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At least, you cannot say Chomsky is inconsistent. http://www.state-journal.com/news/simple_article/5167920 kcrob2001- With the government structure we have now I see no reason to vote for candidates who run for office under that structure. It seems to me that in voting one has to pick the lesser of two evils rather than vote for a respected candidate. Do you vote, or see the need to?Noam Chomsky- I agree. One has to pick the lesser of two evils, and there are substantial differences. If I were in a swing state, I’d vote against any Republican (hence necessarily for Obama).kcrob2001- I think Obama will win because there is no credible Republican candidate. I certainly would rather he get re-elected than to see the likes of Mitt Romney in the white house.Noam Chomsky- I hope you’re right, but there are a lot of uncertainties. Vote for the man who turned out to be even more right-wing than Bush was! Obama wages multiple wars and plans others. Promoted regime change in Libya and now in Syria. After the earthquake, he militarised and occupied Haiti. Conducts illegal drone attacks inside foreign countries such as Pakistan,Yemen and Somalia. “A no greater friend has Israel got ” he proudly claims.He authorised indefinite detention without trial and carried out summarily execution of US citizens.He promotes “shared sacrifice” to force ordinary people to sacrifice for his Wall St backers who he bailed out.The 99%, the unions, the poor and the minorities, in an economy of growing poverty and unemployment, he has thrown them overboard and wages class war against them to serve wealth and power interests alone. As Billionaire Soros says “If it’s between Obama and Romney, there isn’t all that much difference except for the crowd that they bring with them.”But still Chomsky insists that there is and recommends voting for what he views as the lesser evil and i still maintain he is wrong to do so.
Well worth a watch on Al Jazeera http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/faultlines/2012/03/201232754252617285.html
This may be of interest – two Glasgow credit unions censured for breaching financial rules.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-17513873 Pollok Credit Union put its own solvency at risk by issuing a large loan to a non-member. Shettleston and Tollcross Credit Union made loans to its directors on better terms than those available to members. The Pollok Credit Union made a series of loans to a trust that it had set up to manage a local post office and day-care centre. The watchdog said the loans breached its rules because the trust was not a member of the credit union, and that 88% of its capital was tied up in those loans. The FSA’s rules state that individual large exposures must not exceed 25% of a credit union’s capital.
And what about the Manifesto of the Socialist League 1st Version Fed 1885http://www.marxists.org/archive/morris/works/1885/manifst1.htm 2nd Version Oct 1885http://www.marxists.org/archive/morris/works/1885/manifst2.htm “No better solution would be that of State Socialism, by whatever name it may be called, whose aim it would be to make concessions to the working class while leaving the present system of capital and wages still in operation: no number of merely administrative changes, until the workers are in possession of all political power, would make any real approach to Socialism” But it still does talk of a transitional phase in the appendix “The end which true Socialism sets before us is the realisation of absolute equality of condition helped by the development of variety of capacity, according to the motto, from each one according to his capacity, to each one according to his needs; but it may be necessary, and probably will be, to go through a transitional period, during which currency will still be used as a medium of exchange, though of course it will not bear with it the impress of surplus value….We venture to suggest that the first step in the state of transition into Communism might probably be the enactment of a law of a minimum of wages and a maximum of price applied to all industrial production, including the distribution of goods; it seems to us that this, coupled with the immediate abolition of all laws enforcing contract, would at once destroy the possibility of profit-making, and would give us opportunity for getting into working order the decentralised voluntary organisation of production which we hope to see take the place of the present Hierarchy of Compulsion.”
