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Notes on the Future of Activism

Posted 2 months ago on Aug. 22, 2014, 11:32 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: Mental Environmentalism

Written by Micah White, PhD

Contemporary activism begins from the realization that for the first time in history, a synergy of catastrophes face us. Our physical environment is dying, our financial markets are collapsing and our culture, fed on a diet of junk thought, is atrophying -- unable to muster the intellectual courage to face our predicament.

While some may caution against immediate action by pointing out that societies often predict perils that never come, what is remarkable about our times is that the apocalypse has already happened.

When we compare the anxiety of our age to that of the Cold War era, we see that what differentiates the two periods is where the threat is temporally located. During the Cold War, the threat of nuclear destruction was always imagined to be in the future. What terrorized the Cold War generation was the thought of life after a nuclear holocaust. Anxiety was therefore centered on what life would be like "the day after" the future event, which was symbolized by the blinding light of a mushroom cloud on the horizon. Thus the post-apocalyptic narrative was deployed in a series of nuclear holocaust science-fiction stories either to mobilize fear in the name of anti-nuke peace -- the exemplar of this tactic being the horrifying and scientifically realistic 1984 BBC docudrama Threads in which civilization collapses into barbarism -- or, like Pat Frank's 1959 novel Alas, Babylon, convince a wary public that winning and happily surviving nuclear war is possible, given resourcefulness, discipline and patriotism.

But for those of us alive today, the catastrophic event is not located in the future. There is no "post”-apocalyptic per se because we are already living in the apocalyptic. And although we can anticipate that life is going to get starker, darker and hellish, the essential feature of our times remains that we do not fear the future as much as we fear the present. We can notice this temporal shift in the work of James Lovelock, whose Gaia Hypothesis is gaining traction inside and outside of the scientific community. According to Lovelock’s book, The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning, even if we were to immediately cease all C02 emissions, sudden and drastic climate change will still occur. In fact, Lovelock argues that a drastic decrease in emissions would trigger climate catastrophe immediately whereas continuing emissions will trigger climate catastrophe eventually and unpredictably. This realization -- that the line into a post-climate-change world has already been crossed -- fundamentally changes the temporal and spatial assumptions underpinning activist struggles. And the first aspect of activism that must be rethought is our notion of temporality.

The typical activist project is inscribed within the horizon of a modern conception of temporality. The modernist activist acts as if we occupy a present moment that is a discrete point on the linear progression between a mythical, ancient past and an either utopian or dystopian future. But if we accept this model, then the goal of the activist can only be to change the future by preventing the dystopian possibility from being realized. This involves pushing for changes in laws and behaviors in the present that will impact our predictions of how the future will be. But activism based on this temporal model -- which as John Foster points out in The Sustainability Mirage: Illusion and Reality in the Coming War on Climate Change underpins "green capitalism" and "sustainable development" -- inevitably fails. For one, unable to accurately predict the future, we constantly play the game of basing our actions on rosy predictions while the future grows increasingly gloomier. Another problem with relying on linear temporality is the assumption that time moves in only one direction. Without the freedom to imagine going backwards, we are left the task of steering the runaway train of industrialization without hope of turning around.

Of course, linear time is not the only way to understand temporality and some models can have even worse political consequences. Take for example, the notion that time is cyclical. For the Roman Stoics, time was marked by a series of conflagrations in which the world was razed and a new one formed only to be razed again. In times of adversity when resistance seems impossible, such as the build-up to World War 2, a watered down version of cyclical temporality sometimes enters the cultural consciousness. It infected Nazis who cheered total war and anti-Nazis who used the spurious argument that only by a catastrophic Nazi triumph would a communist state be realized because only then would the people rise up. A similar line of thought was pursued by Martin Heidegger in a letter to Ernst Jünger in which he wondered if the only way to "cross the line" into a new world is to bring the present world to its awful culmination. Unlike the linear conception of time that calls the activist to act in order to realize an alternate future, the cyclical conception is often leveraged to justify inaction or worse, action contrary to one’s ideals.

To escape the problems of linear time and cyclical time, activism must rely on a new temporality. Perhaps the best articulation of this new activist temporality is in the work of Slavoj Žižek. In his most recent book, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, Žižek blames the failure of contemporary activism on our assumption that time is a one-way line from past to future. He argues that activism is failing to avert the coming catastrophe because it is premised on the same notions of linear time that underpin industrial society. According to Žižek, therefore, a regeneration of activism must begin with a change in temporality. Paraphrasing Jean-Pierre Dupuy, Žižek writes, "if we are to confront adequately the threat of (social or environmental) catastrophe, we need to break out of this 'historical' notion of temporality: we have to introduce a new notion of time." This new notion of time is a shift of perspective from historical progress to that of the timelessness of a revolutionary moment.

The role of the activist should not be to push history in the right direction but instead to disrupt it altogether. Žižek writes, "this is what a proper political act would be today: not so much to unleash a new movement, as to interrupt the present predominant movement. An act of 'divine violence' would then mean pulling the emergency cord on the train of Historical Progress." To accomplish this act of revolutionary violence involves a switch of perspective from the present-looking-forward to the future-looking-backward. Instead of trying to influence the future by acting in the present, Žižek argues that we should start from the assumption that the dread catastrophic event -- whether it be sudden climate catastrophe, a "grey goo" nano-crisis or widespread adoption of cyborg technologies -- has already happened, and then work backwards to figure out what we should have done. "We have to accept that, at the level of possibilities, our future is doomed, that the catastrophe will take place, that it is our destiny -- and then, against the background of this acceptance, mobilize ourselves to perform the act which will change destiny itself and thereby insert a new possibility into the past." In other words, only by assuming that the feared event has already happened, can we imagine what actions would need to have been taken to prevent its occurrence. These steps would then be actualized by the present day activist. "Paradoxically," he concludes, "the only way to prevent the disaster is to accept it as inevitable."

Žižek is right to suggest that activism is at a crossroads; any honest activist will admit that lately our signature moves have failed to arouse more than a tepid response. The fact is that our present is being swallowed by the future we dreaded -- the dystopian sci-fi nightmare of enforced consumerism and planet-wide degradation is, day-by-day, our new reality. And thus, activism faces a dilemma: how to walk the line between false hope and pessimistic resignation. It is no longer tenable to hold the nostalgic belief that educating the population, recycling and composting our waste and advocating for "green capitalism" will snatch us from the brink. Likewise, it is difficult to muster the courage to act when the apocalyptic collapse of civilization seems unavoidable, imminent and, in our misanthropic moments, potentially desirable. Žižek's shift in temporality offers us a way to balance the paralyzing realization that our demise is inevitable with the motivating belief that we can change our destiny. By accepting that as the world is now we are doomed, we free ourselves to break from normalcy and act with the revolutionary fervor needed to achieve the impossible.

The question for would-be activists is therefore not, "how does one engage in meaningful activism when the future is so bleak?" but instead "how does one engage in revolutionary activism when the present is so dark?"

Corresponding to the necessary temporality shift is a spatial change in activism. The future of activism will be the transformation of strictly materialist struggles over the physical environment into cultural struggles over the mental environment. Green environmentalism, red communism and black anarchism will merge into blue mental environmentalism -- activism to save our mental environment will eclipse activism to reclaim our physical environment.

Activism is entering a new era in which environmentalism will cease viewing our mental environment as secondary to our physical environment. No longer neglecting one in favor of the other, we will see a push on both fronts as the only possible way of changing either. This will involve a shift away from a materialist worldview that imagines there to be a one-way avenue between our interior reality and the external reality. Instead, recognition of the permeability of this barrier, an exploration of the mutually sustaining relationship between mindscape and landscape, will open, and reopen, new paths for politics.

This movement toward an activism of the mental environment is based on an ontological argument that can be stated succinctly: our minds influence reality and reality influences our minds. Although simply stated, this proposition has profound implications because it challenges the West’s long standing Cartesian divisions between internal and external reality that serve to ignore the danger of mental toxins. Whereas traditional politics has assumed a static mind that can only be addressed in terms of its rational beliefs, blue activism believes in changing external reality by addressing the health of our internal environment. This comes from an understanding that our mental environment influences which beings manifest, and which possibilities actualize, in our physical reality.

At first it may seem like a strange argument. But the imaginary has been a part of environmentalism since the beginning. Most people trace the lineage of the modern environmentalist movement back to Rachel Carson’s 1961 Silent Spring. Carson’s book argued that the accumulation of toxic chemicals in our environment could work its way up the food chain, causing a widespread die- off. It may not have been the first time the bioaccumulation argument had been made, but it was the first time that it resonated with people. Suddenly, a movement of committed activists and everyday citizens rallied under the environmentalism flag.

Looking back on Carson’s book from the perspective of mental environmentalism, it is significant that it begins, not with hard science as we may expect because Carson was a trained scientist, but with fantasy. The first chapter, entitled “A Fable for Tomorrow,” reads like a fairy tale: “There once was a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings.” She then goes on to describe an idyllic, pastoral community known for its abundant agriculture and wild biodiversity. She writes of foxes and deer; laurel, virburnum and alder; wild birds and trout. However, the beauty of the place is not permanent – an evil, invisible malady spreads across the land. Birds die, plants wilt and nature grows silent. The suggestion is that the land has been cursed; if this were a different story perhaps the farmers would have prayed, offered sacrifices to the gods or asked their ancestors for help. Instead, Carson shifts the blame away from transcendental forces and back to the materialist domain of man. “No witchcraft, no enemy action had silenced the rebirth of new life on this stricken world.” Carson concludes, “The people had done it to themselves.”

Some literary critics have argued that the reason “Silent Spring” resonated with the larger public, sparking a movement of everyday people is largely due to this opening fable. They explain that Carson’s story takes Cold War era fears of radioactivity (an invisible, odorless killer) and redirect them into a new fear over environmental pollution that is, likewise, an invisible, odorless killer. This is a compelling interpretation that explains the rhetorical power of Carson’s story but it misses the larger point. Namely, that at its origin, environmentalism was grounded in a mythological story about a cursed land. Faced with a choice over whether to continue in this fantastical, narrative vein or enter the domain of scientific facts, environmentalism tried the latter. Environmentalism has thus become a scientific expedition largely regulated by Western scientists who tell us how many ppb of certain pollutants will be toxic and how many degrees hotter our earth can be before we are doomed. But here we see again the linear temporal model cropping up again which may explain the inability, according to James Lovelock, of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to predict the rising temperatures we have experienced. In light of the failures of the exclusively scientific approach, it is worth considering another option.

