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Forum Post: OWS Decision Time - what is OWS stance towards Noam Chomsky?

Posted 2 years ago on March 12, 2012, 12:11 a.m. EST by Dumpthechump (96)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Leftist guru Noam Chomsky has come out against BDS and is hence merely a "leftist" Zionist. Yet anarchists still worship his teachings from linguistics (universal grammar nonsense) to his adoration for Anarchist Spain.

Above all others he is the single most influential intellectual who manipulates progressive forces into passivity or futile pointless activity. Chomsky tells his numb chumps to organize but if they do they will soon realize that organization implies hierarchy and that only certain people have a character suitable for effective leadership.

But once effective leadership is achieved - e.g. in BDS - Chomsky will only decry it as "authoritarian" or (in this particular case) "anti-Semitic". The point is that if OWS intends to break out of the intellectual straitjacket of modern Leftism (particularly Libertarian Socialism) it is going to have to come to terms with the fundamental question of significant human character differences - meaning that we have to find the best people to rule and dump the universal application of the anarchist damn-all proposition i.e. "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely".

The question remains undecided (and I cannot decide it for you as I do not live in the USA let alone NY): will OWS be run by Numb Chumps or will OWS admit that the leader principle (a.k.a. der Fuehrerprinzip!) finds a sound basis in human character differences that CANNOT AFFORD to be negated by ever-manipulable mass democratic opposition?

Dump the Chump? Yea or nay?

85 Comments

85 Comments


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[-] 3 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Is Noam Chomsky running for office? Does he command armies? Does he have a cadre of lobbyists dictating policy on Capitol Hill? Is he leading a movement of some kind? Is he a leader of anything anywhere?

No. Noam Chomsky is an academic and a damn good one at that. His ideas are worth pondering and his research is impeccable. But he has nothing to do OWS or any other movement. He's just a dude who writes books that piss-off the establishment. He analyses the situation and renders an opinion about efficacy but he didn't just morph into an unthinking Zionist. The audio is bad but the video below is who Noam Chomsky really is -- infuriatingly academic and not a scary "ist" of any kind.

Noam Chomsky on BDS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QINIKnQiMnY

Just another reactionary hysteric trying to change the subject because watching OWS steamroll his ideology hurts so very, very much.

"Cry, baby, cry. Make your mother sigh. She's old enough to know better, so cry, baby, cry."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPAB3VaRmPc

[-] 1 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

He said that BDS is "anti Semitic" and its "hypocrisy reaches the heavens". Words to remember cultist.

[-] 0 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Whatever you say, Young Hickory.

[-] 2 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

It's on the very video you linked, cult brain.

ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5hY-gffV0M

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boycott,_Divestment_and_Sanctions#cite_note-59

[-] 0 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

So what? It's an academic discussion. He's not in charge of anything and nobody agrees with every word another person says. Grow up.

[-] 1 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

It matters what Chomsky says. He slows down BDS and in fact as you tacitly admit he slandered it and its supporters such as Desmond Tutu as being anti Semitic and representing the height of hypocrisy. And he gets such adoration from people who ought to see through his bullshit.

[-] 0 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

He doesn't slow down BDS. He doesn't have any impact on anything at all. And he's absolutely right about one thing: you want to influence Israeli policy, go to Washington.

[-] 1 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

If Chomsky had no impact on BDS then BDS wouldn't be trying to debate him or change his mind but they are. Audio: Challenging Noam Chomsky's opposition to boycotting Israel ...

www.bdsmovement.net/.../audio-challenging-noam-chomskys-oppos

"...Jan 14, 2010 – Why does Noam Chomsky oppose boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, and why does he think Palestinians should not talk about ..."

He refuses to face them. I think if you visit this website often you see Chomsky quoted and cited almost every day in a posting. the man has influence on the movement and OWS for certain. He's a fake and a phony and as someone who wants OWS to succeed I say so.

BTW- That video was not put on YouTube by chomskyites without reason. It was put there to combat BDS.

Re: " you want to influence Israeli policy, go to Washington."

Chomsky is out front denying that there is a powerful Israel Lobby. He portrays Israel as a helpless US puppet. As long as elected officials call the shots on policy in the US, US policy will be beholden to Israel. In this case the tail does wag the dog.

http://www.solidarity-us.org/node/2037

Nazareth-based Jonathan Cook, long-time Middle East correspondent for the London Guardian and Observer, has entered this often acrimonious fray with his Israel and the Clash of Civilizations. Taking issue on one hand with those, like Harvard academics Mearsheimer and Walt, who have explained Israeli sway by primarily focusing on the power of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), but also critical of those observers such as Chomsky who minimize the effect of Israel’s influence on U.S. policy, Cook has developed a somewhat more nuanced portrayal of the historic and contemporary symbiosis between the imperial power and its junior partner.

Cook does not minimize Israeli influence. While noting that a mutuality of interest has long existed within U.S. and Israeli ruling circles, he argues that the shared perspective between the ascendant neocons and the Israeli right has altered the strategic focus and modus operandi of U.S. operations in the region. He contends that the initial impetus for such a shift in goals and tactics came from the Israeli side, and that the Bush administration adopted an Israeli outlook developed over several decades.

In what way has U.S. policy for the region changed? First off, Cook tells us that the long-term guiding principle of U.S. imperial policy — the quest for social and political stability of compliant regimes, that prerequisite for safe investment and business opportunity — has been altered.

From Stability to Designed Chaos

For over a century if not earlier, U.S. strategists opted for “regime change,” the replacement of one ruling clique or “strong man” with another whenever and wherever national leaders or ruling parties denied free and open access to the “national interest” of capital or impeded broader U.S. geopolitical designs. Thus noncompliant and independent nationalist leaders were replaced with obedient clients around the globe, and especially in the Middle East — in Iran in 1953, Lebanon in 1958, Iraq in the same period and after, and elsewhere.

Cook tells us that this game has changed; “regime change,” the replacement of leadership at the top, has been displaced by “regime ovethrow,” a chaotic situation of premeditated instability characterized by intercommunal and confessional sectarianism, ethnic, tribal and religious rivalry, partition and fragmentation, and resultant “all against all” civil war and violence as the counter to any secular nationalist project.

