Hot Air

~

I recently asked a good friend what he thought the solution to capitalism was, assuming that capitalism is the root cause of the systemic societal breakdown that we are witnessing.

Here are the solutions that we came up with. Choose carefully!

1. In the face of a pandemic, do nothing and allow it to exterminate a great number of people.

2. Go into space and begin resource extraction in order to feed the capitalist system.

3. Other ( Some overarching, nuts-and-bolts solution that puts people (human capital stock) and planet over profit. )

The answer is nontrivial.

Richard Wolff points out that the climate crisis, racism, a failing economy, and the coronavirus pandemic are four major unsolved issues that are converging to bring about a “systemic breakdown” of the US.

h/t Cassiodorus' blog

The greatest of these threats is the Climate Crisis. The root cause is resource extraction and resource consumption, e.g. capitalism and the pursuit of profits.

The awareness of the deep connection between the climate crises, capitalism and racism is now more powerful than ever. The murder of George Floyd facilitated this to a large extent, as more people understand that Black people built the greater part of the Capitalist system with their sweat and literally, their blood. Changes are happening.

The stark reality is that we, the people, must rise to the occasion. The Seattle Autonomous Zone is a minuscule example of what we need to sustain on a global scale. Insane?

Can we organize to take care of each other before everything unravels. Pie-in-the-sky dream or deer-in-the-headlights endgame? Think big.

This is the organizing challenge of our lifetimes.

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RantingRooster's picture

I think it's deer in the head lights.

Within our global systems, we have natural carbon sinks, that is, these carbon sinks absorb carbon dioxide that occurs naturally. Our oceans are one example, vegetation (trees and plants) are another example. Vegetation breaths in Co2 and exhales O2, that is oxygen, which humans and animals need to survive.

However, since the arrival of human industrialization, the huge amounts of carbon dioxide and other green house gases we have released into our natural system for “processing” our atmosphere, has essentially overloaded the natural “system” for processing the massive output of green house gases from our industrialization, and naturally occurring output.

Apologies to "hit and run", but I've got an early shoot this morning, but when I'm done, if I haven't melted like the Wicked Witch of the West, I'll post some more of my thoughts later.

Have a great day.

Drinks

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13 users have voted.

"Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance;" - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

@RantingRooster thanks for the link back to your earlier essays. Today I will send some cool refreshing thoughts out to you, and all workers working in the hot heat of summer. I cannot even stand barefoot on the dirt in my garden at 97F it burns my soles.

Ice Their Water. ...
Freeze Their Feed. ...
Give Them Shade. ...
Get A Mister. ...
Ventilate Their Coop. ...
Baby Pool Time. ...
Frozen Gallon Jugs.

Get a Mister?! LOL my mind is in the gutter this morning, but isn't that what OTC just did? yeah baby I'd rather have a Misses, a swing and a Misses, to each their own. heh

DAY 191 The human heart yearns for the beautiful in all ranks of life. --Harriet Beecher Stowe

peace and love

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@eyo I have come up for air long enough to say how great it is to "see" you, eyo!
Your turn to score a certain kind of buddy!
My office building burned down on June 24, and it took until 5:30 yesterday to get my office phones working in my temporary office.
No use bitching about it.
I will save my bitching for capitalism,at least on those brief occasions when I come up for air.

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@on the cusp hello and thank you! I admire your resilience after everything ya built burnt away to a pile of ash, here's hoping the new temporary place will be the best yet. It's so great when people fall in love, I love it. Smile

And thank you On the cusp for always punching UP! Cheers.

peace and love

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@eyo @eyo Comment in wrong essay.
Sorry.

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RantingRooster's picture

@eyo for the "cool thoughts" .

I think I'm gonna pass out now...ugh

I got there about 6am to get a good parking spot and unload my gear, and it was actually quite nice. About 9am it was burning hot. Trying to breath in heat with a mask / bandana, while I might get the right amount of oxygen, there is "resistance" and it's not so easy. I had to soak it, and the top of my floppy hat ( Crazy ), in cold water to keep from over heating.
20200709_074600.jpg

Drinks

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7 users have voted.

"Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance;" - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

It's unregulated capitalism that is the problem.
ANY unregulated system is corrupt. Look at the nomenclatura in the Soviet union. They were not the product of capitalism but unrestrained control of the economy.

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We are so screwed.

Cassiodorus's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness didn't have complete control over the Soviet economy. That part of the Soviet economy that devolved unto the peasant production of the working class (farms on the side, more or less, during worker-time not regulated by the state) kept the Soviet economy afloat during the era of Stalinism, when industrialism was being imposed upon the Soviet people through a plan authored by engineers hired by the American industrialist Armand Hammer.

Post-Stalin, the Soviet economy operated through class struggle, in which "inefficiency" was a product of popular pushback against unrealistic top-down imposed production targets. At some point the Soviet economy developed its own Mafia "underground" economy in which illegal production-on-the-side was controlled by the nomenkatura for its own profit.

Since the Soviets never eliminated the class struggle, the Soviet Union's shutdown of the public sphere for the sake of exclusive "Communist" rule prevented it from a serious discussion of this actually existing class struggle and from any genuine planning (a genuine plan would have been something subject to public debate). It was therefore stuck in a sort of "war communism" which had to have as its raison d'etre the industrialization of Soviet society, the achievement of "progress" in capitalist terms to compete with American capitalism. This, then, is the origin of the Soviets' failures at environmental protection. For instance, if you're one of the nomenklatura and therefore in a real hurry to achieve "progress," mandating the death of the Aral Sea by robbing its water reserves for purposes of industrial and agricultural production is something that has to be done. Eventually, when perestroika came about, the Soviet rulers switched sides and became capitalist rulers because it was found to be easier to wage the class struggle (from the elite perspective) that way.

The alternative to the Soviet command economy does not have to be the capitalist economy. The secret, though, is to create a society that is actually without social classes and which, therefore, is not run through class struggle. Perhaps this has to be a global society; perhaps it can be done locally through groups such as the Zapatistas. We won't know unless and until we try.

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"Must be a clash -- there's no alternative" -- The Clash

lotlizard's picture

@Cassiodorus  
i.e. that, with its own style of corporate bureaucracy rivalling the capitalist West’s, what it had become was not really communist or socialist anymore.

With the caveat that, as by now should be well-known, Wikipedia becomes less and less reliable the more “sensitive” and “controversial” the subject matter (i.e. problematic for, or even outright contradictory to, the narrative the TPTB want imposed): the Wikipedia entry on “State monopoly capitalism” attributes this view to “neo-Trotskyists.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_monopoly_capitalism

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Cassiodorus's picture

@lotlizard was not communist in the sense of having eliminated social classes. Rather, the nomenklatura directing the Soviet system comprised a ruling class. This was even pointed out from within a "Communist" regime: Milovan Djilas, a man who had met Stalin himself, wrote a book titled "The New Class," published in 1957, pointing this out. Djilas agreed in substance with James Burnham's "The Managerial Revolution," written in the US in the 1940s from a Right perspective, in arguing that the managerial class in any modern society forms a separate social class, a class with the potential to be a ruling class.

One could see how "Communist" society could develop in such a way from a reading of Lenin's "What Is To Be Done," written in 1901, in which it is argued that "Communism" must be a sort of gift to the working class from the intelligentsia. Here's what Lenin said:

We have said that there could not have been Social-Democratic consciousness among the workers. It would have to be brought to them from without. The history of all countries shows that the working class, exclusively by its own effort, is able to develop only trade union consciousness, i.e., the conviction that it is necessary to combine in unions, fight the employers, and strive to compel the government to pass necessary labour legislation, etc.[2] The theory of socialism, however, grew out of the philosophic, historical, and economic theories elaborated by educated representatives of the propertied classes, by intellectuals. By their social status the founders of modern scientific socialism, Marx and Engels, themselves belonged to the bourgeois intelligentsia. In the very same way, in Russia, the theoretical doctrine of Social-Democracy arose altogether independently of the spontaneous growth of the working-class movement; it arose as a natural and inevitable outcome of the development of thought among the revolutionary socialist intelligentsia.