What if Carson had written about how the disappearance of birds was accompanied by the appearance of flickering screens in every home? What if she had drawn a connection between the lack of biodiversity and the dearth of infodiversity? Or the decrease in plant life and the increase in advertised life? To do so would necessitate a new worldview: a blue worldview that acknowledges the interconnection between mental pollution and environmental degradation, spiritual desecration and real-world extinctions.

Keeping one foot within the domain of imagination, environmentalism could speak not only of the disappearance of the wild birds due to physical pollutants but also their disappearance due to mental pollutants. We could wonder at the connection between a culture’s inability to name more than a handful of plants, and the lack of biodiversity in the surrounding nature. And instead of assuming that the lack of biodiversity in external reality caused our poor recognition skills, we would entertain the opposite possibility: that the fewer plants we recognize, the fewer plants will manifest.

Blue activism begins with the realization that internal reality is connected to external reality and then wonders at the relation between pollution of internal reality and the desecration of external reality. The primary pollutant of our mental environment is corporate communication. It is no longer controversial to claim that advertisers stimulate false desires. Any parent knows that after their child watches the Saturday morning cartoons they will suddenly "need" new toys, new treats, new junk. But the effects of advertising go beyond, what the marketers call, “demand generation”. Advertising obliterates autopoesis, self-creation. It is an info-toxin that damages our imagination and our world picture, essential elements of our mental environment. Activists must work on the assumption that there is a connection between the level of pollution in our minds and the prevalence of pollution in our world. At the most basic level, this is because when our minds are polluted, and our imaginations stunted, we are unable to think of a different way of doing things. At a more complex level, it is because our mental environment dictates, to a certain extent, whether certain beings manifest in our physical environment. Naming calls beings into existence and when all the words we know are corporate-speak, the only beings that will manifesto are corporate- owned.

To understand how the pollution of the mental environment can impact the manifestation of beings, consider the story of the Passenger Pigeon. In 1810 one of the great American ornithologists, Alexander Wilson, observed a flock of Passenger Pigeons so plentiful that it blacked out the sun for three days. On another occasion he documented a flock estimated to be two hundred and forty miles long and a mile wide and comprised of over a billion -- 1,000,000,000 -- birds. A century later, the last passenger pigeon died in the Cincinnati Zoological Garden on September 1, 1914. How do we explain this alarming extinction of the Passenger Pigeon?

If we take a materialist activist position, then we will argue that their sudden demise is due to a combination of forces, all of which are located outside the psyche: overhunting combined with unenforced laws against killing the birds in their nesting places was exacerbated by the telegraph which was used to track the birds over hundreds of miles. The species death of the passenger pigeon is thus interpreted as a tragedy of specific technologies: guns, nets, laws and communication systems. Of course, this account is not wrong; it would be mistaken to argue that these technologies did not play a major factor in their extinction.

But physical environmentalism boils down to conservationism. It is allopathic, only able to treat the symptom, the disappearance of the birds, without considering the root cause. By focusing our attention exclusively on material forces, we are confined to certain activist tactics: a spectrum from reformist gestures of calling for greater enforcement of environmental protection laws, courageous tree sits and militant ELF arsons. And while these actions are commendable, and with open acknowledgment that a diversity of tactics is necessary, the focus on a secular materialist politics is limiting our success. Under this model, Ted Turner is considered a philanthropic hero because he is the nation’s largest landowner and maintains the largest privately owned bison herd. What we do not need is a rich patron of endangered species, but instead a world without endangered species. That requires more than money, it necessitates a paradigm shift.

The unexplainable extinction of the passenger pigeon is a symptom of the state of our mental environment. Species facing extinction can only be saved if we take their disappearance as a symptom and address the root cause of their disappearance. Because of an over-reliance on a secular, materialist conception of politics, scientists dictate the aims of activists. The irony is that our exclusive concern over the physical environment renders us unable to save it.

The curious interplay between our imagination and external reality gives credence to the argument that the struggles over the mental environment are the future of activism. The future of activism begins with the realization that only with a clear mind, a clean mental environment, do we approach the possibility of a clean physical environment.

Dispel immediately the notion that our mental environment is unique to each individual. Just as we share our natural environment, we also share our mental environment, which is crafted through the culture we consume – the television shows we watch, the websites we frequent and the symbols and concepts that comprise our thoughts. Thus, the mental environment is not something entirely within us but is instead something that is outside of our complete control and shared collectively.

Activism of the mental environmentalism is not a politics of solipsism, or an attempt to dodge the imperative of direct action. Instead, developing a politics of anti-consumerism and anti-materialism, places the role of imagination back into the forefront. Denying corporations the right to dominate our mental environment is the most effective long-term strategy of insurrection in the twenty- first century because it directly influences the manifestation of our natural environment. By targeting the mental polluters, vandalizing billboards and blacking out advertisements, we do more than clean up urban blight -- we clear a creative space for a revolutionary moment.

This article was written by Micah White and originally published in Reconstruction 10.3

158 Comments

158 Comments


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[-] 6 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

i call bullshit on micah - what a load of crap. get in the trenches - go door to door - speak in the language that working people understand. the freedom riders is our example - not zizek philosophizing. for floodwallstreet go to - https://twitter.com/hashtag/floodwallstreet?f=realtime&src=hash

[-] 6 points by beautifulworld (21302) 1 month ago

And that is the last newspost that is up on this site. Nothing about the events of the anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, September 17, 2014.

[-] 3 points by MattHolck0 (1710) 1 month ago

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The people at $#flodwallstreet here for information ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

there should be a front page article supporting this assembly ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BROTHER EARTH (with Boots Riley and Josh Healey)

If Star Wars was made by environmentalists..

[-] 0 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

what the hell happened to this site - did shooz and all get their wish - to ruin any chance of making this mean something

[-] 9 points by beautifulworld (21302) 1 month ago

I wish I knew. I think OWS has been under attack since day one and there have been many forces here, but the biggest factor is probably the fact that one single person controls the url and the code of something that truly belongs to the 99%.

[-] 7 points by Renneye (3986) 1 month ago

" the biggest factor is probably the fact that one single person controls the url and the code of something that truly belongs to the 99%."

That's the crux, right there, bw.

[-] 5 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

are we talking justine here - has she checked in to google and out of ows

[-] -1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

I think that the people got to her nerves. There were the many avatars of "Trashy" posting negative things about her. She probably has little more time for this forum to defend it against hackers and attackers now that it has attracted more attention. Prohibiting signups was probably the easiest way to shut them out. It may also just be fatigue. I can sympathize with that when people throw around things that are false and yet not own up to them.

[-] 0 points by 99nproud (2697) 3 weeks ago

"the future of activism" is in Hong Kong. & it's umbrellas.

Occupy Central:

"The government's crackdown has been unsuccessful in dispersing the protesters, who are still out on the streets—and solidarity marches are taking place in cities around the world, including Ferguson. Here's a wrap-up of photos from the weekend."

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/09/insane-photos-hong-kong-democracy-protests-china

Unbrellas I tell you.!!

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 3 weeks ago

Hong Kong is all the way on the other side of the world. Issues seem eerily similar. It's a small world after all!

[-] -1 points by 99nproud (2697) 2 weeks ago

"HK protest U.S. plot!": Putin

http://online.wsj.com/articles/russian-state-media-portray-hong-kong-protests-as-u-s-plot-1412103539

"One report on Rossiya 24 also suggested the U.K. was to blame. "Experts say another force behind the protests is the U.K., which is currently losing benefits its companies enjoyed in the years after it handed over the colony to China," the anchor said. He didn't identify the experts."

I guess 'Occupy Central' is an arm of western spy orgs.

Hilarious

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 2 weeks ago

The U.S. does not have the influence over Hong Kong. I am pretty sure that Edward Snowden had been listening to Hong Kong before he put his life in Hong Kong's protection. Hong Kong was dragging its feet regarding the U.S. extradition request and eventually it let Snowden fly away to Moscow.

Hong Kong awakens when China broke its promise to Hong Kong. The U.S. has NO interest in causing domestic strife for its banker, China. China's own policy caused the strife. The U.K. is even less likely than the U.S. to stir up trouble for China because the U.S. is a Pacific power but the British Empire east of Suez exists only in remnants. The U.S. does have interest in seeing that our first and second amendments are observed. Assad understood this well and still lives, unlike Gadhafi.

Putin is hallucinating but whatever he has IS indeed strong!

[-] -2 points by 99nproud (2697) 2 weeks ago

Hong Kong Occupation: Gov surrounded.

"Leader offers talks, not resignation"

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-29460525

Solidarity with Occupy central as the gov gears up to make a move,

[-] -3 points by timeforabigchange (-43) from Winnipeg, MB 3 weeks ago

It really is a small world.

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 3 weeks ago

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (1710) 1 month ago

pushed this post down trying to get the floodwallstreet event listed

You have the top post

could you put it up?

[-] 1 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

i have no idea what you are saying - sorry to be so stupid

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (1710) 1 month ago

you have the top post on this subject

I want people to be able to find floodwallstreet from here

edit a link into it will be most visible in the top post

[-] 1 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

well i did something but not sure if is exactly what you would like - check it out and let me know

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (1710) 1 month ago

thank you

that should help

we still need a frontpage article for Flood wall Street

[-] 1 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

agreed

[-] -2 points by 99nproud (2697) 2 weeks ago

Activisms future needs reflection on the past.

http://www.berkeleyside.com/2014/10/02/photos-rally-on-uc-berkeley-campus-marks-50th-anniversary-of-the-free-speech-movement-student-protests/

Early 'occupation' that informs all our efforts.

