2019, 6:58 am 

Serpent » July 8th, 2019, 8:50 am wrote:
[The Asian Empire ... reign will be short,]
I'm always amused when people suggest that when talking of an empire that has endured thousands of years. The Chinese are smart, patient and industrious. It's the Western Empire that is a blip in history, not their's.

Yet theirs has been trounced three times in a single century by upstarts.


And yet they have endured and are still there.

I only meant it will be a short-lived empire unless they're a lot smarter than everyone else about climate adaptation (I'm aware of some signs that they are) and really smarten up about handling their population (the old dynasties were smarter in this regard). The Hong Kong mess won't do as a style of long-term governance. Modern Chinese may have caught political amnesia from the west, but along with that came those pesky progressive ideas that refuse to die.


I see. We can only speculate. I agree they do show signs of better awareness of the environment, but their growth into capitalism and industry combined with the damage and rate of damage we're doing, is probably moot in that it's too late. I was only reading something about the Antarctic this morning, and it's a grim view for the future with rising seas flooding coastlines.

In every population there is a large variance between people, ranging from IQ ranges, emotional and psychological conditions, personalities, motivations and talents. Some are born that just can never function. Add to that, there are subtle degrees of difference when you look at the broader population between those of the same apparent aptitude.

None of that has the slightest bearing social stratification in civilized societies. A haemophiliac in the throes of stage III syphilis, if born into an aristocratic family has more privilege, wields more power, than a Paris street urchin with the reflexes of a basketball star and an IQ of 150.
You know this.


And you know that being born into the top 5% means that the remaining 95% don't have that advantage. The numbers are on my side. Otherwise you're suggesting that a person with only average functioning can perform high functioning jobs, or worse, that a person of low functioning can perform high functioning jobs, which clearly is not the case. We are all different in our little ways and capitalism highlights that fact, while civilization is blamed for it.

As for the pressures of the civilization we live in, it certainly is its own form of madness.

Granted - most amicably. Of course. I'm just wondering whether that whole spiral doesn't start from domestication. The same way dogs are more prone to obesity and neuroses than coyotes.


Definitely! Programming starts at home. But even if the programming at home is good, life events and influences can interfere. PTSD would be a good example. What did John Lennon say? "Life's what happens to you while you're making other plans."


But we can't eliminate the idea of religion from humanity. Think of its beginnings...it was an attempt to interpret the world around us in the absence of science,

If the religious impulse began with the question "Why?", you could replace it with science. If it begins with "How can I control [moon, sex, weather, etc]?" you can replace it with technology.
But if the need begins with "I want my mommy!" nothing can take its place.


Well, in a post apocalyptic era, that would depend upon who is left and what their skills and belief systems are, as well as how many people are left and what technology, if any, is left. And even then there's no guarantees, as individuals perceive things differently than each other. Many theists that I've spoken to over the years, admit that it was an emotional experience, such as a "near death experience" for some, or just an emotional epiphany for others that gave them "belief". Some call themselves spiritualists for that reason, but not all. There's no guarantees that some form religion won't pop up again, especially in a post apocalyptic era when people are feeling insecure. Then there are the subsequent generations of people. Having a mystical view of the universe is an incredibly common feature amongst all indigenous peoples without any formal institutional religion to be exposed to. The religions you and I are familiar with have been born out of civilizations using currency, so I don't find it unusual that they are corrupt, but expect them to be. And besides all that, 80% of the planet currently believes in something mystical/spiritual/religious. Belief is emotional, humans are emotional beings, it's a fata compli.....I can't resist...a match made in Heaven...lolol

As an aside, I would suggest that the reason Catholic priests aren't allowed to marry and take a vow of celibacy, is because families cost money to support. Food, clothing and shelter (and later, education) for one person is cheaper than for a family, this keeps a larger portion of the donations by the community rising to the top of the ladder, the Pope. It's no wonder then that the Catholic Church is wealthier than the other institutional religions. Simple economics. Whoever came up with this idea was an asshole, but a very shrewd one, as it's an elegant model.

Human nature is the problem, not the organization or institution.