Socialism, "Communism," or social democracy, then, was for Lenin not "immanent"; it was not something emerging from the existing order by a working class acting by itself. It had to be developed by an intelligentsia, by a class which could tell the working class "we know better than you," and gifted to the working class.

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"Must be a clash -- there's no alternative" -- The Clash

lotlizard's picture

@Cassiodorus  
Hard or impossible to imagine a society without some kind of police.

Also hard or impossible to imagine a society without some kind of elite / intelligentsia / nomenklatura / managerial caste or class.

What role for police, what role for elites / intelligentsia / nomenklatura / managerials?

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Cassiodorus's picture

@lotlizard Lenin, if I recall correctly, proposed job rotation. Mao moved the intellectuals into the fields to do hard labor. In theory you could have a global cooperative of cooperatives, in which everyone would get to do something both in terms of manual and in intellectual labor. It's even mandated in Marx and in Engels. But AFAIK in actual practice none of this movement worked in reverse -- it's not like they invited the proles to staff the Politburo at any one point, and so as Maria Mies pointed out some time ago, women make up most of the working class, but there were no women Soviet premiers, ever. The problem, then, is to do it, to convince people that a society without class divisions is in their interests and that they should match action with thought and do it.

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2 users have voted.

"Must be a clash -- there's no alternative" -- The Clash

It's unregulated capitalism that is the problem.
ANY unregulated system is corrupt. Look at the nomenclatura in the Soviet union. They were not the product of capitalism but unrestrained control of the economy.

EDIT: Sorry internet service froze. That's what happens when an AT&T executive is head of the FCC and a moron with a twitter keyboard appoints him.

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We are so screwed.

We need two things, competition from other systems and the awareness of how ours performs. The pandemic is a test. We are the worst performing country in the world, with Euro Western capitalists not far behind. Our current numbers are truly staggering, 55,442 new cases yesterday. The deaths will surely follow unless you believe in the tooth fairy. The pandemic is now old enough to start getting a sense of what the CFR, Case Fatality Rate, will ultimately be. Right now the world and most countries are around 7-8% CFR. That's the percent of those diagnosed with Covid-19 that will die. At our current rate we are running about 22 million cases per year and a projected 1,800,000 deaths per year. Infections lead deaths by 3 to 6 weeks, so don't use the current death rate. China is running 8 new cases a day, with a population of 1.4 billion. I'm using numbers from https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/. So if you are being honest and not rating a country on bogus issues like American style democracy you have to come to the conclusion that China is a far more successful country than the US. China has brought more people out of poverty than any other country in the history of civilization. They have more high speed rail track laid than the rest of the world combined. That represents a massive amount of engineering. They don't spend $1.2 Trillion on making war every year. Their people are seeing a constantly higher standard of living. They have the largest middle class in the world. And how many millions of people have we killed in the last 50 years in illegal wars of choice. And how many have they killed? Clearly in any reasonable metric they win and we lose. So the question should be how do we compete? The answers are obvious. They design their economy, we let the capitalists do what they want under the absurd philosophy of the invisible hand guiding our economy. Not only can't you see it, but you can't see any positive effects from that invisible hand, unless it's making the rich obscenely richer. Watching the stock market rise as our economy goes into the tank is a rather graphic image of this reality.

If we want to fix our country then we need to loudly call out the reality of how our system is a failure. We are going to have to have an open mind about change and not stick to the absurd belief about our great democracy. It's not great and it's not a democracy, by any reasonable measure. If we consider ourselves the indispensable nation and therefore we need an overwhelmingly lethal military, then we are stuck. When we come to the realization that our system of government does not work, and that our attitude towards the rest of the world is a huge problem and that we cannot have a huge lethal war machine then we stand a chance of moving forward. I think that the pandemic, by the time that it is done, will help us move in that direction. In the meanwhile, people who call out the truth about who we are, what we are doing and what we have done in the past will help.

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Capitalism has always been the rule of the people by the oligarchs. You only have two choices, eliminate them or restrict their power.