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

The problem is not language. The problem is what working people can understand given their motivations, education, or the lack thereof. We can whack-a-mole to raise their wages, for example, or we can resist the effects of the corrosive consumerism by mental cleansing.

Your "running out of inches" misses the important point of "collapsing trust." We must rebuild trust by avoiding any fuzziness in our math, our thinking, and our actions. Take out and look at a quarter and repeat after me the phrase above George Washington. "In God We Trust."

[-] 1 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

seems you are saying that poor uneducated working people can't understand what is happening to them - i disagree and history proves you incorrect - take a look at the populist movement. as for trust - once again you show what a good education does to common sense. if you have to pay your taxes in dollars you will need dollars not matter what you trust. you seem to be thinking like an elitist!

[-] 2 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

Where did the populist movement get the masses by now? Back to striving for that same $15 minimum wage achieved many decades ago. Where has that purchasing power gone? Persistent inflation through the intervening decades.

Ahhh! I do need "dollars" to pay my taxes but what are the taxes on "income"? If a rich person takes out a secured loan from a bank using an apartment building as collateral, is that loan income? Can the person get a high-priced call girl, snort cocaine, and fuk their brains out with the proceeds of the loan? Why can the person take out a loan using the building? Its nominal value has gone up due to more currency flowing around as created by the (Non-)Federal (No-)Reserve. Not only does the person not have to pay income tax on the loan, the interests paid back on the loan can be deducted from the person's other incomes. Meanwhile, the building's being depreciated on tax returns shield even more of the person's incomes from taxation. By the way, the rich person did not own the building using their own money. It was mostly other people's money from the stupid people who save in banks, buy insurances, and pay into pension plans.

Learn the difference between nominal and real values and you will fare much better in this land of "Everything is not what it seems."

[-] 1 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

and where did the civil rights movement get us - certainly a better place than 1940 and so did the populists - they laid the ground work for all that came later - social security unemployment ins etc. we should end this - you can't see what i am saying. there is no one way for things - inflation hurts old people on fixed incomes but in general what i am saying is correct no matter what you like to think, in the past inflation has been mainly driven by wages - that has been driven out of the system so far by reaganism. the next one may be driven by resource scarcity which is why we need to understand the difference between money and real wealth - alan watts makes it perfectly plain to any who want to see it - you do not. thanks for your time and good bye

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

I agree that the New Deal and the Johnson '60s have improved our social safety net but not keeping our wary eyes on the scourge of inflation let much gain of the middle class be stolen.

[-] 1 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

if that is so then why did productivity grow and wages stayed flat for the last 30 years - was that because of inflation? nope - you need to give up the fixation on inflation - i am sure there are many things we can agree on regarding inflation and economic policy but this last point is obvious - inflation did not cause the problems for the working class since the days of reagan - it was no wage growth that is the problem here

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26697) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 month ago

Inflation is "NOT" good for the middle class and is even worse for the never mentioned ( and growing by leaps and bounds ) lower class.

Couple inflation with frozen incomes and you ( WE ) have a disaster economy.

Inflation - certainly has caused major problems for the working class - who are also suffering from frozen wages.

What is "obvious" is that your thinking is pretty flawed.

[-] 2 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

you did not really address the question - try another one. this discussion could be helpful to many if you approach it honestly. can you explain how we had big inflation from 1940 to 1975 and a huge increase in the wealth of the middle class - a raising of the living standards of the poor and a lowering of inequality - it was "the golden age of capitalism" - look it up! don't get snippy dk - you don't know the subject here. you made a good point when you said "Couple inflation with frozen incomes" - well who says incomes have to be frozen and how is that accomplished. it is VERY obvious if you take a minute to think about it. do you want to be the guy in the lifeboat or the guy with $10,000 standing on the deck of the titanic trying to buy a spot. money and wealth are two different things and ows needs to understand that. we are entering a time when resource scarcity will cause huge problems - we need to understand how to deal with that.

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

1940 was essentially the start of World War II - the war effort was the biggest economic stimulus program ever. Inflation be damned if we had to lick the Huns' jackboots! Everyone had a job to do paid through massive deficit spending.

1975 was essentially the start of the oil cartel's control of the price of the "blood of industries." It was the end of cheap oil triggered by the Yom Kippur war. That was the start of resource scarcity that had caused huge problems (Fed monetizing Vietnam War debts, high inflation, high interest rates, Reagan riding quixotically to the rescue partly by crushing labor unions).

In between, the U.S. was the unquestioned world economic leader. After WWII, U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Soviet Union, China, Japan, or virtually the entire Old World all laid in ruins. The U.S. middle class had the greatest rebuilding task ever to do. When coupled with the New Deal and Johnson '60s buildup of social safety net, vast number of people were lifted out of poverty. The working class boomed.

It was NOT inflation that made the U.S. masses better off in 1940-1975 than before. Inflation (from massive fiscal economic stimulus program) coupled with even higher wage growth are not in the cards. There is nothing like WWII going on unless the Ukraine situation gets out of hand.

[-] 3 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

long answer but not as simple as - that period had huge inflation and an increase in wealth of the middle class so obviously inflation can not be the problem. now we do not need ww3 - we could use a massive mobilization to create renewable energy and a sustainable economy - would have the same effect as a build out for war. one last time - if wages are tied to inflation then inflation redistributes wealth - and the only reason they would be not is because of a lack of democracy in the political system. resource scarcity will cause a different kind of inflation and that has nothing to do with the fed and your complaints

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

My objection to a political fix for the problems caused by the Fed printing is that we are only treating the symptoms, not the cause. It misdirects the focus and efforts of the victims of inflation. I hate patches because they need to be redone again and again. Fixing the cause is preferable.

Regarding the most venerable Chomsky's comment about "work needing to be done," I absolutely agree. Our economic system fails its prime directive. It sucks and fuks!

[-] 2 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

i think where we disagree is that i do not think fed printing is the problem. if the fed printed money and gave it to citizens to retro fit houses to be energy efficient or to build out a smart grid or mass transit or fix our infrastructure i would ask them to print away. giving it to the banks to make profit is fucked up!

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

Everytime we say the Fed printing money, we are automatically making a wrong statement. The whole process involving the (Non-)Federal (No-but-ultimate-)Reserve, the nationally chartered banks, and the U.S. Treasury Department, and the U.S. Mint is rather complicated but it amounts to no less than printing money. The Fed can create credit for these privileged banks which own it at lightning speed, far exceeding any printing press.

The Fed cannot outright print away in broad daylight because people will probably say, "That is criminal!" so it has to hide behind the contraption and create credit for these special banks to loan away. Yep, they are exactly the ones now owning the entities which drove the U.S. economy into the ditch in 2008 and are still holding back the recovery. You probably put your finger on the crux of the matter when you mentioned 6% inflation. They do not want to loan out at below 4% and have 6% inflation eat away their debt holdings. They need assurances of their FUTURE profits of all of their debt holdings, including the rotten ones from the crash of 2007-2009.

[-] 2 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

When you buy a good bottle of whiskey with your credit card you are "printing money." The whole system of money creation is a bit of anarchy. The central bank should create whatever amount of currency that is needed for full employment and a sustainable future

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (1710) 1 month ago

it's a negative exponential game

how can we lose ?

[-] 2 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

You know I rarely know what the fuck you mean. I think I agree with you but I never know for sure

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

If you are financially flexible, you can switch sides. In one breath, you condemn the traders. In another breath, you become a trader whom you have just condemned. That is what it takes to survive under the crooked system. Rest assured that in a negative exponential game, zero is an asymptote. Nearly all will be reduced to poverty aside from the fast, big, or knowledgeable ones. It is disgusting.

[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (26697) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 month ago

Look in the mirror when you say - " don't get snippy "

If you will remember I said look at the last 40 years. If you are bad at math - that time period starts at 1974 and goes through today 2014.

I never said incomes had to be frozen - it is what it is = they "are" frozen.

Living a good life is true wealth. But unfortunately - we live in a system that is tied to money - money to have or have not a home - money to have or have not food on the table - and time tied to working enough hours to have both a roof over our heads and food on the table. This is what you need to understand - we are not living in a "what if" situation ( as in - what if wages were not frozen - we are living in a "what is" situation ( where wages "are" frozen ).

do you want to be the guy in the lifeboat or the guy with $10,000 standing on the deck of the titanic trying to buy a spot.

No I do not want to be the guy with money trying to buy a spot in the life-boat. I don't have that kinda money and never have had - "that" would be the wealthy - ya know - those who are currently hoovering up all of the money that they can get a-hold of - the ones that have gone on the program of destroying the middle class and making it a two class society = those who have and those who have not - and those who have will be the very few - so you have the reason a plutocrat gives a ted talk about seeing the pitch-forks coming for him and the others like him.

[-] 2 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

there is one simple question in all of this - is inflation the problem or not. i say no - wages and the political process that keeps wages flat is the problem. if wages are tied to productivity as they were during the golden age of capitalism then inflation is a good thing. by focusing on inflation we distract people and make it harder to see how to fix things. stable money, gold standard are tools of the wealthy. you can see that by by those who advocate for it. inflation actually helps redistribute wealth - IF wages rise with inflation.

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

Redistributing wealth through inflation is very arbitrary and unfair, not only to the people who do not have the credit worthiness and/or knowledge to play the game well. For example, what do the renters of the apartment building get from inflation as opposed to the landlord/lady? Higher rents. The landed gentry gets higher valuation of their real inflation-proof buildings and can therefore borrow more loans, money even better than the additional higher rent "income" because it is not taxed.

The ones savvy about the ways of the markets use inflation and its expectations to make hedges and do lightning trades. All the numbers get obscured. No one can steer the economy well so it has to crash big. Last time around, Paul Volcker wrung inflation out of the U.S. but the medicine was much more awful than that of the recent Great Recession.

Look at the big ups and downs in the stock markets in recent days regarding Fed statements. Nothing much in the real world had changed in two days but instead of no change in the stock market indices, we got gyrations. Traders' eyes are glued to the Fed instead of the real world. It cannot be good if these drivers of the economy are watching and playing the Fed's video game instead of the real world of our economic road. Even worse, the Fed's easy money finds its way into things that people need to live on. You can get rice riots, Arab Spring, Syria, etc.