And still I wonder whether human out of nature is the same human. That is: Did something happen to the human character between early agriculture and late industrial decline so that what we describe as human nature isn't natural at all? Is this a psychologically damaged sub-species?


That's an interesting idea. I can't help but think that humanity has been tampered with. By whom or what, I have no idea, but there just seems to be something amiss to what we are told to believe about human history. Well, even as history has unfolded during my life, I've watched the victors write it, and apparently, every author's a nice guy. Why do I find that hard to believe, let alone the rest of history? The pyramids all around the world, all using identical technology, only differing in styles and materials. The fact that all of the major pyramids are in line within one degree around the globe, on a line crossing the equator...I can't remember if it was 38 degrees or 18 degrees, but they're in line. Then there's the under-water pyramids off the coast of Japan, about 80 feet under water. They would have to have been built prior to the melting of the last Ice Age. It all suggests a more global community than we have been taught to believe. What kind of global community? Again, I have no idea, it's anyone's guess, but I believe we should be more open minded about truly ancient history.

You're interpreting the phrase rationally, as if economy still functioned according to rational principles.
What I meant was that 82 people - unless another one bit the Aubusson since last time I checked - with no strong national loyalties, control most of the wealth.


Well, I'm talking about empires that most of those 82 are a part of.

This is why I talk of these entities as empires..the Western Empire, the Russian Empire and the Asian Empire, which are the largest competing empires currently.

Are you sure? Are you sure they're not competing the way Jenn-Air, Maytag, Amana, Roper, and KitchenAid appliances are competitive brands all owned by Whirlpool, which is owned by.... uh... https://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/whr/ownership-summary


As far as empires that have a standing army, yes, I'm sure. As far as purely financial empires, no, you make a good point. That infant in an adult's body, Zuckerberg, is creating his own cryptocurrency to create his own economy within Facebook, effectively making him El Supremo of a new form of nation that's trans global. http://theconversation.com/with-cryptoc ... ion-118987
Lozza
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Re: A World with no Money (can we survive capitalism?)

Postby Serpent on July 9th, 2019, 7:18 pm 

- Lozza ---
In a post-apocalyptic scenario, I agree with you. I haven't actually put any thought into that scenario, I've been thinking in terms of the current planet population, which makes private vehicles an unnecessary use of resources. However in saying that, a post-apocalyptic scenario is far more realistic than the one I have contemplated.

It's the most nearly plausible. Gradual change for the better is imaginable, but the number of sound political and economic decisions required to get from here to there is a bi-i-i-g stretch, even for the most optimistic imagination. Steps are being taken to make cities more functional and sustainable, but there isn't time to do it by the number of steps that would include everyone, even if we suddenly woke up tomorrow to find no legal barriers to sensible reproduction.

That's [surplus population as policy] a little too conspiratorial sounding

Conspiracy sounds clandestine. But there is no need for secrecy when all three pillars of power are of one mind, have the same requirements.
I don't see surplus population being calculated at all, other than government census reports.

It's not calculated in concrete numbers - though I have heard a quote from a conservative think-tank that the optimal unemployment level for business is 7.5%.

I see surplus population as a result of the capitalist system, for it's the only outcome one can expect from such a system as big businesses grow ever bigger by absorbing smaller big businesses such as what happened in the late 1980's after the 1987 Stock Market Crash. Corporations that were cashed-up went around buying corporations that were struggling due to their high exposure in the stock market.

How does corporate buy-out relate to the peon's having more children than can grow up to be employed?
Surplus population has been standard policy in civilizations long predating capitalism in its present form. It was always necassary for the lowest classes to be prolific breeders - and to revile them for it. Agriculture needed extra serfs and servants for those years when thyphoid or an invasion killed off large numbers of poor, so there'd be enough to keep up the estate, the city, the aristocrats' standard of living. If there were too many serfs and not enough famines, you could always send the extra off on a crusade or something.