He contends that this reign of permanent reaction over the divided and conquered, a seemingly new guiding strategic principle of imperial rule forwarded by the Neocons, originated with the Israelis dating back to the 1980s.

Cook argues that the Israeli strategists early on came to understand how the destabilization of any and all Arab national projects, especially that of the Palestinians, would serve its strategic interests. Initially viewing secular Arab nationalism as the primary enemy but unable to foresee the eventual “blowback” that would occur, Tel Aviv’s tacticians aided and abetted the rise of inter-communal rivalries among the Palestinians with the early assistance to Hamas.

Beaten up, chem sprayed Occupiers might be interested to know that US police tactics are are being learned at the feet of the masters--

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/occupation-%E2%80%9Coccupy%E2%80%9D-israelification-american-domestic-security

[-] 2 points by nikilister (109) 2 years ago

Don't make a mistake of thinking Israelis are being anti-Arab. No they are not necessarily anti Arab, in fact I think they find Arabs quite accommodating and maneuverable, especially the rich ones!

They see Islam as an obstacle ( but they try to turn Islam into a tool). And since they want to promote Zionism (which is of course an exclusive ideology to Zionist neo-cons and those who support Israelis) and secular Muslims , who are in reality atheists, giving them room for exerting various plans and allowing them to try different schemes including direct influence and intervention through various channels like media manipulation ( Aljazira news is an example) , military (NATO) and even terror, they have to come up with something that distinguishes them from secular Muslims.

And that they have found in these weird intellectuals who try to look "modern", "innocent","futurist","visionary","utopian","sci-fi", "one planet-one people" bullshit.

One wonders if anyone cares if these individuals make theories on whether dinosaurs actually will reappear and help us solve the energy problem.

please.....have some respect for our intellect.

I believe this is a psychological problem rather than an intellectual one. The generation of industrial revolution taught the world they can ride a wagon instead of a horse pulling it. the generation of particle physics has taught us that we can blow the plant into dust. and the sixties generation if not for timothy Leary and his sex and drugs manifesto has taught us to be dumb asses because we can't think for ourselves!

[-] 1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

Thank you nikilister for this useful supplementation by alternative viewpoint integration.

You might be interested in my major last reply to flip in "chomsky on occupy and socialism". There I deal with the subject matter of particle physicists - though in reference to Aristotle and his democratic implications.

If you like I could put up a new thread on the issue reveal there, as I suggest to flip.

[-] 2 points by nikilister (109) 2 years ago

I read your comment.

We rally can't mix Aristotle's concepts of nature with what we call physics today. He might have been speaking about another realm and referencing it symbolically to actual earthly existence. Why he would do such a thing is a subject for debate.

It is also naive to think an exact translation of his work can substitute for what he was trying to describe.

That said, it doesn't mean we should not try to understand it. But I'm sure the number of those criticizing Aristotle and comparing his views to what we understand today of physics considerably outweighs those who try to make it understandable.

This is due to the fact that we see everything after Newton's age of exact science rather than a mystical age of Aristotle.

Further, those who consider themselves experts in philosophy today are actually more like non-expert historians at best, especially the ones who like to see early philosophy like an antique object that has lost its purpose.

[-] 1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

Newton's "age of exact science" is the modernist tendency to reduce everything to a clockwork universe. Living in Ancient Greece, Aristotle and his contemporaries only considered such deterministic notions in the abstract - earlier Greek philosophers, notably Parmenides and Zeno of Elea, having considered such issues. (As David Bohm wrote in "Quantum Theory" the ancients treated their imperfect machines as complex, like animals - the idea of a clockwork universe being alien to them because mechanical engineering had not yet reached post-Renaissance standards).

You are very correct in that today's "philosophy experts" avoid linking ancient to present-day philsophy; i.e. they treat ancient philosophy as an antique object.

Yet the universe in not an antique object, and while its details change, the philosophical issues remain the same for them and us - and us too outside the realm of Greek philosophy, i.e. China and India too.

Our task today - if we intend OWS an its successors to achieve anything rather than a few pointless demonstrations that finally fizzle out - is to see the common threads running thru the philosophical issues and work out how these have a major bearing on the issues of today.

Chomsky claims some sort of philosophical heritage. I think most of us would - but his heritage is NOT mine, and I have looked further into how his philosophers are used to manufacture consent and uncritical belief for democracy, equality and egalitarianism, ideas that will ultimately paralyze political action as they ONLY EFFECTIVELY serve those who rule today!

OWS is still at a too-naive stage where so many of the participants have not realized this.

[-] 2 points by nikilister (109) 2 years ago

I'm not sure if the universe as a whole (internally as we see it and externally as others might see it) is clockwork.

some missing information there!

imo today's scientists are just as perplexed as those in the past.

The only reason why science has become so emphasized today is because exact sciences have improved human performance in some areas but also have taken away from the quality of life in others. And since we take everything at face value and don't speculate much about all consequences things get chaotic at some point so on so forth.

Also, I don't think early philosophers considered science a huge factor in human progress like it is advertised today as I explained in my last post. Let's put it this way : they didn't see it vital maybe only comical in a way.

Personally I don't care where science goes either, because science if viewed at the human scale like any other thing at human scale is always limited to that dimension.

Material science in particular.

OWS can learn a lot from science if we see science in the form of a creature or a living being!

[-] 1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

Now I like your points nikilister - especially the first and the last.

I'm glad that you do not see the universe as clockwork. The creationists see it that way and claim that God is outside time and hence, can see the future absolutely - which is the theological implication of a clockwork universe. It is completely alienating at it reduces humans to puppets acting out a PREDETERMINED plan. (On a more human scale, if some of these humans have a bit of money to invest at G----m S---s they are labelled 'muppets')

While this is a Christian creationist view it is NOT the early (100 AD) Christian and certainly not the Jewish view (i.e. God was so angry at human misdemeanors He decided to wipe them out with the Flood - proving that God had not foreseen the future with any accuracy at all).

So the universe is not clockwork and scientific explanations have to recognize this fact - the future is undetermined and not merely because we (or external gods) do not have perfect knowledge since such perfect exact knowledge is nonexistent.