Raggedy Ann's picture

@The Wizard
The universe is in charge - you are tapped in for you realize what needs to happen:

If we want to fix our country then we need to loudly call out the reality of how our system is a failure. We are going to have to have an open mind about change and not stick to the absurd belief about our great democracy. It's not great and it's not a democracy, by any reasonable measure. If we consider ourselves the indispensable nation and therefore we need an overwhelmingly lethal military, then we are stuck. When we come to the realization that our system of government does not work, and that our attitude towards the rest of the world is a huge problem and that we cannot have a huge lethal war machine then we stand a chance of moving forward. I think that the pandemic, by the time that it is done, will help us move in that direction. In the meanwhile, people who call out the truth about who we are, what we are doing and what we have done in the past will help.

Pleasantry

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"When will our conscience's grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" Eleanor Roosevelt

"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

@The Wizard

As a reality check, I keep telling people "One out of every six people in the world is Chinese". I tend to describe their economy/society as "organized".
One hundred years ago they had feudal warlords. Now look.
They have their big failings: the great leap forward, the cultural revolution, Tibet. The world is a messy and violent place, and we're like children on a desert island.*
I have to wonder to what extent capitalism has coopted their economy; I look at all the Chinese plastic we consume. It's hard to glean truth from the shouting voices. But certain FACTS stand out, such as: socialist countries respond to disasters better. An American island lost 3000 people to a Cat4 storm; nearby Cuba lost 10 people to a Cat5.

*The Lord Of The Flies model was tested real-world; a group of students were stranded on an island. They chose cooperation and thrived.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

lotlizard's picture

@pindar's revenge  
by which I mean soundly rooted in a healthy, functional set of values, beliefs, and social habits — in this case, those provided by having grown up in a relatively intact Tongan Polynesian culture.

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=tongan+boys+survive+desert+island

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@lotlizard @lotlizard
as not being about the children, but about the adult society which nurtured them. They re-enacted the violence of the war which caused their isolation. In the end, they were rescued by a warship, with an officer in military uniform exclaiming at the savagery of the children.
added:
After all, the Lord Of The Flies was the corpse of a warplane pilot.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

There are no coincidences, but first let me pack my bowl with frop because this "inside game" hopium brings no joy: Biden-Sanders 'unity task force' rolls out platform recommendations

The task force, which was launched in May, laid out its platform recommendations on a number of key issues including climate change, criminal justice reform, immigration policies, health care, education and the economy in a 110-page document.

Biden and Sanders focused heavily on police reforms and reducing incarceration following the death of George Floyd while in police custody, which has sparked nationwide protests. The health care platform focuses on expanding ObamaCare, rather than moving toward Sanders’s "Medicare for All." The commission also called for environmental reforms, including carbon-free electricity generation by 2035.

Okay maybe a little joy, but not much. Back to housing, what is lacking? This house has been empty for a year. Police Log from Independence Day:

9 p.m. Juvenile problem on East First Street. Reporting party reports three to four juveniles in the empty house. Per reporting party, no one should be in the house or on the property.

Because why? The landlord finally came up to mow the grass and put it on Craigslist for rent. He said the market in SF was crashing but I looked it up and saw 2.2% lower rents. wtf? The house across the street was occupied by field workers before they were evicted, the owners remodeled and sold it for half a million bucks plus. The people who bought it last year already moved out and it is for sale again listed by Luxe International. These people could be my old neighbors who got evicted, or it could be any other family around here. Permits a-plenty for Wine caves, but no affordable housing and wages still suck.
Coronavirus exploiting impoverished, vulnerable Sonoma County Latinos

Israel and his father took antibiotics for their headaches, coughing and body aches for about a week in early May, but the medicines provided little relief. Israel's father began to have trouble breathing.

One by one, Israel, 31, his father, Juan, 68, and most of the other 10 vineyard workers who live with them crowded in a three-bedroom house with one bathroom in Cloverdale, got sick. Israel became deeply worried about his father's deteriorating condition.
...
'We had about 12 people,' get infected, he said, noting everyone is rebounding. 'I think that's the reason there are so many of us that are getting the virus because so many of us live in one place. It's the only way we can afford rent.'