[-] 2 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

we agree here. i never said that inflation was the best way to redistribute wealth or the best way to do anything. what i did argue against was that inflation is an evil and that fiat currency is evil and central banks are evil. the central banks have been working for the banks - they were set up to be that way - anti democratic. if under democratic control a central bank and fiat currency can create full employment and the currency necessary to fund a sustainable future! end of story - i hope

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

I agree. Rather than giving many billions of dollars to the financial criminals to loan out, a much more effective way to bring back the economy is a special dividend check in U.S. stimulus coupons of $20000 per taxpayer of record on October 17th, 2008. Coupons are to be treated as cash within all U.S. jurisdictions and have no legal value elsewhere.

[-] 0 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

interesting idea - i like clinton's idea (not many of his but this one anyway) of tax credits or some such way to pay people to retro fit houses to be more energy efficient - lots of ways we can put people to work and build a better future. chomsky said it years ago - "look around you - there is plenty of work that needs to be done and lots of people who need work. it is obvious that the economic system does not work!"

[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (26697) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 month ago

there is one simple question in all of this - is inflation the problem or not

I say inflation "is" a problem.

Even if wages go up with a rise in productivity - one can only be so productive. At a point in time an individual can not be more productive = they have hit their peak - both in hours that can be worked and the amount of work that can be accomplished in that time.

So with inflation - one of two things happen =

1) wages stay stagnant as they rise to match ( keep pace with ) inflation.

2) wages diminish if they do not keep pace with inflation.

If wages rise and cost of living does not rise = no inflation. Then the worker gets ahead. Or if wages rise faster than inflation rises = workers get ahead.

If wages are stagnant and we experience deflation = workers get ahead because the dollar can buy more than it used to.

Inflation is not a good thing.

[-] 2 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

So you think that when the ruling class experiences deflation they will keep wages stable. Ha! Like during the depression with masses of unemployed. Stable wages. Wow no wonder you get snippy. I would too if I were you

[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (26697) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 month ago

Follow-up to my previous comment = " U R an incredible idiot - aren't U."

You cherry pick your positions flavored with a bunch of "what ifs" - not with realities as they currently stand.

Then when I mention what could happen with an experienced deflation - "YOU" go for a major depression event.

So yeah - I think that U R an incredible idiot!

Let me cherry pick a "what if" for you.

"What if" Fossil Fuel went through a major devaluation? Say the 3.50 or 4.00 a gallon gasoline - devalued to being 1.00 per gallon.

What would happen to the economy as a whole?

Major depression? No I don't think so.

Major cost savings in every industry in the USA ( other than Fossil Fuel that is ) ? I do believe so.

Major burden for small business removed? I do believe so.

As every business is affected by the cost of fossil fuel = the greater the cost the greater the burden - the lesser the cost the greater the business flexibility = economic power/resilience/robustness.

Would jobs be lost in the fossil fuel business? Probably. Which jobs? Production? or perhaps management.

What would happen to the average individual's buying power? They would for one be saving 2/3's to 3/4's or so on their fuel expenditure. For two = could they then spend that money elsewhere?

With fuel savings of 2/3's or more would business be in a better position to do things like expand or reinvest in better technology/equipment and other things? Maybe take on a larger work force?

Would the overall economy see an influx of money? Money that had been tied up in fuel purchases?

[-] 2 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

sorry to annoy you but i have to say you do not understand money - i am not sure what your position is exactly. can you tell me - mine is that in normal times inflation is not a bad thing. it redistributes wealth from top to bottom - or at least middle. the rich - the bond holders and owners of banks hate inflation since it eats at their wealth. so - anyone who complains about inflation in general or complains about fiat currency and wants a return to the gold standard or complains about "money printing" by the fed is (for the most part) doing the work of the .01%! that is a fact and i am sorry if you do not like it or want to see it. a democratic central bank should be able to print all the money (paper or electronic) the economy needs to create full employment and to build a sustainable economy. the only limits are those (that you point out here) that have to do with real world resources. if we cannot get enough concrete or steel or energy then we cannot build what we need but paper dollars should never - NEVER prevent us from doing what is good for the population. now yes - since our society and wealth is built on oil if the price of oil drops it is good for almost everyone. that does not change ANYTHING that i said. we can discuss that if you like but it should be obvious. it is a simple point of logic - if you (or grapes or that dopey little facts guy) say that money printing is bad and inflation is bad you must defend that position. if the country experienced HUGE inflation from 1800 to 1970 (or you pick the time frame) and at the same time experienced tremendous increase in wealth and in the standard of living of the majority of the population then it cannot be that inflation is always bad. CANNOT BE! it must be other factors that determine whether the wealth of the country and standard of living increases or decreases. ok - so respond and try not to be a child. a snippy child at that. try to respond logically - state your position clearly and defend it - or just stop.

[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (26697) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 month ago

U R an incredible idiot - aren't U.

[-] 1 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

Well done. A very thoughtful response

[+] -4 points by anarkette (24) from Boston, MA 1 month ago

Stop insulting and bickering against others. If you can't debate like an adult, go play with the kids at the arcade. This place is for respectable people, not net jerks. Capiche señor.

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

The issue is NOT getting to $15 an hour. If the people making $7.50 promise to go with Everything doubling, we can get them to $15 in a heartbeat but they will realize after the initial euphoria that they are no better off.

Productivity per unit labor grew for decades without wage growth because there were many hitherto undocumented quasi-labor from overseas, machines, and smarter ways of doing things. They were NOT counted as labor of the U.S. The U.S. is still near the TOP in productivity per unit labor but the benefits of that accrue to the managements and owners. Believe in "trickle-down" and those at the bottom get the least goodies. By the way, it is actually far more pleasant for management to deal with machines or overseas contractors than to manage domestic labor because domestic labor is "overly qualified."

Persistent inflation degraded all wages. Cursed were the (non-inflation-indexed) wage earners for their lot was the financial poor house.

[-] 0 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

you and i are saying the same thing you just use more words! you said "the scourge of inflation let much gain of the middle class be stolen." now you say "The U.S. is still near the TOP in productivity per unit labor but the benefits of that accrue to the managements and owners." i agree totally here - inflation did not destroy the wages of the working class - it was political issues that did it - as alan greenspan said " worker insecurity" - that is all for me i have to go to work - slaving away for the man! well not really - i teach kids how to play tennis - not a bad gig - i work for myself so my only boos is the little kid on the other side of the net

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

The delusion of the masses is that the degradation of quality of living was due to not getting wage increases sufficient to overcome inflation. Both the politicians and the business people prefer that. Business people have their real (inflation-adjusted) labor costs reduced year after year. The politicians get voted into office by constituents clamoring for a minimum wage increase.

Why did the masses not see the origin of the problem being inflation itself created by currency expansion made out of thin air? Sufficiently low inflation bores them but over decades it will definitely hurt.

[Removed]

[-] -2 points by 99nproud (2697) 2 weeks ago

:Popular resistance", internet, & street action is the future of activism.

http://www.popularresistance.org/popular-resistance-newsletter-actions-heat-up-in-the-us-and-globally/

"This past week, there has been a lot written about next steps in the climate justice movement. Now that hundreds of thousands have marched, it shows that the movement exists. But marching alone doesn’t change things, so what do we do? There are many tactics required to move to a carbon-free nuclear-free energy economy. The task for all of us is to build on the momentum created by the march and the Flood Wall Street sit-in and escalate both resistance and building alternatives."

What else is there?

Oh, Voting! of course.

Are you with us?

[-] -2 points by 99nproud (2697) 2 weeks ago

Activisms future NOW, in HK.

http://metronews.ca/news/world/1169802/hong-kong-protesters-demand-territory-leaders-resignation/

"Student leaders of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests warned that if the territory’s top official doesn’t resign by Thursday they will step up their actions, including occupying several important government buildings."

Philosophy has it's place, The streets will define the future of activism.

Solidarity with 'Occupy Central' in Hong Kong.

[-] 4 points by MattHolck0 (1710) 3 weeks ago

Beastly Bloodsports: The Overlords state their objection to killing animals for entertainment. They put teeth into this pronouncement by causing every member of the audience to actually feel the bull's pain at what, for obvious reasons, is the last bullfighting event for the humans.

Childhood's End is a novel by Arthur C. Clarke

[-] 4 points by ShadzSixtySix (1162) 1 month ago

Fast Food Workers & their supporters must engage in actual activism on the streets and everywhere else. Words are wonderful but actions are imperative.

facta non verba ...

[-] 7 points by beautifulworld (21302) 1 month ago

Solidarity with fast food workers across the nation today, September 4, 2014. Go for it! You have nothing to lose.

[Deleted]

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21302) 1 month ago

http://floodwallstreet.net/

"Stop Capitalism. End the Climate Crisis."

September 22, NYC and Everywhere, Wear Blue

Absolutely, Matt, this should be on the front page of this website.

[-] 0 points by ShadzSixtySix (1162) 1 month ago

And everything to gain !!! Anyone working 40 hours a week should be able to pay for a basic standard of living !! The dubious logic of ''trickle down'' is now revealed for the clap-trap that it was because The 99% can clearly see the 'Hoover Up' nature of the 'Extraction Economy' ... that 40 years of Neoliberalism has given us all in Western demoCRAZY deMOCKERYcies !

ad iudicium ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21302) 1 month ago

The top 3% of Americans now own 54% of the wealth. If that doesn't get people out on the streets, I don't know what will.

"Gap Between Richest And The Rest Widened After The Recession: Fed"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/04/wealth-gap-recession_n_5767320.html

Well, come on Fed, do your job! You are part of the government. You are supposed to be protecting the general welfare of the people.

This kind of concentration of wealth at the top is deleterious to the welfare of the people and is unsustainable.