Your last statement of science being IN THE FORM of a creature or living being is very illuminating. It is not just a mass of facts but is continually interpreted by people, and not just science's practitioners. It is everyone's laborious task then not to fool oneself with what constitutes science - though we cannot help being fooled on some issues as we are unaware of what and why we are believing certain ideas (paraphrasing what Nietzsche says in "The Gay Science" part 5).

It is Nietzsche's (and Machiavelli's) greater understanding that is completely lacking in Chomsky - hence (as you can see immediately below us) we get Chump statements like Chump GF's "Let us continue to promote stupidity"!

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17437) 2 years ago

I can't speak for OWS. I like Chomsky. One of the great things about his books is that he backs up his information.

Intellectual straight-jacket my ass. Let us continue to promote stupidity. I have already stated that I agree with what he has stated in this instance.

[-] 1 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

'Let us continue to promote stupidity'

words to live by?

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17437) 2 years ago

Nope..........sheer snarkiness. I am over the whole anti intellectual and anti-science attitude in the US. It is ignorant. Further, to accuse the man of being a Zionist shows that you don't know anything about the guy. Never read any of his material.

[-] 1 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

"to accuse the man of being a Zionist shows that you don't know anything about the guy.'

WRONG.

He opposes BDS for deligitimizing Israel. Anti Zionists already believe that Israel is not legitimate. If you believe that there should be a Jewish state in Palestine, that makes you a zionist bubbalah.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17437) 2 years ago

WRONG.

Israel is legitimate. Kick rocks, man.

[-] 0 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

That's a matter of opinion.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17437) 2 years ago

Israel is a fact. :D

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Just to clarify, he opposed THIS BDS for hurting the Palestinians, not for hurting israel, at least according to the video interview that was linked. He has participated in other DBS efforts, specifically against the occupation before. It is this particular one he opposes, for the reasons he stated in the interview.

[-] 1 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

So is organized crime. Enough. I'm sure Noam would be pleased to be defended by the likes of you.

[-] 1 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

BULLSHIT. He decides which BDS efforts are kosher, and which are not. His remarks still stand. His refusal to debate and defend his stance continues. As a whole he opposes BDS


In 2010, Noam Chomsky, the 2011 Sydney Peace Prize recipient and a prominent pro-Palestinian activist was interviewed regarding the BDS movement and stated that its "hypocrisy rises to the high heavens". He said that its goal was "the destruction of Israel". He said that it's "not a call from the Palestinian people". He said that anything that targets Israel alone can be attacked as antisemitism and "unfortunately this is with justice".


It's the Palestinians who want the world to do BDS. Chomsky flat out lies. He and his personal friend and acolyte Norman Finkelstein decide what's good for the Palestinians, what they need, what they really want. Disagree and you're an anti-semite whose hypocrisy stinks to heaven.

http://www.bdsmovement.net/

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

As Chomsky said, he doesn't support this particular, specific BDS because it will harm the Palestinians. Yes, he said this call represented hypocrisy, but not for the reasons you cite, but because it was "easy" to boycot a small nation while the large one, the USA, was the real cause of the problem. And yes, he said that that anything that targets Israel ALONE can be attacked - by the enemies of the Palestinians - as anti-Semitic. And he's absolutely correct. Those enemies WILL do so, and in have fact already begun. Therefore as a tactic it is doomed to failure, and will harm the cause more than it helps it.

He is not "deciding" what is good for the Palestinians. He is deciding his own actions in terms of being supportive of their cause. He is not obligated to give them what he considers poison because others - not even them - have requested it. Whether you agree with his judgement or not, he can't be accused of either abandoning the cause of Palestinian rights nor of taking an unprincipled stance.

[-] 0 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

His first complaint: He said that its goal was "the destruction of Israel".

You confirm that it is up to him to attack what the Palestinians want everyone who supports them to do on behalf of their struggle.

Tell me - was the boycott movement against South Africa equally as hypocritical and "anti Boer" because it was limited "only" to Boer governed South Africa and did not include the US or Great Britain??

Please be real.

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

I think Chomsky explained his position quite well regarding the difference between this and the boycott of South africa. You heard the same interview that I did. But I did not come to it with pre-existing rage, so I was able to hear what he said. You might want to listen to that interview again.

And BDS's goal can indeed be viewed as the the destruction of Israel, which is why it is doomed to failure. If the Palestinians are seen to be promoting that destruction, they will set back their cause of freedom form occupation by decades. All hope for negotiations would cease, as the side that would oppose them would simply be able to state - accurately - that the Palestinians don't want peace or compromise, but the destruction of Israel, so they can't be trusted with concessions. It would provide the right wing with precisely the excuse they need to block all progress.

In terms of things being up to him, it is up to each person to decide on what specific action THEY believe is appropriate in helping a friend the best way they believe they can. If a person believes a particular action is harmful to his friend, he does not perform that action. That is not becoming an enemy; it is, in fact, being a very good friend.

[-] 0 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

This is getting tired. Noam Chomsky explained nothing that makes sense. If boycotting Israel and not the US is hypocrisy and anti semitism, then boycotting apartheid South Africa and not the US must also be hypocritical and aimed at the Boers, not "the real enemy" who I guess is WASP America, as it is re Israel, right????

Central to the Palestinians demands is the right of refugees to return. This is in accord with international law. This automatically would of course make Jews a minority in Israel, as they already are in pre 1947 Palestine. BTW the Palestinian leadership of the BDS movement would debate Chomsky but he refuses. They'd like to ask him the following, but he refuses: " Why does Noam Chomsky oppose boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, and why does he think Palestinians should not talk about justice and redress for their ethnic cleansing from their homeland in 1948? Why does Chomsky dismiss any talk about the influence of the Israel lobby?" Is that how you treat your friend? Refuse to talk to him? To say he doesn't exist? Chomsky inults the Palestinian leadership of the BDS by refusing to give them the time of day while telling the world they don't represent the Palestinian people (Like he and Norman Finkelstein do, I suppose.)

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

The right of return is not, legally, an automatic right to go back to the property one once had, but rather to be justly compensated for it. As such, granting the right of return would not spell the death-knell of Israel.