I see women my age going through the garbage cans on pickup day, fixed income future. I wanna put on my verbal fisticuffs and virtually punch my ken doll representative's faces, both of them. The UniParty will do anything and everything except raise wages and lower rents. PU The Haves still getting stinking rich off the backs of immigrants. Apocalypse Now dollars built Virginia Dare North, isn't that special? You should have seen the LLC spawning in the Public Notices for the PPP payouts, omg the grifters are stealing everything right out in the open! Industrial Wine, and now Industrial Cannabis, still killing the watershed. wah

Sonoma County creates equity office to ensure equal access

“I’m trying to double down and evoke the voices of those that breathe inequity every day,” Gore said of the equity office. “This is just one of the things that our community needs to do.”

There must be a new Biden-Sanders speaking matrix to come up with that content-free statement. That blather comes from the same guy who created a local "entrepreneur of the year" award so he could give it to his daughter. I am not kidding.

Erin Gore:
Erin Gore is founder and CEO of Garden Society, a California-based, cannabis-focused benefit corporation serving women in search of new, more holistic ways to rejuvenate from the rigors of their daily lives. Prior to Garden Society, Erin worked with her husband Tom on their joint venture with Constellation Brands on Tom Gore Vineyards, an award-winning farmer’s wine. Before the wine business, she had a decade-long corporate career at Henkel, where she managed a global adhesive business valued at nearly $100 million. Her time at Henkel provided a solid foundation in leadership, development, and achieving exceptional financial results.

Corporate boards as far as the eye can see. ai yi yi! Where is the Equity Office $800k going? Not here:

But in an interview after the meeting, she questioned why county leaders had not considered redirecting money for the new office to groups already doing similar work, such as her group or the Commission on the Status of Women, which already have ties to the community but have received little funding.

“Instead of outsourcing, why not fund within?” Garcia said.

Gore acknowledged there was frustration among some community groups over the creation of the equity office but encouraged them to stay involved in the county’s efforts to build equality locally.

“We’re taking action and putting money during a huge deficit into this,” Gore said. “This is the start.”

okay boomer

where are my bubbles? bubbles!
Squirrel Nut Zippers "Hell" - Music Video directed by Norwood Cheek and Grady Cooper

"The D and the A and the M and the N and the A and the T and the I O N!"

I got fitted for my eternal flame the other day, it fits pretty well. pretty pretty good
dancing mask wearers unite!
peace and love

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@eyo , have missed your incisive (excoriating) comments.

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@randtntx with that musical/cabaret style; Brecht/Weill could be writing for our times.

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@randtntx thanks, and that video is great too! Made me think Sweeney Todd. Fine performance, perfectly executed. yummy

Humor in truth, truth in humor. Kill or be killed. Eat or be eaten. I am definitely grounded in my lower chakra vibes lately, seems to have made my gums start flapping out loudly again. This too shall pass.

peace and love

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@eyo seems to have had the same philosophy about culinary delights as Mac the Knife. Musical relatives.

Only in a country with no healthcare would people have the need, like Israel, to medicate themselves with antibiotics for an illness that is viral. I really wish that story was uncommon and not true. Unfortunately that is wrong on both counts and it is an example how our society, because of it's flawed healthcare system, makes things worse.

Thanks for the report on what's going on in your neck of the woods.

Peace and love back to you.

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lotlizard's picture

@randtntx  
Johnny Johnson, about a pacifist heart and spirit in time of war. Full of many beautiful, humorous, and touching moments, it’s unfortunately much less well-known than The Threepenny Opera.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Johnson_%28musical%29

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@eyo That was a thing of beauty!

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@TB mare thanks for saying so. SoC for short, stream of consciousness typing. System on Chip. hard coded

This Pomo land had a French communist utopia experiment in the 1880s, it was called Icaria Speranza, and it failed because of the thing called debt, which means a banker did it. Dream killers are what modern bankers really are, I think. Usury run amok. I never got to an action point in my rant, but "debt jubilee" from criminal banks is my outside game idea. Good landlords can have bad bankers too. I have no inside political game anymore, meh.