[-] 5 points by ShadzSixtySix (1162) 1 month ago

The Fed is NOT ''part of the government'' bw - I beg to differ but I absolutely belief that !!! That it is ''part of the'' USG is exactly what we are supposed to think tho' !! The Fed is modelled on 'The Bank Of England' - the world's first 'Central Bank' and a private organisation that precedes the .. 'democratic British state' & which also pretends to be an arm of state - especially after it's alleged nationalisation in 1948 - when all that really happened was that the UK state only officially owned the HQ building in London ! Thanx for your strong link tho' and in reply, I append and recommend :

''This week, nearly five years after the Supreme Court paved the way for unlimited corporate political spending through its Citizens United decision, a majority of the Senate voted in support of a constitutional amendment that would overturn that decision.

''What was remarkable about the vote wasn't the result, but why it happened at all. Since the day Citizens United was handed down, Americans across the political spectrum have rejected its reasoning. Even while pundits were explaining that the constitutional amendment would never receive widespread support, grassroots activists were organizing on a massive scale to demand exactly that.

''As Sen. Bernie Sanders said on the Senate floor this week, "Of all of the issues out there -- whether you are concerned about education, health care, the environment, the economy -- the most important issue underlying all of those issues is the need to end this disastrous Supreme Court decision which allows billionaires to buy elections." To fix any of these problems, we have to fix our democracy problem and make the voices and votes of everyday Americans central to our political process once again.''

radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21302) 1 month ago

Well said. Sadly, we don't have a government that represents us and getting it back is proving to be a difficult struggle.

[-] 5 points by ShadzSixtySix (1162) 1 month ago

That ''we don't have a government that represents us'' - is really mainly because it is wholly owned by Banksters and Corporations with just a thin veneer of demoCRAZY deMOCKERYcy - for appearances sake. There is no option but to struggle for The 99% & re. 'The Fed', I append :

e tenebris, lux ...

[-] 0 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

This article proves that the Fed has been doing its job. At one time, we had $15 an hour minimum wage, adjusted for inflation. The Fed steals from the masses to give to the 1% through decades of inflation it had produced. The 1% owns real (inflation-proof) assets, owes the most, and pays back the debts with cheaper dollars. The masses had to fight just to get back to where they were economically decades ago. This is the crocodile's tear for the poor thing it chewed up.

Anyone can get rich with billions of dollars of 0-0.25% credit with the Fed committing to 2% inflation but anyone excludes most common folks.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21302) 1 month ago

Occupy Wall Street! Occupy the Fed! End this madness.

[-] 2 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

i agree that we should occupy the fed - it should be in democratic hands but i hope you do not fall for the inflation argument. the gold standard and a strong dollar are tools of the rich - inflation redistributes wealth from the creditors (the rich) to the debtors ( the rest of us) - this is a crucial issue for occupy to understand. fiat currency is a tool of the masses - you can read it every day in the business press - the wealthy hate inflation. that is why they fight so hard even with a struggling economy to keep inflation at bay.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21302) 1 month ago

Good points. They get away with a lot of their bad behavior because most people haven't got a clue as to what it is they are doing.

[-] 2 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

just now reading the article - i think zizek is an idiot! not sure what you know about the money issue but stephanie kelton has one of the best talks on the subject that i know of. google her in italy and it will come up

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (21302) 1 month ago

The brightest people make the most complex matters, simple. I'm not big on those who over-complicate concepts.

I'm listening to Kelton in Italy right now, and she is explaining money in a very simple way. Great. Thanks, flip.

Kelton on "What is Money?:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiS63yjtVDQ

[-] 2 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

let me know what you think - in conjunction with stephanie here is a simple and obvious point by alan watts - "Let me illustrate this point and, at the same time, explain the major obstacle to sane technological progress, by dwelling on the fundamental confusion between money and wealth, Remember the Great Depression of the Thirties? One day there was a flourishing consumer economy, with everyone on the up-and-up; and the next, unemployment, poverty, and bread lines, What happened? The physical resources of the country the brain, brawn, and raw materials were in no way depleted, but there was a sudden absence of money, a so-called financial slump. Complex reasons for this kind of disaster can be elaborated at length by experts on banking and high finance who cannot see the forest for the trees, But it was just as if someone had come to work on building a house and, on the morning of the Depression, the boss had said, "Sorry, baby, but we can't build today. No inches." "Whaddya mean, no inches? We got wood, We got metal. We even got tape measures.' "Yeah, but you don't understand business. We been using too many inches and there's just no more to go around." A few years later, people were saying that Germany couldn't possibly equip a vast army and wage a war, because it didn't have enough gold. What wasn't understood then, and still isn't really understood today, is that the reality of money is of the same type as the reality of centimeters, grams, hours, or lines of longitude. Money is a way of measuring wealth but is not wealth in itself. A chest of gold coins or a fat wallet of bills is of no use whatsoever to a wrecked sailor alone on a raft He needs real wealth, in the form of a fishing rod, a compass, an outboard motor with gas, and a female companion.

[-] 6 points by beautifulworld (21302) 1 month ago

That is exactly right. Money is not wealth, but I do think the 1% has figured out how to create wealth (for themselves, not for society) from money, but in and of itself, money is not wealth. Very true and well put by Watts.

[-] 2 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

The way to create wealth from money is to obfuscate the origin of the money and the nefarious process through which it is created. Catch big fish from murky waters. The catch phrase on the U.S. currency is "legal tender for all debts, public and private." It is based on the might of the U.S. government (the "legal" part) to enforce (ultimately by the U.S. military).

The rich know how to use "seemingly fuzzy but not really" math to turn that currency into wealth by creating inflation which fudges away the value in the currency between consecutive changings of its ownership. Real math eludes the masses and intricacies in the arcane creation of money make it hard to comprehend by them.

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

The ultimate wealth throughout much of the world and for millennia was land. The rich people own that even with lots of borrowed money. The U.S. extended this debt thing to much of the middle class so many of them fancy themselves being rich (with the Fed-created inflation).

Let me ask you a good question. Who can borrow the most money from the banks? The rich people with the real assets or the ones who "wear big hats and own no cattle?"

[-] 2 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

the answer is rich people with real assets - and who do they borrow the money from? and who owns the banks - "which is the greater crime? to rob a bank or to own one?"

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

Rich people borrow from the stupid people who save their money in banks, who buy insurances of all kinds, and who pay into pension plans.

The average joe and jill can own the banks, too, but not to the same extent as the rich people. This is like your situation of owning a house and crowing about how great inflation was but do you know the people who own all of those tall buildings on Manhattan island?

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (26697) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 month ago

Inflation really only profits those who buy property. As the property becomes more valuable than what you purchased it for - over time. But if your income does not keep pace with inflation - then over time ( reference the last 40 years ) one is unable to afford to buy a property and make the payments on it. The fortunate ones bought in ( were able to buy in ) when they could afford to - and hopefully had a locked in payment and rate.

[-] 1 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

the last 40 years are different form the previous 40 because the power of unions was broken by reagan and volker etc (and work done long before that by countless others of the power elite). they were able to drive wages down and productivity up thereby increasing profits. yes wages need to keep pace but that does not change the basic facts. most middle class wealth is in houses with mortgages - during any typical inflation houses increase in value and mortgages decrease - which is why the ruling class hates inflation. otherwise why would we see the fed and the rich worry so much about inflation in a time of terrible economic performance.

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

Mark my words. The low-paid worker groups which are lucky enough to succeed in getting $15 an hour today will be back decades from now to try to get $15 an hour real wage again. Inflation will erode wage gains that they may have achieved. Who can undermine the value of their wages? None other than the creators of that money!

[-] 2 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

look at the 40's and 50's and 60's - the golden age of capitalism. wages went up because workers had strong unions and government protection. you are confusing a political problem with and economic problem

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

I am a realist. I believe that economic numbers should be real, not obfuscated by inflation. Economic problems should be redressed in the economic realm. Remember the three golden monkeys for financial success: "See no evil!" "Hear no evil!" and "Speak no evil!"

"Let your yes be yes and your no be no. The rest [probably] came from the Evil One."

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26697) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 month ago

[ edit ] As inflation increases - value for the individual who already has a mortgage increases in their favor - those who do not yet have a property take a beating - as the housing costs increase as do the size of the mortgages and payments for such.

Inflation is not the friend of the average individual - in these days - as pay is not keeping pace with inflation - except for the Board Members and Executive officers ( then it is out-pacing inflation by decades and decades ) - so the wealthy currently love inflation - while inflation is driving the poor into early graves and the middle class is not far behind in feeling the same repercussions as time goes by and their pay continues to fall behind inflation.

edit -> BTW - those who already bought their homes ( scuse - entered into a decades long payment program to purchase ) - still have to make the payments and as their income shrinks due to not keeping pace with inflation - so does their ability to keep being able to make those payments as everything else costs more - their leeway on income disappears and then they find themselves looking at the need to sell to get a cheaper place ( HAH ) and they look to sell - they find that they do not have buyers able to pay the value of their current residence.

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (1710) 1 month ago

first rule of rent club

[-] 0 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

you are wrong here. yes the rich are outpacing inflation with wages but inflation eats away at their wealth and that is why the fight so hard against it. read about the populist struggle - they understood fiat currency and inflation. you are right that today the middle class is being ground down but that is because wages are not matching productivity. think it through - if you have a big pile of cash in the bank deflation is your best friend. that money can buy more and more. read any business publication - bondholders hate inflation and who are the bond holders but the rich! today we are in a mess because the power of labor has been crushed and the great liberal bargain of the golden age of capitalism has been torn up by the forces of capital

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

The rich do not own their assets mostly in the form of big piles of cash in the bank. They own real assets with big piles of other peoples' money through credit borrowing. It is called leverage and enhances returns but that can be both positive and negative so they need to make sure that returns are always positive.

Borrow $1 billion from the Fed at 0-0.25%. Loan it out at 4%. That gives 3.75-4% a year or $37.5-4 million a year. Very profitable indeed (in the positive with other peoples' money)!