Rosa, i have been following this debate, particularly since i have little expertise in the field and have been learning from it. I have seen your debates on Libcom and from your links to other discussion lists and i may be wrong but there appears to be a different attitude in your exchanges here. Dare i say it, comradely argument and not an acrimonious one, which those involved. You and ALB and YMS and Stuart appear to be taking a certain amount of enjoyment and satisfaction from it even when you all disagree. One concensus, though appears to be is no truck with Hegelian gobblygook if i recall rightly one posters description of its philosophy. And again i may be wrong but i have a feeling it is also refreshingly different for you from your previous philosophical polemics with your other protagonists. My point is surely you made the wrong decision when you said earlier in reply to me “that you used to read your publications when I was deciding which version of Marxism appealed to me back in the early 1980s. Needless to say, I decided against your view.” Perhaps, taking into account our non-dogmatic attitude in contrast to many of the Left’s adherence to dialectics as political canon plus our open and receptive response and commitment to discussion and debate it is now time for you to review your earlier decision. But perhaps i am being too presumptious…a personal failing of mine , i know
Ralph Nader in quite a humourous article tries to re-direct the Occupy Movement into re-adopting leadership and re-entering into conventional reform politics. http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/22/ceos-contemplate-the-occupy/ “…Let me show you why they are here today and will mostly be gone tomorrow. Do they have leaders? No, they proudly reject leaders and even the very trait of leadership. Show me a successful movement or business or union drive, and I’ll show you leaders. It can’t happen without leaders to give form and direction over time, no matter how unpleasant they may be……Occupy has no agenda or program that millions can relate to. Sure ‘inequality, inequality, 99 percent, 99 percent’ make good slogans because people believe them to be true. After all, don’t we really? But without either a religious fervor, some kind of ideological ‘ism,’ – both out of tune with the times – all they’re left with are actual reforms for which they have little interest or patience. This is where they’re really missing the boat and the vehicle of change. Because they detest politics……by detesting politics, they avoid surrounding members of Congress at their offices back home or on Capitol Hill. They avoid the single victory that could be theirs in this election year. And that is raising the federal minimum wage to $10 per hour…over 70 percent of people polled support keeping the minimum wage raises current with inflation. Hundreds of groups of influence want it – at least they are on the record like the AFL-CIO, the National Council of La Raza, the NAACP, social service and religious charity groups – just about everybody.The Occupiers… can galvanize all these groups to pour it out on members of Congress. Imagine the gratitude of 35 million workers who are now making ten dollars or less per hour for their families. Imagine a victory in an ocean of gridlock to whet the appetite of tens of millions of Americans for more of what they call their fair share. Once the masses get moving, as you know, they’re hard to stop……The Occupy people are increasingly bickering amongst themselves in an imploding way while dispiriting themselves with the endless democratic assemblies where majority rule is out. They do not want leaders, or a real-life agenda. They are tussling with anarchists and hired provocateurs, and they disdain any discipline, much less paying full-time organizers. One might uncharitably say they are not serious about anything described as victory – even one in their hands that will bring them great admiration…” I understand the under-lying assumption of the article concerning the positive effect of making gains. The strength of unions, for instance, is dependant about winning benefits, and getting better conditions at work. The whole point is to win real tangible gains that in turn can bolster people, particularly their morale and confidence, and show what can be done, allowing momentum to build, and winning more people over to a critical analysis of the society they live in.Stuart will correct me if i am wrong but i think this is the point he is making. But it does demonstrate the slippery slope into reformism that Adam fears occurring and which Ralph Nader is actually recommending we take. The middle way, to employ Stuart’s buddhist sympathies, as i see it, is that groups like our own advise the working class to seize whatever immediate advantage they can but ultimately the struggle for them should be a means to an end. Ideas are not empty gestures. Ideas offer us the opportunity to think and act , to cross into new lines of inquiry and take new positions. We have to be involved in that communication of the socialist alternative as a practical possibility.
“this theory has helped ruin Marxism. If that is so, then the future of the planet partly depends on defeating this theory.” The ruin done by Leninism to Marxism (and the working class) has been historically far greater than any influence of Hegelian dialecticalism has ever been. You direct your criticism at the wrong ism when it comes to the future of the planet. But you refuse to debate the issue of Leninism and its relevancy to the REAL world, preferring to indulge in discussions that are better left “to the gnawing criticism of the mice” to steal a quote from Engels
“Well, I haven’t come here to debate Leninism” I recall Marx saying that philosophy has interpreted the world ( or in your view, Rosa, it hasn’t ) the point is now to change it – or words to that effect. So just where do you debate your politics? i assume you have viewed other pages of our website and know that we see Leninism as fundamentally no progress to the working class but in fact a hinderance – totally contrary to Marx’s maxim…well the International’s if we have to be exact , ‘The emanicaption of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.’ Isn’t Lenin substituting the party for the class?
sorry, that as a typo …it was a joke …not NOT it was a joke
No it as not a joke or explanation by Debs , just one i found on the internet and the explanation was theirs, not my on. I’m pretty sure Debs never bothered with Hegel.