If I were Chomsky, i wouldn't attend such a debate, either. Why subject myself to that? He has made his position clear. And he has been the staunchest and most consistent supporter of Palestinian rights in America for the longest time. To agree to a debate, whose very purpose is to excoriate him publicly because he doesn't agree with this particular tactic would be an exercise in masochism. It would also be an opportunity for the leadership to expose the failings of this strategy. As a friend, I wouldn't let them use me and my stature to harm themselves further.

I think you have to trust that Chomsky is not the enemy of the Palestinian cause. He never was, even when it meant that he was shunned and insulted by his peers. His position, whether you agree with it or not, whether you are angry with it or not, is a principled one. It is not an attempt at betrayal. Had he wanted to harm the cause, he has had plenty of opportunity to do so, and plenty of intellectual ammunition to do it with, for many years. And his life would have been easier if he had.

And this is indeed getting tired. I found Chomsky's defense of his position convincing for the reasons I cited; it would provide the perfect excuse to eliminate all good faith negotiations and harm the Palestinians. You didn't find that compelling. I did.

We will both have to live with out disagreement.

[-] 2 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

There have been no good faith negotiations with the Israelis- why should they negotiate in good faith?

You got UN resolution 194 wrong. maybe you could show it to Noam.

"Article 11 of the resolution reads: (The General Assembly) Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible."

Chomsky's bottom line, like his friend Norman Finkelstein is a Jewish state called Israel. Given the demographics that requires not only no right of return but the forcing out of Palestinians still residing in Palestine.

I agree, we've talked this one out.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Article 11 has been interpreted to mean just monetary compensation by various international courts. That is how it is interpreted by other countries as well in terms of reparations and right of return for descendants of WWII victims whose homes were stolen from them.

[-] 1 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Article 11 of the resolution reads: (The General Assembly) Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

You can keep repeating the quote, I am telling you that it is not INTERPRETED that way by international COURTS. How the law is actually applied is more relevant than the language the law in written with. It is naive to think otherwise.

[-] 1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

That is an incredible statement epa1nter viz:

"He (Chomsky) has made his position clear. And he has been the staunchest and most consistent supporter of Palestinian rights in America for the longest time."

Hell, with friends like that no wonder Palestinians have had to call for support from anyone they can - their pseudo-non-Zionist friends are always stabbing them in the back!

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

With LEADERSHIP like theirs it is no wonder the Palestinians are desperate now.

[-] 0 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

Yeah, too right - an American-trained thug Palestinian police force trained to attack Palestinians in the West Bank. No wonder Abbas and Co. have had to backtrack and negotiate with HAMAS!

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Yeah, too right - suicide bombers at weddings. Arafat stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from his own people. Pissing off its Jordanian hosts enough to touch off Black September. Sterling leadership!

[-] 0 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

See epa1inter's prejudices below.

Those who are oppressed often had to resort to crime to survive - e.g. Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. This harms the Palestinian cause greatly - but it is secondary to the Jewish-Zionist landgrab of Palestine, one which epa1nter justifies with his pro-Chomskyite prattle.

More importantly, this was part of the Zionist agenda - impoverish the Palestinians and watch them tear each other apart, aided and abetted by US and Arab financiers. (As for Jordan, even they had to hire a pro-US Pakistanti Zia Ul-Haq to be the general to kill the Palestinians). Nice friends you got epa1nter!

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

I certainly wouldn't describe modern "leftism" as libertarian socialism.

[-] 1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

Well the left of the modern day has many forms but "libertarian socialism" has very much become dominant, since Stalinism is much hated, as is China under whatever regime, as well as the bickering Marxist fragments.

This is all that I meant.

If instead you broaden the definition of the left to include reformist groups like the Democratic Party then obviously the bulk of 'leftism' is redirected into the capitalist-camp-follower mishmash. At least some of them might get an eduction here - an entirely negative education in that they are learning what NOT to do and how not to do it. I am not being condemnatory of them - they have to learn somehow! They are to be condemned only when they adopt the system and become agents of its power.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

I like direct democracy, although I think it's a complicated question. I think Marx had a few good ideas, anarchist thinkers had a few good ideas, Norway and Switzerland have a few good ideas, and we'd probably need an improvisation on all of the above in the context of a nation the size of the US.

[-] 1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

Marx & Engels as democrats are always problematic - but if socialism (on their terms) could be voted in they did not quibble about it. But that didn't happen.

Yes, while I usually criticize the ideological anarchists, many great thinkers certainly had anarchist phases - and I think that pretty well every radical begins as an anarchist (naive anarchist) since it is a plain and easy baseline to start from.

My favorite erstwhile anarchist is Georges Sorel who criticized Marx's overoptimistic views. I have recently translated his book on modern physics (1908) into English and am very impressed that he was not caught up in the predominant prejudices of that day.

Lenin's philosophical understanding was inferior to Sorel's - and it came to show in the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, Sorel did give the Soviets his blessing at the end of his life - since the "One Great Leader" notion had not yet played itself out.

Sorel, unlike Nietzsche, did not overtly espouse a caste system, but his writings all certainly move in that direction since he severely criticizes the mediocrity that comes to rule under Western parliamentarianism.

You will find, fmj, due to the complexity of the decisions, that direct democracy, while a first step, will get caught up in these complexities. Solving the problem of mediocrity will become the biggest problem here.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Mediocrity is the byproduct of complacency, and complacency the byproduct of a feeling of insurmountable disenfranchisement. In other words, to sort of state the obvious, when people believe they can't change things, they're less motivated to try (or at minimum, we can't know how motivated they'll be, since participation in managing ourselves and our own society is restricted).

I think a direct democracy is the ideal, because to say otherwise is to endorse something less than full liberty (and we have to make presumptions about unknown aspects of human nature, I'd rather presume on the side of liberty and optimism about what we can achieve). Moreover, I think in most cases, to paraphrase Carl Sagan, we humans are capable of greatness. The only reasons we'd think otherwise is because we're programmed to think less of humanity than we've ever tried to achieve, and I know one thing for certain, if we don't try we'll definitely never progress.

So I think fighting to change our trajectory towards more freedom is the most noble cause. The road will almost certainly be less than perfect, we will hit bumps along the way, we might run into human limitations we were previously unaware of, and we will make mistakes, but so what? Our other option is not to try, which doesn't seem like a very good option. I mean, to not try, seems like a bleak purposeless existence.