[-] 2 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

yes banks borrow at .25% right now - but as you say they loan it out - often as fixed rate mortgages at 4% or less. now what happens when inflation is 6% - my house value goes up and my loan payment goes down. very obvious for anyone to see how this helps debtors and hurts creditors. also the rich own bonds and treasuries etc - they usually hold much of their wealth in fixed assets

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

I see. Sorry if I misread you. You are wishing for 6% inflation so mortgage borrowers like you can come out ahead with their house loans. With all my fondest hopes for safe unwinding, the Feds are still working on it so stay tuned. Maybe the banks see 6% inflation coming like you do and stop loaning out mortgages.

[-] 2 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

you miss the most basic point - you have been brainwashed by economics as practiced today. you can have all the stable money or gold you like - when oil is scarce you will understand the value of currency. as franklin said - "you learn the value of water when the well runs dry"

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

Pension funds own bonds and treasuries and your average union working stiffs paying in to the pension plans are "rich"?

Inflation is NOT 6% in recent quarters. You are way off. I suspect that you confuse inflation with the increase in the nominal market price of your house. In fact, if inflation were running at 6%, the (Non-)Federal (No-)Reserve would have already ended its quantitative easing.

It is also very easy to see why those people owning the tall buildings on Manhattan island come out way ahead of you.

[-] 1 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

boy you are difficult - i did not say inflation is 6% - i said "now what happens when inflation is 6%"

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26697) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 month ago

The rich drive inflation - inflation does not "just" happen. They got lower taxes - so they should have been able to keep static pricing - but they did not keep static pricing - they kept increasing costs so that they would see bigger profits - as their actual costs didn't go up - just what they charged to their customers went up - and their ( the wealthy ) income took a several hundred percent leap upwards.

[-] 3 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

sorry but you are way off base here. the rich are richer because of tax policy and the political destruction of the power of unions. inflation is not the problem. if you are interested in truly helping the working class and the 99% you must understand this issue. read the business press - look at simpson bowles - read about the eu - they are terrified of inflation - why because they are working to save the middle class - no! this is pretty obvious once you think about it - the dirt poor farmers of the late 1800's understood it. you are falling for the ron paul, libertarian, money masters bullshit. i do not have time to keep going over the same ground with you. google stephanie kelton italy and she will help you - that is if you want to be helped

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26697) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 month ago

sorry but you are way off base here

When did you start drinking the financial kool-aid? Bet you just love and live for the words of our current economists - ya know - the ones who didn't see the economic meltdown coming and are with wallstreet about further deregulation.

You are not in touch with reality and realities.

[-] 3 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

nobody siad anything about deregulation or meltdowns - they are off topic. inflation good or evil is the question. try to address what i said - for those with cash deflation is good and inflation bad. for those in debt - like a mortgage or student loans - inflation helps them. it is an obvious point. whether you know it or not you are arguing for the gold standard - hard money - this is bad for working people and they have known it for 130 years - through many panics and depressions and meltdowns. it has nothing to do with the latest crisis. here is alan watts on the subject - if he doesn't get through to you nothing will - "If money must be gold or silver or nickel, the expansion and distribution of vast wealth in the form of wheat, poultry; cotton; vegetables, butter; wine, fish, or coffee must wait upon the discovery of new gold mines before it can proceed. This obviously ludicrous predicament has, heretofore, been circumvented by increasing the national debt a roundabout piece of semantic obscurantism by which a nation issues itself credit or purchasing power based; not on holdings in precious metals; but on real wealth in the form of products and materials and mechanical energy. Because national debts far exceed anyone's reserves of gold or silver; it is generally supposed that a country with a large national debt is spending beyond its income and is well on the road to poverty and ruin no matter how enormous its supplies of energy and material resources. This is the basic confusion between symbol and reality, here involving the bad magic of the word "debt," which is understood as in the phrase "going into debt." But national debt should properly be called national credit. By issuing national (or general) credit; a given population gives itself purchasing power, a method of distribution for its actual goods and services, which are far more valuable than any amount of precious metal.

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

The U.S. does the same thing as the 1% to the rest of the world - it owns (requiring a strong military) real (inflation-proof) assets, owes the most, and pays back with cheaper (its own newly printed) dollars so I add: Occupy the U.S.!

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21302) 1 month ago

More good points. What happens on a micro level, happens on a macro level. What happens within a nation, happens among nations. We are the world's biggest bully, financially and militarily. We can do much better than that, surely, as our legacy to the world, at this point, is quite sad. We need to turn things around.

[-] 2 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

Our legacy to the world must include the sordid history lessons discernible from our experiences. For better or for worse, turning things around is always precarious during the transition. The taming of our mental environment as well as building up sufficient potential energy can effect a well-targeted decisive transition that minimizes risks.

Ancient Rome with its Greco-Roman culture fell but a millennium later its learnings, preserved by the Muslims, still inspired and guided the Renaissance. Cultural death may not be as final as an empire's demise.

[-] 6 points by beautifulworld (21302) 1 month ago

It is a very long process and this is something some people do not understand. Watershed change does not happen over night. It is gradual. But, we've planted the seeds here with Occupy and we should never give up.

[-] 2 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

Yes, Occupy built an earthen dam so the water builds up behind it and floods the valley. It will take a long time to fill to high levels but the level of the water will keep on increasing until one day it happens - the Deluge!

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

i know we have had this debate before but how do you account for the period from 1910 to 1965 - massive inflation but the middle class grew to unprecedented size and wealth. it is not inflation that steals from the middle class.

[-] 2 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

That period 1910-1965 was characterized by great growth of the productive capacity of the U.S. economy. It was not really inflation but deflation in real terms. More goods to buy makes the dollars worth more.

An excellent reason why the U.S. economy grew so much during that period was because of its secluded location (at the other end of either one of the two biggest oceans) and its being able to keep from getting involved in global wars until it had no choice anymore. Trading with belligerent nations can be very profitable but eventually gets one into their wars.

Going through the Great Depression cleaned up much of the excess of the Roaring Twenties. It was not FDR's New Deal programs that really jump-started the economy. It was the trading with the nations at war while the "arsenal of democracies" hummed along. FDR's New Deal and the murder of the Czar's family in the Russian Revolution admonished the Establishment and enabled the sharing of wealth through social programs.

Give me a murderous bloodbath like that for the Czar's family, a Great Depression, and rebuilding after two of the most destructive wars in history and I will show you an Establishment that is eager to share, progressive government policies, and a prosperous middle class.

[-] 1 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

labor productivity has increased greatly from 1980 to the present but wages have not. largely because of the policies of reagan, clinton, bush and obama. you are finally correct that the russian revolution and commie union organizing helped push fdr and keynes into "saving capitalism." so you point out correctly that it is not inflation but the political process that keeps the working class from sharing in the inflation gains. once again i am not arguing that hyper inflation is good and i hope we can end this debate soon - but in pushing against inflation you are helping the rich. ows people must understand money or we are doomed. households and businesses must operate differently from governments since they do not have the power to tax and a PRINTING PRESS!

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

Everyone is free to play the same game as the rich people but do they have the knowledge, the vision, the credit worthiness, and most important of all the DISCIPLINE? Yes, the rich get hit hardest in their cash reserves but they had the DISCIPLINE to keep them around for meeting their financial obligations, taxes or otherwise. It is like a game of blackjack. If one does not have the DISCIPLINE and let Greed take control, one can go BUST!

The road to hyperinflation winds through the prickly rose garden of inflation. Some sniff and feast their eyes but others less knowledgeable bleed and eventually wonder, "How do I end up HEREEEE?"

[-] 1 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

everyone with money is free to play the same game - and what kind of money does the bottom 80% have? enough to buy a bank - boy you are out there

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

Remember in the U.S. - everyone is created equal and those of means are created more equal than others. They can buy into houses in better neighborhoods, send their children to better schools funded by real estate property taxes, and get better education for their children so they can enter a selective college branded for success. Owning a bank is just an excursion to dynastic rule. The bottom 80% can own a bank's stocks, not much barrier there at all - just don't even think about "controlling shares"!

[-] 1 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

the bottom 80% has no wealth to invest in bank stocks or anything else - what are you smoking? i want some!

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

Where there is a Will, there is a Way. Where there is No Way, there is quantum tunnelling. Enough Will of randomness possessed by the bottom 80% can get Anywhere albeit with low probabilities and few succeed. "Seek and you will find." "Knock and the door shall be opened unto you." Note that there is no time stamped on any of these Biblical promises. God is as shrewd as a bar member!

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (1710) 1 month ago

i think the better college are successful because the attendants and future business money have made connections they're

I'm sure they have the best teachers money can buy than again a dedicated scholars would value knowledge over money

*first words new thought

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

Connections count everywhere but how much they count can vary.

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (1710) 1 month ago

I thought about the plug in's made available by other companies for facebook

but I think those came after the facebook broadcast media hype

I built a cross website plug in 2003

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (1710) 1 month ago

friendster myspace facebook

facebook was successful because of a non-internet advertising campaign

[-] 1 points by grapes (3256) 1 month ago

Activism is also possible through connections, however tenuous or anonymous, on or off the internet. A colony of army ants can run down and eat an elephant. In small groups, ants do not seem to be intelligent to me (watch a group of ants move a dead grasshopper - they remind me of our divided Congress) but they have some rudimentary coordination mechanisms.

[-] -2 points by MattHolck0 (1710) 1 month ago

those not working 40 hours don't deserve standard basic living ?

a lazy slave is a dead one

[-] 2 points by ShadzSixtySix (1162) 1 month ago

http://strikefastfood.org/ is an excellent site and I'll assume that you're trying to get a rise with what you say and I'll not respond in any other way now, other than what I say here now. Or is that a ruse too far ?

fiat lux ...

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (1710) 1 month ago

i've tried to get fast food jobs uncountable times

should those allowed jobs be paid more?

absolutely

in the meantime, fill out our online application deadline

[-] 3 points by ShadzSixtySix (1162) 1 month ago

Try teaching physics / science to kids - in school, college or even privately, Matt.

ad iudicium ...

[-] 2 points by 99nproud (2697) 4 weeks ago

Climate activism guidelines: (in compliment)

http://toni-roman.hubpages.com/hub/climate-change-deniers

Cool huh?