Just to add to the discussion of tax avoidance and Occupy’s protests about it , todays Observer exposes the private health care industry’s various uses of off-shore subsidaries to escape UK taxation http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/mar/17/nhs-shakeup-health-firms-tax-havens Full report of how it is done here http://www.corporatewatch.org.uk/?lid=4251 But don’t think it is the task of socialists to tell capitalism how to run its economy. After all, whatever tax is re-couped from legal changes, workers still do not have any effective say on how they are spent. And as seen in the current government debate , re-distribution of the tax is all about lifting it from the shoulders of the rich and not the poor. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/mar/17/budget-2012-nick-clegg
Q: How many Hegelians does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Two, of course. One stands at one end of the room and argues that it
isn’t dark; the other stands across from him and says that true
light is impossible. This dialectic creates a synthesis when the
bulb gets screwed in.
(Explanation : Hegel and Marx use a logical procedure called dialectics to seek
answers to seemingly mutual exclusive positions. Shortened it is “thesis,
antithesis, synthesis”. Thus ‘no light’ and ‘no dark’ can arrive at a middle
ground through logical examination ‘it’s dark but it can be made light’.)
Another article that may be useful reading. http://rabble.ca/news/2012/03/re-occupy-or-not-re-occupy ” Zizek tells “an old joke from communist times.” Someone banished to Siberia, knowing the censors would read his mail, establishes a code with his correspondents: blue ink will be for falsehoods that appease the censors, red ink for the truth. His first letter from Siberia is entirely in blue ink, and sings the praises of the life of exile. It’s final sentence notes (ironically!) that the only thing he is missing is red ink. “This is how we live,” Zizek notes. “We have all the freedoms we want. But what we are missing is red ink: the language to articulate our non-freedom”-“this is what you are doing here,” he tells the occupiers, “You are giving all of us red ink.”To provide red ink is to provide a language for critique, as well as a language in which new alternatives to the capitalist system can be envisioned and experimented with. This is to say that the occupy movement has much work to do in extending what it has already begun: active experimentation in directly democratic practices and social “commoning,” as well as an ongoing practice of cultural production (websites, journals, books and educational programs extending and shaping the movement’s central ideas). If Occupy is indeed to transition from indignation to movement, such a transition will require a good deal of red ink…….our environmental, economic, and political crisis is one crisis, capitalism’s failure to deliver a sustainable, just and equitable life for all. Thus we can address the entire problematic, but do so in a productively concrete way that is at once specific and general, local and global……conservatives who fear that environmental concerns mask a deeper critique of capitalism are in part bang on. A sustainable economy — one designed to be in harmony with broad ecological concerns — will inevitably be a very different economy from the one we currently live under. And it will take a new political system — a new organization of society — to bring our economic efforts into line with ecological necessity. Such a broad program of social renewal is exactly what the Occupy movement has put on the table…”
“Social change is much like ecology: every once in a great while, we experience a massive breakthrough, an evolutionary leap, in how the world around us is defined. Occupy did that. The rest of the time, change is the unglamorous, slow plodding of organizers trying to adapt and push forward in an ever challenging environment. These evolutionary leaps reignite movements with imagination and energy, but sustaining that pitch is an often impossible task. The challenge is to use the fertile ground left by the transformed earth to foster a multitude of new growth.” http://www.thenation.com/article/166826/occupy-dead-long-live-occupy
A lot of drug testing are double blind randomised trials of people with existing medical conditions to try out potential treatments against placebos. But then why should someone donate blood or become an organ donor? I think we can say though that much of the medical testing for many cosmetics will disappear. i remember there was a cold cure institute and the attraction for volunteers was that it was a free holiday away from it all the stresses of modern society. I am sure similar recreational/research facilities could be created.