[-] 1 points by PopsMauler (182) from Chicago, IL 2 years ago

"The point is that if OWS intends to break out of the intellectual straitjacket of modern Leftism (particularly Libertarian Socialism) it is going to have to come to terms with the fundamental question of significant human character differences - meaning that we have to find the best people to rule and dump the universal application of the anarchist damn-all proposition i.e."

Nice try. I'll stick with our form of republican self-governance thank you.

[-] -1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

Which means keeping the third world as "fledgling democracies" by buying off and manipulating their leadership! This stuff can only go so far.

This is why big countries have to be involved - only countries like China, Russia and India are too big to be subverted eternally by USA-based promises of riches for their rulers.

This is also why republican self-governance has its ULTIMATE limits. Democracy only thrived where the living was easy - i.e. economic expansion in the West enabled the poor to be bought off with consumer goods, better wages etc. That is, the corrupt character of the rulers - let alone their perverted principles - didn't matter when times were good.

And these times have ended - otherwise no one would have bothered with OWS. Unfortunately so many still bother to heed Chompo!

[-] 1 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

This is one very provocative post as are several of yours. For one thing I'd suggest strongly that you avoid German words like "Fuehrerprinzip." It sets off lots of very very negative word associations. Also in other posts you seem to be praising the backward and anti human Hindu caste system. If India is an example of what you want, that's not good.

I do agree that some people are more savvy, more trustworthy, harder working, more charismatic, more willing to even to die for a cause or for the good of something beyond self. Sometimes these people do become leaders. Other times psycho-pathological, narcissistic and self serving people become leaders.

In Occupy people might not be called "leaders" but surely there are such people. Considering it's taken off in the USA, which is the land of the individualist, the cowboy, (and with very little money) it's managed to get quite a few things done.

Chomsky's following is cultlike. People don't break with cults because they have been convinced by facts, not quickly anyhow. For example you can show a Chomskyite who believes he is pro-Palestinian Chomsky's remarks on BDS- point out that indeed Chomsky is defending Israel and not the Palestinians when he says that the advocates of BDS are anti Semitic and represent the heights of hypocrisy- people like Desmond Tutu and Elvis Costello. You can show a Chomskyite that Noam lies when he says that BDS has no significant Palestinian support:

http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1801

This will probably not budge a chomskyite cult follower but the information might chip away at said cultist's confidence and the more it gets around, the less likely others who mean the Palestinians well in their hearts (and I think many chomskyites do) will see the fallacies involved in giving their minds to Noam.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

"Chomsky's following is cultlike." What the hell are you talking about? Where do you live? You are spewing nonsensical gibberish please desist.

[-] 0 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

sorry chomskyite, but truth has to be told.

[-] 0 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

Well, jph, you're right in that Chomsky's following is not CULTLIKE.

That is because:

Chomsky IS a CULT! An overdose of CHOMAKKO!

[-] 0 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

Dear 5440,

I forgot to add in my previous reply - thank you for the link in your posting since I did not realize that BDS already had such an extensive network of supporters by 2005! I had thought that it arose only in 2007 and feel ashamed at being such a chump in this regard. Even my local pro-Palestine group (fopwa) in 2011 considered Chumpo a BDS supporter - and so did I until I had a look at the evidence.

What an eye-opener!

[-] 2 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Listen, way back in the day I knew two guys who by themselves plastered NYC with posters saying that the CIA and not Cuba had killed JFK. And I mean plastered the city. Whether you think that was silly or not is not the point I want to make. I also was virtually unaware of BDS and the products they are boycotting. Yet the whole damned world once knew (they plastered tourist attractions and you know tourists take pictures...)that someone says the CIA killed JFK and not Cuba If neither you nor I actually knew anything about BDS it is at least in part because they apparently don't get out on the street and tell the world....

[-] -1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

Thank you 5440. Your comments are pertinent and much appreciated. You attacked my terminology in the correct way that it ought to be attacked.

Indeed I certainly wouldn't want the USA to end up like India, but I don't think many poor Indians want to live like they do in India either. Somehow we have to find the way out for everyone - but unless we solve the energy crisis we are going to have some very severe options ahead!

What really cheers me is that you have gotten past the chump mentality since the real task of "dump the chump" is for each and every one of us to "dump the chump" in ourselves without adopting Fascist fanaticism!

[-] -1 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Thank you Dumpthechump. There is argument pro and con as to how real the "energy crisis" is. We've been warned about an "energy crisis" or a variant "too many people" for a long time. So far it hasn't materialized. Meanwhile in China, which I admire, they are working on renewable energy as they also build coal fired plants and seek a workable fusion energy model which if it works as people hope it would, could get the human race ahead of any energy shortage for a few centuries at least.

http://www.qiaolab.com/qiao-community/cold-fusion-energy-chinese-scientists-work-on-man-made-sun.html

[-] 1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

I think we need to discuss the energy crisis on a new thread since so many people on OWS, once WS is overthrown, will have to be working on energy-producing projects (say 30-40% of the working-age population).

At present I have suggested to flip that I hope to open a new thread. Please see my postings on Aristotle in Flip's "Chomsky on occupy and socialism"; it is of relevance to the energy crisis.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

he's fine

I just don't give up 90 minutes easily

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

Is this what you are on about; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QINIKnQiMnY

Sounds to me like he is just saying that any public effort of 'Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction' is less useful than getting control of the USA government, as it is the USA military, UN, and money support that lets Israel continue its apartheid, and ethnic cleansing.

None of what you post seems hold much water, you are just pushing for a leader based system, and we have all seen how such systems work, thanks.

[-] 1 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Please be real.

"Sounds to me like he (Chomsky) is just saying that any public effort of 'Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction' is less useful than getting control of the USA government, "

Chomsky clearly says that advocates of BDS are championing the heights of hypocrisy and could fairly be called anti Semitic (Jew haters). "Just saying" what?????

"Just saying " that Desmond Tutu and Elvis Costello among others are supremely hypocritical Jew haters because they support BDS with its goal that Israel be compelled to obey international law.