Industry needs the working class to be a little bigger than can be usefully employed, to keep wages down with the constant threat of somebody else being desperate enough to do the same job cheaper. Once they could take their factory to some other place with more surplus population and lower standard of living, they no longer need the working class of their own country to multiply: they can keep them trembling with the threat of off-shoring. But the military always needs unemployed young men - the Middle East messes made it necessary to take in young women, as well. (Which may change the military style, eventually.)
The main driver of overpopulation in civilized societies is organized religion: disempowering women, making birth control and suicide sinful, and the administrations happy to turn that into law. People are still fighting for reproductive choice - and losing.

The fact that business and industry don't need so many manual labourers has not yet penetrated to the religious institutions... but then, overproducing manufactury still needs lots of consumers, and the "financial industry" (one of my favourite oxymorons) needs a large terminally indebted class. Of course, that can't go on: as the wage-earner numbers shrink, defaults increase and eventually nobody can afford all the stuff that keeps spilling off the conveyor-belts.

In the mechanized world we have recently left, it was quite labour intensive, but as big business has become more technologically adept, enabling them to reduce their workforce to maintain or increase profits, much of this sort of work has disappeared. It's unfair to expect that people that have trained and worked in these more hands-on jobs, to suddenly retrain into a more technical role.

It doesn't matter: for every tech job that's created, a hundred, or a thousand manual jobs disappear. They never come back, and they're never replaced by new jobs. For each shift toward mechanization, a large group of people become permanently unemployable. As long as it was slaves, children and immigrant, no social upheaval. When it's white male citizens, you get a Trump.

IMHO, technology is the conspirator here. The masses have always been considered as canon fodder, regardless of their socio-economic status, except if they are in the top 5% of wealth.

Their socio-economic level is what makes them the masses. And if you look at the composition of armies, all through civilization, you'll see the class reflected perfectly, both on the battle-ground and in the cemeteries. Every army need lots more foot-soldiers than officers - but how do you get them to enlist? Make sure there's no safer, better-paying job available. Conscription, too, is only a viable option if there are enough workers back home to keep the munitions factories in operation. Worse comes to worst: you put the women to work, but it's hard to put them back in their place, after.
So now, even the "expert" economists are advocating trickle-down economics. FFS!...educated idiots.

Quite the con, that. Charles Ponzi's best-ever idea.
https://anticap.wordpress.com/tag/trickle-down/

I would ban the existence of "politicians", who have questionable qualifications and more questionable motivations. We would need planners...people who can plan cities, suburbs, transport systems, technologies and their uses, education, co-ordination of joint projects, distribution of essential services and food, things of that nature.

My ideal government consists of a "jury" of administrators: random people called to do governance duty for a two-year rotation - each body to be made of 50% fresh recruits each year, so that 50% always have some experience. The administrations can still be in a tier structure: from small local jurisdictions to larger and larger co-ordinating functions. Each governing body would have unlimited access to specialists in every field of public works and service - experts who have a vocation for their chosen field. They would also be able to consult the citizenry at large regarding community projects: announce the proposal, get feedback from the people affected; if approved by the populace, devise the plans, allocate the material resources, announce the project, appoint team leaders, and recruit volunteers.

One of my big bug-bears of this current world is the existence of corporations. A Propriety Limited Company dies when the founder of the company dies. However a corporation has shareholders, so, in human terms, a corporation is actually immortal as shareholders can come and go and change, but as long as there are some, the corporation keeps going, so can only grow bigger and bigger and bigger. In very general terms, it's a vehicle for the accumulation of wealth through the ages, much like a monarchy is, but obviously, both have very different structures and births, but both attempt to achieve the same basic thing...to accumulate and consolidate wealth over the ages...a monarchy for its family, a corporation for its shareholders...which is why some monarchs have been known to refer to their own monarchy as a corporation.

Yes: living as it does on debt, it is forced to grow: every quarter, it has to give more money to its shareholders than they invested. But they have the advantage of mega-clout in employment practice, price-setting, tax-dodging, downloading their liabilities and misdmeanours onto government, getting subsidies and bailouts. They've done wonderfully well, string-pulling-wise.
But, again, the consuming public has finite resources. As every bloodsucking parasite ought to know: if the host dies, you're plum outa luck.
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