D-Rapist or R-Racist?
Nobody 2020

There are many more paragraphs of information then the three I selectively snipped here:
Cloverdale once home to Icaria, a communist utopia

LOCAL HISTORY
Cloverdale in Alexander Valley is known for its fine wineries and citrus orchards, but little is known about “Icaria Speranza,” a French communist commune established along the Russian River in 1881. The Icarian’s philosophy was “All citizens enjoyed everything in common, no personal ownership, no aristocracy.”
...
The debt from Iowa and the California economic failure of 1884 created a depression in crop and land values. After six years Icaria Sperana failed financially. The noble experiment came to an end.
...
The Dehay family and many of the descendants of Icaria Sperana(sic) still live in Cloverdale and Sonoma County. The Dehay family sold their land in Asti to the Swiss Colony Winery.

Sorry for the typos, it also says "the Untied States" in there and that made me LOL. Thanks goodness I can still laugh a lot. Thanks.

All capitalist asset bubbles go pop in my short lifetime, six decades. POP! CRASH! Three pretty big ones so far, two pandemics. Housing and food and healthcare should not be speculative profit centers, that is what makes people homeless and hungry and sick. Try cutting out the speculators and just let the work being done continue on uninterrupted? I don't really feel like going out in a violent death of despair this time around, but who knows? Evolve or die, same as it ever was. good luck

peace and love

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Raggedy Ann's picture

There is no denying the universe is in charge. America is a bad actor and we are paying the heaviest price - we are so undisciplined we must suffer the most. I love the equalizing nature of the universe at work!

Let's all look for a new leader to emerge in September/October. Get out of the basement with that lower vibrational thinking. Higher vibrational thinking will get us there. It's time to raise your vibration to the new world we are entering! Live in the present; live in love for all.

Over the next five years, our new world will emerge. Be ready.

Have a lovely Thursday, everyone! Pleasantry

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5 users have voted.

"When will our conscience's grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" Eleanor Roosevelt

"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

really put some love in the air"
@Raggedy Ann Let's make a better world to live in. Remember that happy tune?

I confess that Aries New Moon video you posted in March made me freak out and spend my grocery money on garden seeds. Lookout's comment today made me LOL, I was so typical. After a few weeks with the seeds I gave away a bunch of bean, tomato, and squash starts, then the stimulus check appeared and I bought more topsoil and plant supports. That was cool.

But I am still poor and disabled, and fear of starvation has set in my mind, there is no escaping it is in my genes from the Great Irish Famine, only four generations ago. Europeans. Extracting everything in sight, there is not much left comparatively speaking. Goes around, comes around. QMS says similarly "Listen to your higher mind." I tried to get off the voter rolls like you did, but Sonoma County makes it near impossible. There is no online, or even a postal mail option as far as I can tell.

I hope I'm alive for the fall equinox, to see the newest dear leader appear. Until then, peace and love to all people and things, peace and love... and an Advanced Directive for Medical Decisions, signed, witnessed and notarized. DNR

Do Not Resuscitate. Go In Peace.

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mimi's picture

@eyo
... we will send and share seeds ...

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3 users have voted.

“Trauma is not what happens to you.
Trauma is what happens inside you,
as a result of what happens to you.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

ggersh's picture

6.5 million new jobs w/out a word being mentioned that close to 50 million have lost their jobs. MSM never mentions the fact that we are in a recession/depression cuz they are bought and paid for.

Does anyone get told how bad the good ol usa has bungled the response to the pandemic, nope, does anyone hear how corrupt DC/WS/SV/MIC is, nope.

What we are is that it's all a bed of roses, apple pie, gba and the stock markit at record highs.

The system requires a total reset, from top to bottom. If voting is a mechanism that works to accomplish this then we must start by voting every incumbent out of office until they start representing what the people want not what their fuckin billionaire donors want.

Until that happens I'm afraid global warming will be the winner and hopefully the best of humanity survives and not the schmucks that brought us to this time in space.