Wake up Chomskyite!

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

nope

still don't understand

[-] 1 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Sorry, I just can't help you.

[-] 0 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

(Actually I had seen a later video from September 2011 where Chumpo puts the anti-BDS 'argument' more forcefully)

Concerning my posting, you are reading an attitude towards BDS that is not there - though BDS may, if successful, be then forced into oblivion anyway - due to deliberate suppression by Western governments. You need to keep this mind.

You also need to read my other postings re an elective caste system before twisting my words. - As for leader-based systems, some have worked really well e.g. Deng Xiao Ping in China! All the Western democracy-and-egalitarianism prating cannot disguise this fact!

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

The leader based system of Deng Xiao Ping is an example of working really well for whom? Did it work "really well" for those thousands he murdered in reaction to the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989? Was his maintaining the lawless system of imprisonment without due process for millions of people positive leadership? Was his ongoing oppression of Tibet a shining example of success?

Are accountability or democracy important concepts to you? Or is your admiration of authoritarianism as cult-like as what you accuse admirers of Chomsky of displaying? I myself has some issues with Chomsky, but to hold up totalitarian regimes as a legitimate alternative to his ideas is nothing less than bizarre.

[-] 0 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

The leader based system under Deng worked really well for the bulk of Chinese people, raising them from the endemic pre-1949 abject poverty that persisted under the ridiculous romantic policies of Mao.

Sure Tibet is a worry - and will ultimately secede, but like many ex-Soviet nations it will not do well alone.

As for China's supposed "lawless system of imprisonment" what about the hundreds of thousands of US Blacks imprisoned?

Democracy has only local and limited application - if there are more pressing issues involving the masses then revolution is required.

Deng had to suffer decades of privation and seeing hundreds of his colleagues die in the long wars of the Red Army to ensure Communist victory. The complaints of a few Chinese for more money when China was booming in the late 1970s merely showed that the democracy-preachers at Tienanmen didn't understand since they had grown up too well off and would not put up with the temporary hardships created by the "Chinese NEP".

Deng was calling for their suppression long before the other CP leaders did - he had to convince the rest of the Communists to suppress the masses at Tienanmen. He had to do it democratically, speaking to the delegates and winning them over with his arguments. It took over 2 months - and one member Zhao Ziyang never agreed at all.

But to speak of democracy meaning rule by the general masses - that is the formula that will lead either to economic stagnation under anarchist strictures or the takeover of the country by democracy-affirming capitalists - in China's case in 1989 primarily by foreign capitalists!

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

"As for China's supposed "lawless system of imprisonment" what about the hundreds of thousands of US Blacks imprisoned?"

AS imperfect as it is (and it REALLY is) America practices something called "due process". It does not prevent all abuses, but it limits them. People arrested are not allowed to be tortured. They must appear in court, They must be provided an attorney. The government must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense needs only to raise such doubt. It doesn't always work well, but it is at least a system. In China, the defendant must prove his innocence. That's if there is even a law he was supposed to have broken, instead of simply being a threat to "harmony". In China, a defense attorney can be thrown in jail simply because he is a defense lawyer.

Leading up to the Olympics, thousand upon thousands of people were displaced in order to create the venues for the various events. Most people were not compensated, there subsistence level businesses were destroyed and there was no way for them to recover. There was a potential for protest that the government saw on the horizon, so in order to avert them, they announced that anyone with a grievance or petition for compensation should go into their local poice stations to sign the official papers: that the government was listening to the needs of the poor people. Every single person who subsequently walked into a police station to sign the papers were arrested on the spot and held in detention until the olympics were over. Some, arbitrarily, received, without any charges being filed, sentences of two years in prison. All for obeying the edict of the government.

Similar things happened to parents and grandparent of children killed in the earthquake due to illegal and faulty construct of schools. THose parents and grandparents were put in jail for requesting an investigation.

Artists are thrown in jail for making artwork that reflects badly on the regime.

Tibet has seen as many as 1,500,000 genocidal deaths at the hands of the Chinese, and the government is currently pursuing a program of cultural, if not physical genocide there. religious freedom is curtailed, not only there but through the country. Ever hear of the Falong Gong?

That's what I mean by lawlessness. And things like these examples happen every day.

How many people were murdered as a response to the protests in Tiananmen Square? The most conservative estimate is at 800. The general agreement is closer to 2000. In America Kent State was 4 student deaths, and it was enough to galvanize the entire nation against the government. News and information are censored every hour of every day. Even companies like Google refused to participate.

And for all the abuses that can happen here, the routine human rights abuses that happen every day in China are things that don't happen in civilized countries under rule of law.

[-] -1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

Only 2000 dead from Tienanmen? I thought it 3,500! Seems that China is becoming more civilized!

WHile the USA has certain better features in its law - e.g. trial by jury, the term "rule of law" really means capitalist law i.e. private property!

The USA has supported corrupt regimes across the world who have killed tens of millions without "due process of law" e.g. Shah's Iran, Mubarak's Egypt, 1950s South Korean regime, Pinochet's Chile, Rios Montt in Guatemala, Somoza in Nicaragua, military rulers in Brazil etc. etc. etc. - and all this was done to ensure the continuing supply of goods and services to keep the USA's masses happy while filling the coffers of Big Business.

In the USA's support for regimes like Saudi Arabia's and Zionist Israel your moralizing at the Chinese is but empty words. China had to struggle from the bottom under an organized regime, i.e. the Red Army, instead of kowing down to every local anarchist whinger and every petty democrat that the USA would wish to foist upon them e.g. Chiang Kai-Shek, whose rule succeeded in Taiwan only because the USA propped it up in its first years until capitalist rule was firmly established!

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

We will simply have to agree to disagree on this. Especially your rather insulting characterization of petty democrat and local anarchist winger. It was the right wing, not the left, whose interference was problematic.

Still I don't think we will make any headway with each other over this.

[-] 0 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

Agreed! We have to wait to see what OWS and other groups do to organize themselves!

[-] 0 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

The Chinese government has lots of faults but preventing a US backed uprising from destroying the country was not one of those faults.

China has lifted millions of people up from poverty and extreme poverty. The government there solves problems.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/opinion/19iht-edli19.html

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Authoritarian systems are NOT what OWS is about. Authoritarian systems are not what any sane human being advocates.