[-] 2 points by ShadzSixtySix (1162) 3 weeks ago

''97% of 2,500 UN climate scientists agree, humans cause global warming'' :

I don't know what was ''cool'' - about your near random blog link. Do you look at your own links ? If you excerpted maybe the rest of us mere mortals could get insight into the points that you are making, as we don't have enough people here to decipher you, so perhaps we need a OWS Army - I'm just sayin'.

minima maxima sunt ...

[-] -1 points by 99nproud (2697) 3 weeks ago

Always look at the links I post. you don't know whats cool about it?

"that is why you fail" Y

[-] 2 points by ShadzSixtySix (1162) 3 weeks ago

Explain the ''fail'' or even explain ''cool huh?'' - or conversely ... you could STFU !!!

verum ex absurdo ...

[-] -1 points by 99nproud (2697) 3 weeks ago

That's a great one. Haven't seen it.

Now try to post without the verbal pollution/personal attacks/ distractions & you will have recovered from your regular flameout syndrome.

Back to business:

Legal observers are critical when protesting today:

http://www.mancunianmatters.co.uk/content/030970416-how-rise-meet-group-who-offer-help-social-struggles-barton-moss-king-st-and-pride

Peace

[-] 2 points by ShadzSixtySix (1162) 3 weeks ago

Fck off & go closely consider the following ... you partisan fuk-wit :

Solidarity & blessings @ The Anti-Frackers @ Barton Moss, tho' !!!

et temet nosce ...

[-] 0 points by 99nproud (2697) 3 weeks ago

Lazy! (lnk to another comment)

In the meantime, the in between time, in post related, & occupy created news tonight:

http://www.occupy.com/article/democracy-101-how-protest-effectively

Please note it omits any of your concern troll, distraction/disruption tactics.

Digest it, BE the substance, embrace the meaningful, discard distractions.

Peace

[-] 2 points by ShadzSixtySix (1162) 3 weeks ago

''Why the Left Must Challenge Corporate Democrats''. by Richard Eskow :

It's not ''lazy'' to have connected to that previous link because it was actually on an important matter & even you seemed to accept that in reply to the comment linked to, you stupid ass !!! I am not sure that you actually understand the term 'concern troll' tho' ... so you ought to go look it up again and see how it'll more closely apply to you !! After all, I'm not the one telling someone else how to comment, am I ?!

nosce te ipsum ...

[-] -1 points by 99nproud (2697) 3 weeks ago

I voted for TeachouT HA! So another greatpost polluted by your PPP activity, & personal attacks/distractions.

Here's activism/protest related bits.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/08/14/why-republicans-arent-quite-sure-how-to-talk-about-ferguson-either/

http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/5344-jury-still-out-de-blasio-era-protest-hamm

Can we challenge ALL corp pols? Or just Corp Dems, officer?

[-] 1 points by ShadzSixtySix (1162) 3 weeks ago

''Polluted'' ?!!! By you, I'd contend !! Prick !

So, still worried about PR for Dems, huh ?

temet nosce ...

[-] 1 points by 99nproud (2697) 3 weeks ago

No sir officer.

[-] -2 points by 99nproud (2697) 2 weeks ago

Activisms future? Global, shared, urban!

http://bullhorn.nationofchange.org/second_annual_mapjam

Sharing Cities Network launched its second annual global #MapJam, a project that brings activists together across the globe by mapping shared resources in cities to help make community assets more visible through grassroots sharing projects, cooperatives, community resources and the commons."

We're in this together, and stronger when we share.

Join Mapjam.

We need you!

[-] 2 points by cheViva (24) 1 month ago

Organizing to systematically overthrow all of the negative aspects and lies of the past, with a seven point platform I learned in Occupy Oakland: Oppression, race, patriarchy, land paperwork, control, capitalism, and religion. Wisdom, is recognizing impermanence. Once capitalism is defeated, for example, which is my focus, but I/we cannot forget that there must then be a culture, too!

For example, a good construction would be, "imagine if NYC abolished the institution of rent, and implemented a services directory phonebook where you could call someone to help for free." Rather than maintaining all negative, free everything involves what you already do.

PS - inter-movement solidarity - if you are having trouble with making rent or don't want to work slave, come to Detroit where we are doing it first! "ed.che@riseup.net"

[-] 2 points by nakedsex (94) 4 months ago

Really good article. I'm always impressed by how entertainment has become so non-stop action packed. Family Guy is a good example because you literally never have a second to think for yourself, or you'll end up missing half the show. All you can do is let your brain absorb the information, and when it's over you don't even realize what's become of your psyche.

I love watching old movies because not only are the plots deep but they actually give you time to critically think about their gravity and dimension, or how something feels, even just the scenery. After all the stimulation of today's stuff I can't even get anyone else I know to sit through something like that because it bores them.

I sort of see this specifically as an addiction, wanting more stimulation in order to be greater than before, always needing a little bit more. And the only way to curb addiction is willpower.

[-] 1 points by ButtonHGwinnett (44) 1 month ago

Activism will be effective if there is a free press able to publish information about it.

At the core of American society has been the assumption of a free press.

Doubts about the validity of these assumptions surfaced over 40 years ago. This is off the radar of most Americans.

Project Censored: Is the Press Really Free? The 1998 documentary

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKoDqErD_A8

A very worthy cause for American activism is liberating free speech and the free press while there are still enough people and resources to sustain it.

Shadows of Liberty

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfzgBf1OJfw

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (1710) 1 month ago

this essay is ill communicated at best

produce by a random word generator at worst

fillobuster

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by ThomasKent (131) 1 month ago

Let’s take a page from Al Gore’s activism on climate change.

The speech by former US Vice-President Al Gore was apocalyptic. ‘The North Polar ice cap is falling off a cliff,’ he said. ‘It could be completely gone in summer in as little as seven years. Seven years from now.’

Those comments came in 2007 as Mr Gore accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaigning on climate change.

But seven years after his warning, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that, far from vanishing, the Arctic ice cap has expanded for the second year in succession – with a surge, depending on how you measure it, of between 43 and 63 per cent since 2012.

Peer-reviewed research suggests that at least until 2005, natural variability was responsible for half the ice decline. But exactly how big its influence is remains an open question – and as scientists agreed, establishing this is critical to making predictions about the Arctic’s future.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2738653/Stunning-satellite-images-summer-ice-cap-thicker-covers-1-7million-square-kilometres-MORE-2-years-ago-despite-Al-Gore-s-prediction-ICE-FREE-now.html#ixzz3BzOyS16t

Sounding the alarm and raising a global awareness was a noteworthy accomplishment. But Mr. Gore's real expertise is American Politics not climate science.

He can provide a larger influence on the future course of the United States as an elder statesman and economic and political activist with democratic values.

[-] 1 points by JackHall (409) 1 month ago

Given the choice of Nuclear Winter or something else. We chose something else which was the other climate change. The questionable decisions that brought civilization to this dilemma were made a hundred years ago.

The end of WWI coincides with the Bolshevik Revolution which led to the Red Scare in the United States and began the War on Socialism directed by Capitalist. The Capitalist have been recklessly running the Military-Industrial Complex society in the United States for over a century with the global economy in tow through 2 World Wars and other minor ones at their peril.

Would throwing Capitalists overboard and transferring private ownership of strategic and vital national services and industries to the Commons be the equivalent of pulling the emergency brake before the bus goes over the cliff?

(Finalized) Red Scare: American Reaction To Communism 1919

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyRiqPQ77os

[-] 2 points by ButtonHGwinnett (44) 1 month ago

The arms race and wars in the 20th century can be seen as attempts to contain Socialism.

It is premature to take Nuclear Winter off the table. The US and Russia still have large nuclear arsenals. More countries want them and will have them. A nuclear conflict between the smallest nuclear powers could still doom the planet.

Nuclear winter - still possible but preventable: Alan Robock at TEDxHoboken

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsrEk1oZ-54

The new activism must work for worthy causes. There are many.

[-] 1 points by ButtonHGwinnett (44) 1 month ago

Banning all nuclear weapons/energy is not necessary.

While solar power is much more commonly used, nuclear power offers great advantages in many areas. Solar cells, although efficient, can only supply energy to spacecraft in orbits where the solar flux is sufficiently high, such as low Earth orbit and interplanetary destinations close enough to the Sun. Unlike solar cells, nuclear power systems function independently of sunlight, which is necessary for deep space exploration. Nuclear reactors are especially beneficial in space because of their lower weight-to-capacity ratio than solar cells. Therefore, nuclear power systems take up much less space than solar power systems. Compact spacecraft are easier to orient and direct in space when precision is needed. Estimates of nuclear power, which can power both life support and propulsion systems, suggest that use of these systems can effectively reduce both cost and mission length.

Nuclear options are vital when it involves exploration and development in outer space.

[-] 2 points by 99nproud (2697) 1 month ago

Space? Hmmm. You make a good argument for nuclear energy.

I suppose I could support nuclear energy when an 'evacuation plan' is not required for siting nuke plants on earth.

Otherwise, I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

[-] 1 points by publius31 (69) from Fort Lee, NJ 1 month ago

There is need for activism. There is need to change the basis of civilization. There is no need for physical, military, or economic revolution. The change can be made by changing our Government. We are a representative republic and NOT a democracy. We elect people who presume to act in our stead when making and voting on laws. We feel, and are, disenfranchised by this election of intermediaries, these representatives, 538 of them, who presume to represent the 320,000,000 million of us living here. They don't, they can't, and they don't even try anymore. And it's been that way from the beginning. We are ruled by our representatives. Every year they decide how to spend 30% of our gross nation product. This year that's 4 trillion dollars, a 4 followed by 12 zeros. Do you think they are qualified to do that? Qualified by the fact of their birth? Qualified by their education? By there superior intellect, training, judgement? No, they are qualified only because of the votes we cast for them. There is no evidence that the average representative is in any way 'superior' to an average person on the street selected at random. To change this government the people must cease having representatives vote on the laws and vote on them themselves. And the majorityof votes passes the law. We will no longer give someone power over us which they can then use against us. We are responsible, interested, bright, vital people capable of good judgement and great understanding. We have this high standard of living, this generally high quality of average life, not because of our representatives, but despite them. We see the inequality in economic distribution, in opportunities for work and education. Wherever we look the ineptitude of representative government has lead to 1% of us have command and control over the other 99% because they control the law makers and command the representatives. End this insanity. Change the constitution so the people vote directly on the laws. Make an Actual Democracy. Make every voice equal to every other one by putting a vote behind it, for everyone. 1. The legislative function of the United States shall be performed directly by the people according to legislation that the people enact. 2. The right of citizens to directly vote for the laws under which they live shall not be abridged by the United States or by any State.