Here in Chicago we've already had 17 days in the 90's with more to come, fasten your seatbelts for this time it's different.

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“Awesome! I always wondered what it was like to live during the times of the Civil War, Spanish Flu, Great Depression, Civil Rights Movement, Watergate, & the Dust Bowl. Not all at once mind you, but ya know, ‘beggars/choosers” and all.”

Lookout's picture

My conclusion is that we as individuals must try to escape the system. More and more people are leaving cities.

Nearly one-third of Americans are considering moving to a less densely populated area because of the novel coronavirus outbreak, according to a Harris Poll survey released Thursday.

https://theharrispoll.com/coronavirus-may-prompt-migration-out-of-americ...

Gardening is more popular than it's been in years.

"We're being flooded with vegetable orders," says George Ball, executive chairman of the Burpee Seed Company, based in Warminster, Penn.

Ball says he has noticed spikes in seed sales during bad times: the stock market crash of 1987, the dotcom bubble burst of 2000, and he remembers the two oil crises of the 1970s from his childhood. But he says he has not seen a spike this large and widespread.

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/03/27/8225147...

Electric bike sales are increasing...
https://keyt.com/news/top-stories/2020/07/05/electric-bikes-of-santa-bar...
As well as regular bikes...

A vicious cycle: Bike sales soar, causing shortages and "panic buying"

Cycling appears to have become the outdoors activity of choice for many Americans amid nationwide shutdowns from the coronavirus pandemic, as evidenced by the surge in bike sales in recent months. Indeed, bicycle makers report spikes in sales so dramatic as people look for ways to get outside and to safely commute that they are struggling to keep up with demand and are now grappling with inventory shortages.

The government isn't here to help us...it operates to create profit for the elite. We must help ourselves. I've been suggesting organizing worker owned coops as a new way to escape the grasp of capitalism. Others suggest it will take dismantling capitalism as well.

"Tune in, drop out, and turn on" takes on a new significance. Perhaps R. Ann has it right, and COVID is awakening the masses to a new way of life. I hope so.

Thanks for the OT and promise of escaping capitalism.

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14 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Raggedy Ann's picture

@Lookout
Everything you mention has been changed and is changing due to this intelligent virus. It is here to require us to change our society and it's working. Welcome to the new way of life. Pleasantry

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6 users have voted.

"When will our conscience's grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" Eleanor Roosevelt

"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

enhydra lutris's picture

Before I start, I noticed that you aren't in the open threads list, so If you are there, how about editing and putting the words open thread in your tags.

When one starts to try to figure a way out, the temptation is to look to a quasi-communal, cooperative social venture, some sort of fully self-sufficient commune type thing, but the fully self-sufficient is a bear, Just think medicine, meet all of the community's health needs? Appendicitis, heart attacks, auto-wrecks, full range of dental and psychological, etc? Pandemics? Plus all the food, housing, clothing type stuff? There is some merit to the idea of communities that cooperatively provide for many of their own needs, somehow interlinked to solve, again cooperatively, stuff that is easier to achieve with a larger scale. That is looking both backward and forward at the same time, and there are workable elements in such an approach.

Mean time, I'd like to toss out an idea for further consideration with a hat tip to Cassiodorus' first column on The failure of political imagination. OK, we all can see, if only by its horrible failings, that Capitalism is not the answer, it is not the wonderful be all and end all system and we need to replace or at least supplant it. So, the question is, with what. Consider that "Capitalism" is now taken to encompass many things, much of which is peripheral to its true core. Markets and market mechanisms are not per se capitalism or capitalist. They predate the concept, and are a mechanism for the distribution of goods and services that could exist independently of capitalism.

At its core, capitalism is the theory that capital is the source, driver and necessary driver of economic productivity such that all profits, surplus and gains must be attributed to and therefore paid over to capital, embodies by those holding or controlling it. Ponder that. Capital creates the ability to generate surplus, and ergo all surplus is due to capital and hence is "owed" to those providing said capital. Firstly, that is a crock of shit on many levels, but I'll summarily state that "capital" is theft (actually, the accumulated product of theft). Capital can only exist as the cumulative expropriation of the commons in excess of the survival needs of the person doing the taking, which violates the rights of all other individuals to those commons and the use thereof. It is really theft of a disproportionate share of the commons conjoined to rent seeking for the misappropriated excess.