I will not debate you on the finer points of Chinese genocide.

[-] 1 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

China is doing just fine without your approval.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Let 'em. But it is NOT what OWS is about. OWS is about democracy. Few people other than you like brutal dictatorships.

[-] 2 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 2 years ago

If I lived in a country whose leadership was in power based on merit, whose economy was growing like gangbusters, whose leaders addressed the needs of the people and the nation, where 2/3 of my neighbors thought that there lives were getting definitely better, where 85% approved of the job the leaders are doing, I'd be in China!

[-] 0 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I'm sorry you found my private message harassing and had no intention of harassing you, I just wanted not to be redundant on the forum. I apologize. Again no harassment was intended.

[-] 0 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

Unless you have some sort of authority over and above 'local democracy' OWS will ultimately get nowhere.

Have you read Engels' essay "On Authority" where he speaks of the "inordinate" power of a ship's captain. Not some British idiosyncrasy, the power of a captain to commandeer the passengers, marry and divorce people, gaol them and even kill insubordinate crewmen is coupled to great responsibility.

When a captain "goes down with the ship" it means that he makes certain that everyone else still alive gets off the ship. When he fails in this duty he is pilloried - as in Italy recently!

Our earth is a spaceship sorely in need of captain. Emotive drivel like "Chinese genocide" merely proves that one is a member of a useless power-hating anarchistic horde - one that will ultimately destroy OWS if not attacked correctly!

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Yes, the genocide of up to 80,000,000 Chinese is certainly an example we should all follow.

Ever hear of democracy, you know where the people decide if they are to be murdered by the state or not?

Moron.

[-] 1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

The vast bulk of the Chinese who died under Communism died under Mao's Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s followed by the Cultural Revolution of the later 1960s. Others such Liu Shiao-Chi opposed Mao vigorously here but Mao's control of the party saw Liu starved to death for complaining.

The point is that Deng corrected these mad deviations of Mao by establishing an NEP after Mao's death. The Chinese Communist Party was not persecuted like the Soviet Communist Party was by Stalin, hence it held up internally far better than the latter. The CCP continued to have internal support whereas the Soviet Communist Party was losing authority even under Khrushchev!

The history of China is vastly different to the USA and cannot be judged by the latter's or Britain's democratic standards. Native Americans were wiped out en masse and Blacks are still disproportionately high among poorer and unemployed 150 years after the end of slavery - so don't play the high & mighty over China, especially when the USA gets much of its own wealth by manipulating and controlling poorer countries - dozens of 'em! China has but Tibet & Xinjiang!

Democratic nations are the most warlike of nations! They all went eagerly into WW1 because the businessmen wanted to crush their rivals. Nazi Germany is a striking exception to the aggressive and bloodthristy democratic trend - and pioneered certain ideas which will reemerge as capitalism reaches its end.

The point now however is that capitalism, having conquered the world and now wrecking the environment is tottering to its final collapse! Democracy can't save it - because it put capitalism in the driver's seat in the first place! Reducing the world to self-contained anarchist communes will only work if 99.99% percent of humanity dies off after Nuclear War!

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Democracy is the ONLY thing that can save anything.

As for manipulating the world, China is doing a pretty damned good job of that right now economically. Ever hear of unfair trade practices. Or currency manipulation? Or supporting the blood diamond trade? Or facilitating mass murder in Syria?

Democratic nations are the most warlike? Are you serious? Ever hear of Hitler or Stalin? Ever hear of most of Africa or the Middle East?

I am not saying that China is universally worse that the USA. But I AM saying its totalitarianism is NOT a positive model. China may have its positive side, but it has a brutal and horrendous negative one, too. It is no exception. Authoritarianism leaves the people, whose lives it effects, cut out of the process for deciding their own fate. That doesn't mean the people will always choose correctly, but their lives must still be their own. Dictatorships are, in an of themselves, evil. Individual dictators may occasionally be benign (though I have never heard of it) but the system itself is morally reprehensible.

As I said, I do not agree with everything Chomsky has to say. I find his version of anarcho-syndicalism to be overly optimistic, and romantic, based on a positive view of human nature that is not borne out on earth. But there is no need to maintain a system of capitalism that, at its core, is designed to create vast disparities of wealth and power. Other systems are possible. Other systems have been tested and have succeeded. Those successes have been democratically initiated, fought for (politically) and maintained.

Nor is Capitalism, in and of itself, the problem. Extreme Capitalism is. Socialism by itself, has no chance of success in my view. Neither can Capitalism. Neither can anarcho-syndicalism. By themselves, if allowed to function without mitigation, they represent extremes, absolutes, and can't possibly meet the needs of people, those needs being varied and relative. A mix of all of them, and possibly more, are required. Genuinely mixed economies democratize politics. They don't concentrate power and wealth in the hands of a few. In so doing, political solutions to critical issues such as anthropogenic climate change are easily arrived at, since their is no window open to corruption by narrow moneyed interests like oil companies or plutocrats.

When democracy prevails, real democracy, economic and thereby political, when there is equal access to power and money, the people are free from manipulative propaganda, and are also free to decide on the best course of action. When one owns and shares the world, instead of being owned by a system or directed by a leader, one feels one has a stake in it. That self-interest alone leads most to make the right choices. Realizing that each person's success is dependent on everyone else's creates egalitarianism if only for ironically selfish motivations. When one does not own the world, every man must act for himself alone, scrambling for the best of limited choices. Every man for himself is what authoritarianism creates, whether political or economic.

[-] 1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

In some sense I suppose your first sentence is correct. People or at least some people constituting an effective majority can democratically decide to do something. But this something may consist of e.g. genocide - the majority democratically deciding to slaughter the minority, which may indeed happen in the wake of starvation post-Nuclear War.

And who could really blame the democrats and their decision-making then since "hunger made us do it so stop your moralizing."

As for your last paragraph re "democracy" leading to "equal access to power and money"; this can only be true for small communes and local communities. The notion that this can be extended to larger social entities - i.e. entities in which the democratic decision-makers do not know each other personally - is entirely fanciful.