Until this happens we will hit the streets and beg representative to represent us. We call it a victory when they do. It isn't. It just proves that now and then begging works. A nation based on begging cannot long survive, and it shouldn't. And it won't. Elect representatives that will join us in making an Actual Democracy. It's the only way. Quit begging for freedom and vote for it. Quit begging for equality and vote for it. Quit saying you are somebody and prove it, vote for it. assosactualdemocracy.com.

[-] 1 points by 99nproud (2697) 1 month ago

Action Alert!! #Floodwallstreet

http://interoccupy.net/blog/time-to-flood-wall-street/

In compliment

[-] 1 points by ButtonHGwinnett (44) 1 month ago

I agree that a change in the way laws are decided upon is desirable and desperately needed. Does the electorate have access to the facts needed to make an informed decision? The people I talk with everyday have no way to access information over the Internet. They do not have smart phones, cell phones or computers. They get most of their information from newspapers, talk radio, and Fox News-like sources. There are many Americans that are still against Obama Care and would like to spend time repealing it.

I believe the American public is not capable of understanding the important decisions that need to be made for their future because there are too many details involved to be translated into a yes/no vote.

For example - What should the US do with the thousands of nuclear warheads it already has? Or Why hasn’t Glass-Steagall been reinstated? Or Why hasn’t WTC Buildings’ Collapse on 9/11 been thoroughly investigated? Or Why haven't the big banks been broken up?

A lot of Americans are apathetic.

[-] 2 points by publius31 (69) from Fort Lee, NJ 1 month ago

Jefferson said, in his first inaugural speech, that it is frequently said man is not wise enough to govern himself, then he should govern others? You are one of the people, I am one of the people. We advise ourselves of what's going on. Most people do. The roads, airports, utilities, newspapers, universities, are all built and run by people. The people have built the nation, they are at least as competent as our Representatives. If two heads are better than one then 200,000,000 million are better than 538. There are no special people, better able to govern than anyone else.

[-] 1 points by ButtonHGwinnett (44) 1 month ago

You have put a lot of faith in the American people.

Contrast electing a US President to participating directly in crafting legislation.
The candidates compete for delegates, debate issues, and present arguments supporting their election. The legislative process would be similar but with more formality.

Recently the American people elected the worst US Presidents for two terms against considering a different candidate.

Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, G.W. Bush.

Nixon took the US off the gold standard which permanently destabilized the US dollar. Gave us Watergate scandal. First US President to resign.

Reagan gave us Reaganomics which led to widest gaps between rich and poor. Increased government spending and lowered taxes which led to highest US debt ever. Deregulated business. Allowed off shoring middle class jobs.

Bush gave us 9/11 attacks, Afghanistan War, Iraq War, Bank Bailout.

The Democrats were on the right track when Lyndon Johnson left office.

Blame the American people for electing Nixon, Reagan, and G.W. Bush twice.

[-] 1 points by publius31 (69) from Fort Lee, NJ 1 month ago

You are correct. But the President isn't directly elected either. There'ss the Electoral college. And Judges are appointed by the President with consent from the Senate, so they aren't voted for either. The people know their "participation" in Democracy is sham. They know their vote isn't a vote for a law or an officer of the government. Hamilton made sure that the "special people", the landed, educated, intelligentsia, aristocratic people, made the laws, picked the few leaders, and kept command and control of the country. And it has lasted until today. I've pointed this out elsewhere. Here's a quote: YOU DON'T LIVE IN A DEMOCRACY. YOU LIVE IN A REPRESENTATIVE REPUBLIC.

YOU HAVE NEVER VOTED ON A LAW YOU HAVE NEVER VOTED FOR A PRESIDENT YOU HAVE NEVER VOTED FOR A JUDGE

You only voted for someone else to make decisions and to vote 'for you'.

We REQUIRE an ACTUAL DEMOCRACY An Actual Democracy is one where the people vote directly on the laws, Vote directly for the Executive officers and directly for the Judicial officers. Nothing Else is Democracy

We need a Constitutional Amendment: something along these lines:

  1. The legislative function of the United States shall be performed directly by the people according to legislation that the people enact.
  2. The President and Vice President of the United States shall be elected directly by the people.
  3. One ninth of the Federal Judiciary shall be elected every year by the citizens of their respective jurisdictions. Currently serving judges will be elected in reverse order of their years of service, longest serving is next to be elected until all have been elected.
  4. The right of citizens Of the United States to directly vote for the laws under which they live, to directly vote for the President and Vice President, and to directly vote for the Judiciary, shall not be abridged by the United States or by any State.

It is essential to quit begging for representation and to represent ourselves. It is essential to quit begging for equality and freedom and to vote for them.

The Association for the Advancement of Actual Democracy. HTTP://WWW.ASSOSACTUALDEMOCRACY.COM assoc.for.actual.democracy@gmail.com P.O. Box 464, Teaneck, NJ 07666 Join up. Support the Association. Set up offices today. Conventions annually. Victory in 5 to seven years. It's only the Nation's future, a "MORE PERFECT" Nation's.

We must quit delegating our responsibility and our power. It's being used against us and against our best interest. Have fun. Fight the good fight. Change the world.

[-] 0 points by flip (7002) 1 month ago

That gold standard you seem to like is a tool of the ruling class. The populists of the late 1800's knew that. You should learn about fiat currency also

[-] 1 points by ApexPredator (9) 4 months ago

First of all, the situation is not so desperate. You can still live here. But, you must be interested in it. It is not enough to just drive around. There are issues.

Protest. It is the only argument. If you do not want us to be all consumed, don't be lazy...

Be confident. Fight. Realize... that protest leads to things. And be ready for them.

(Bad advice, Micah.)

  • Go to Amazon. Read up on Chester Keynes.

Think of going to the street. It is not so bad. People waste you, but you get up. You learn a lot more about life, than getting a nine to five, and not being able to do anything.

The loneliness is enormous. But I think we are well deserved to it. Regard the futility as something more.

Or you are not well deserved.

Apex

I apologize to the Japanese for the atom bomb. I think those of us that are responsible, have a large challenge.

You can sit around. Drink and be merry. Or take your life seriously. This entails working for God. Do not believe in religion.

Roman catholicism.... It is the real enemy. Because it makes everything alright. Stick it.

"Sitting on a corner. Waiting for time." - Chester Keynes

[-] 1 points by ApexPredator (9) 4 months ago

Hi Micah. I don't know what you are talking about here. We are not in trouble. You sound like the world is ending. You must be very careful what you say.

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1375) 4 months ago

"The question for would-be activists is therefore not, "how does one engage in meaningful activism when the future is so bleak?" but instead "how does one engage in revolutionary activism when the present is so dark?""

Excellent outlook and point of view. Thanks for another excellent article on organizing.

[+] -5 points by 99nproud (2697) 1 week ago

HK Occupy Cntrl regroups

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/10/us-hongkong-china-idUSKCN0HZ04R20141010

"Thousands of protesters regrouped in central Hong Kong on Friday to push their call for democracy, a day after the government called off talks with students amid a two-week standoff that has shaken communist China's capitalist hub."

Peacefu protest! Solidarity

[-] 3 points by grapes (3256) 1 week ago

There were and could be more cyberattacks on Hong Kong People's messages leaking out of China. The U.S. will likely be, in any case, an asthmatic big bad wolf blowing at the houses of the three little pigs. As far as a Communist Party's hogging power by any means is concerned, measured asthmatic huffings and puffings may not achieve much aside from having U.S. computers crashed and data breached.

From a strictly legal standpoint, the U.K. having the legal basis, not the U.S., should be gunning at China for the breach of agreement but China has kept on insisting its "sovereignty" (actually reneging on promise) be respected which will probably be its undoing.

[+] -5 points by 99nproud (2697) 1 week ago

HK Occupy Central upd:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/13/world/asia/hong-kong-protesters-appeal-to-xi-jinping-in-open-letter.html?_r=0

"The standoff between Hong Kong’s government and protesters who have taken control of vital avenues entered its third week on Sunday with no signs of a resolution, as the student leaders of the demonstration appealed to President Xi Jinping of China to accept their position, which was then flatly rejected by Hong Kong’s leader."

China is clearly breaking it's agreement to allow free elections & the people are justified in their peaceful protests.

[-] 2 points by grapes (3256) 1 week ago

中國,每個人都是香港人

[+] -5 points by 99nproud (2697) 1 week ago

Solidarity

[-] 0 points by 99nproud (2697) 2 weeks ago

Activisms future IS Arisleyda Tapia!!

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/15/dignity-4

Solidarity with the front line activists!

Occupy supports you

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (26697) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 month ago

Physicians For Social Responsibility on the March!

This weekend in New York City, PSR members will be marching in the health contingent of the People's Climate March, the largest climate action in history. Just ahead of the U.N. Summit on Climate Change, PSR and other health professionals are calling for preventative action to avoid the worst impacts of runaway climate change. PSR has helped organize the March and numerous solidarity events being held around the country. Please join us and help push for a healthy future for our planet. Sign up here for details.

PSR Hosts Health Impact Workshop in NYC

On Saturday, September 20th, the day before the People's Climate March, PSR is presenting an educational workshop. "Health Impacts of Climate Change and Action for Clean Energy Opportunities" is aimed at health professionals as well as the general public. It will focus on how people's lives and health are threatened by climate disruption and what role we can play to repair the damage. The event will be held at St. John's College/Manhattan Campus in room 109 at 2:15pm. Sign up here for more details.

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