So, specialization and economies of scale, for lack of a better shorthand, requires markets or market-like exchanges to facilitate distribution. This is a separate thing from capitalism, which is rewarding the idle for the excess over their needs that they have accumulated in the form of rents up[on that excess. Markets, especially regulated markets, can exist separate from capitalism, at least in theory.

The real problem is growth and the idea of constant and infinite growth, which can easily become an outcome of markets and which is a guaranteed outcome of capitalism. The solution is to devise a system, or bring about an ethos, where it is recognized that the resources exist for all to have an adequate standard of living, that well regulated markets can achieve this, but only if what one might deem "opulence" is constrained. Profits need to be allowed to the extent needed for those without an adequate standard of living to be able to attain one, but excessive profits, above and beyond that need to be somehow plugged back into the system.

Just sort off the top of my head, too long and wordy, but the fact that we have evolved into a society that is quasi dependent upon markets does not mean that we cannot eliminate capitalism, nor that we cannot rein in excessive "growth".

Overwhelmed with things needing to be done for the past couple of weeks, so, gotta run for now.

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Granma's picture

@enhydra lutris One thing occurred to me to sort of add. It seems to me there needs to consideration of future generations needs as decisions are made about resource use, not just next generation, but several generations into future.

I worry about plants going extinct because I think some may have healing properties we don't yet know about.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@Granma

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris @enhydra lutris

speaking of open threads, as you may be aware, the Friday edition is up for grabs after the carefully crafted exposure SOE has given it. Anyone seeking a platform to express meaningful dialogue or what-so-ever is welcome to give it a try. Perhaps an earlier Friday photos, or a Funkin' Friday ala NC Tim may work out.

BTW, thanks to eyo for resurfacing. There is a bit of stumbling going on here. Could be the masks steaming up the glasses, or some such. Your words have a refreshing clarity.

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Let's try to help each other
find a better way.

enhydra lutris's picture

@QMS

Think I'll pass on another OT though.

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

lotlizard's picture

@enhydra lutris  
of public discourse — the means of how people talk to and stay in touch with each other.

A handful of individuals have amassed huge fortunes and power by turning the “air” over which interpersonal communication travels into private property.

This cannot be allowed to stand.

The same little clique of silicon ghost-masters are coming to kill off the Post Office and all smaller-than-mega-chain retail, too — if we let them.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@lotlizard

developing or implementing a competitor for twitster that would be more open and freewheeling and not ban folks for disagreeing with the official CIA narrative, but I can't recall any details. We need to take communications in 2 directions at the same time, security and encryption and free from censorship. How is the real problem, especially if it needs to depend upon somebody being able to monetize it.

be well and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

Requires a tipping point where we all agree on the problem. Vulture Capitalism perhaps?

Maybe work a little harder to get that house for your family?

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Okay, so maybe buying a house is not in your future. But at least you don’t have to live in a mud shack in some developing country, right? Renting is not the worst thing if you’ve got good credit.

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So, at what point in the greed trajectory do we admit to ourselves that the problem we all have an investment in fixing is a system that is only working for the wealthy? Because until we can all coalesce around that idea, I have a hard time seeing momentum gathering towards a solution for any of the things that are destroying us.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Cassiodorus's picture

-- we are more or less obliged to rethink human relations in light of the compound crisis. The way you have framed the problem is excellent. Could you form a co-operative, or work with an existing one?

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"Must be a clash -- there's no alternative" -- The Clash

enhydra lutris's picture

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

magiamma's picture

Your comments are amazing, stand on their own and add much to reflect on. I so appreciate all of you and this sites continued work at uncovering facts and rethinking the context of our path on this planet.

Please consider this my response to all of your comments. ( I have extra things on my plate en esto momento )

Please all, take good care and have a good one. You are the best!

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