Instead we have to set up institutions and try to ensure that they are run by the best people. Like you, I do not decry capitalism altogether - since it has its place - but unlike you I realize that an authoritarian hierarchical presence is necessary to create the rules e.g. by ensuring new productive jobs so that full employment occurs.

Under China from 1900-1930 there were essentially capitalist-oriented regimes among many of the warlords (despite Sun Yat-Sen's leftist leaning). Capitalism existed but the peasants were exploited at starvation wages - so when Japan invaded they would not fight for Chiang Kai-Shek and were just as likely to surrender to the Japs for a decent bowl of rice. (Contrast this to the Nazis whose egalitarianism among the soldiers ensured that they could, for a time, even beat better-armed and numerically superior armies - but the underlying reason for their egalitarianism and solidarity was of course less than useless)!

In contrast Chiang's own generals even arrested him for not fighting the Japanese but he told them that "I know as well as you do that the people will not fight." Free-market capitalism had ended in that country before capitalism had properly begun - hence the need for Mao and the Red Army.

Nor am I stating that the Chinese regime is better than the USA overall, nor, most emphatically, am I saying that the Chinese Communist Party will survive.

Indeed it is most likely to collapse - barring the introduction of universal old age pensions such as Bismarck introduced in Germany to increase internal demand, encourage capital growth and raise the standard of living - and a capitalist regime take its place. However, in that circumstance the mass of Chinese people will rapidly fall into poverty since a Chinese neo-capitalism will have nowhere to expand, any more than the USA does!

Then will then be an "Occupy Tienanmen" opposed to the Chinese Neo-capitalist Regime!

Your phrase "Realizing that each person's success is dependent on everyone else's creates egalitarianism if only for ironically selfish motivations." is very illuminating, but I would replace "egalitarianism" with "solidarity" since it is really the latter which is the effective molding material.

Egalitarianism was the stuff of the Levellers and Diggers of the Cromwellian era. In our more organized hierarchical world of today, we have to recognize and respect difference - so long as the hierarchy creates a GENUINE AND HUMAN-SOLIDARITY feeling that "one owns and shares the world." A decent hierarchical regime will do this better than a simplistic egalitarianism because it recognizes inherent (and non-hereditary) human differences.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

".... hierarchy creates a GENUINE AND HUMAN-SOLIDARITY"

That is an oxymoron. Hierarchical system do noting if not undermine solidarity. One is not in solidarity with an overlord, one is subjugated by and resentful (rightfully so) of their masters. Hierarchy is the opposite of equality. Their can be no fairness or equity in equality's absence and the only solidarity created by unequal systems is among those few masters who keep everyone "below" them down. Solidarity is created by respect, admiration, and love, not one person's power over another.

What you are describing is slavery, obedience to the master. I think we've seen quite enough of that demanded by the 1%. We should not be mirroring it amongst ourselves. We should not become the thing we seek to oppose.

[-] 1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

Your position is quite incorrect epa1nter - as you will realize when you think about it.

Hierarchy does indeed create a genuine and human solidarity - for the simple reason that its mere presence creates solidarity between those on lower rungs of such a hierachical society. And by "lower rungs" I mean solidarity within each rung in particular rather than just between the different rungs!

Hence a hierarchical system conscious of the need to choose the best to rule will get much further than any democratic egalitarian system.

(PS: Hierarchy of course also works by sharing out jobs along specialized and efficient lines, but above I wish to emphasize its largely beneficial effect on the lower rungs of the hierarchy.)

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Hierarchies create the opposite of solidarity; by the very definition of the word, they are divisive. They are, as you acknowledge the creators of "rungs". Rungs are division on a ladder.

The fact that you think there are, or should be, people on "lower rungs" flies in the face of the very equality which OWS espouses. It flies in the face of all human progress. It is morally unsupportable. It is philosophically unsupportable. It is reprehensible. People can choose, as equals, who will take the lead in certain functions. That does not make a hierarchy, only a separation of functions. NO ONE is higher or lower than anyone else in this universe. NO ONE is more valuable or less so, NO ONE is better or worse.

You are espousing the very thing, the CORE of what OWS opposes. This is not China (thank God), This is not Putin's Russia, or Stalin's USSR. It is not the reign of Louis or the rulership King George, both of which inspired bloody revolutions. America was brought into being by an idea of equality. And OWS is attempting to make the promise of that idea a reality.

Equality and egalitarianism is the destination. If you want to go elsewhere, I suggest you get off the train.

[-] 1 points by Dumpthechump (96) 2 years ago

"Equality and egalitarianism is the destination. If you want to go elsewhere, I suggest you get off the train."

Really? These notions are the very ones sabotaging human thinking! All you are doing is recycling the optimistic nonsense of the Enlightenment - but optimism is NO more with the energy crisis, food shortages and overpopulation.

It is up to OWS to find new principles and leaders. Clinging to "equality and egalitarianism" means falling into the trap of the ruling classes of the West - a sweet honey-trap of words all set out for the masses long ago. And the USA and Britain are past masters at this entrapment!

[-] 2 points by nikilister (109) 2 years ago

If you want to do something constructive is to first ignore any governing or political agenda as it is non-constructive and a waste of resources the way it is practiced today (things like trying to convince government to do something about economy, voters, etc.because they're all sold out to the rich anyway, etc.).

Second you have to think long term and you should be able to set priorities for it because time is not going to wait for you to decide.

Third don't waste time on trying to find a solution for today. It has to be for tomorrow.

Fourth be patient. Put things where they belong.

Fifth don't be fooled by intellectuals. Demand your rights. If they can't provide that for one person in a practical manner and in a designated time frame they will never succeed. The only difference between intellectuals and political leaders in US is that they sleep with different whores so they speak on different topics to get paid for it.

There are other things but these are the first steps.

I know this whole thing is global but one thing the American people need to understand is that if they sit on their ass at home and think that people in other parts of the world are going to sort through their bullshit and be nice to them and comply to whatever party or foreign policy they choose "democratically" or "decide on eventually" just because they are Americans then they are absolutely wrong!

BTW the term |"equality" if reduced to "equal" might only be useful in math but these days we can see how this has developed in science ie. global warming anyone?!

[-] 0 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

great diversion! nice try!

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