AuthorTopic: left libertarianism  (Read 12904 times)

Offline Eddie

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Re: left libertarianism
« Reply #120 on: January 07, 2017, 02:05:41 PM »
Edward Bernays was a genius....an evil genius, but a genius, nonetheless.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline JRM

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Re: left libertarianism
« Reply #121 on: January 07, 2017, 02:08:50 PM »
Edward Bernays was a genius....an evil genius, but a genius, nonetheless.

The same could be said of Stalin, Hitler ... and you can be sure "they" will soon be saying this of trump....
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline Eddie

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Re: left libertarianism
« Reply #122 on: January 07, 2017, 02:16:16 PM »
I disagree. Neither of those...Stalin nor Hitler...was a genius. They were aggressive, opportunistic, narcissistic sociopaths. 

Geniuses seldom enter politics.

I think of someone like Robert Oppenheimer. He was a genius. He sacrificed an awful lot for his country, and got completely fucked over. As did Alan Turning. I don't think either of those was evil, either, although their work has impacted our lives in some very negative ways.

You could probably think of others.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Ka

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Re: left libertarianism
« Reply #123 on: January 07, 2017, 04:24:38 PM »
Ka, your prognostication is missing one important element.

Military Intelligence. Since when did the military (any country) ever do anything green?

They have never had to be green. I suggest that post-collapse things will be different. Assuming the military does take over (since if they don't we'll have social collapse) then they've got a PR problem, namely how to reconcile the populace to direct military rule. What I hope they would do is (correctly, as it happens) blame the corporatocracy for the mess, and they can add to the charges that of harming the environment. Assuming, again, that the military PTB are well aware of the end of cheap energy, they will need to put out a strong green message to get people to accept such things as the end of private vehicle ownership.

As for the intelligence of the military, I spent a couple of years back in the 70's working for a small department of the army, whose management was part civilian and part army officer. My impression is that the officers were sharper and more competent than the civilians. But that's just one anecdote.

Offline JRM

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Re: left libertarianism
« Reply #124 on: January 08, 2017, 09:15:27 AM »
Here's a scholar, professor and author who says something very interesting about left libertarianism.:


Quote
You mention Occupy. In the book, you’re quite critical of what you describe as the “remains of the radical left”, which you see as predominantly libertarian and anti-statist.

I have a rough and ready rule of thumb which is that any dominant mode of production and its political articulation creates the form of its own opposition. In the same way that the big factories and large corporations—General Motors, Ford and so on—created an opposition that was grounded in the labour movement and social democratic political parties, so the breakup of all of that, and what we’re in now, has created this kind of dispersed opposition that can only use certain languages to make its claims. The left has not understood that much of what it is saying is consistent with the neoliberal ethic, rather than being profoundly oppositional. Part of the anti-statism which you find on the left now locks into the anti-statism of corporate capital. I’m very concerned that there’s not a lot of thinking on the left which says, “Let’s step back and look at the picture as a whole.” I hope my book might contribute to having that conversation.

http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/blogs/jonathan-derbyshire/the-contradictions-of-capitalism-an-interview-with-david-harvey



This fellow -- David Harvey -- is basically saying that the radical left in our world at this time is expressing itself most saliently as left libertarianism, a political orientation some here deny the existence or relevance of.  Seems I'm not so alone in thinking left libertarianism important.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 09:39:54 AM by JRM »
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: left libertarianism
« Reply #125 on: January 08, 2017, 09:16:17 AM »
Now I think we can agree that the communist socioeconomic order described would be a wonderful thing, but I for one do not think its emergence is inevitable. In fact, I can't imagine it happening at all short of a global cure of Original Sin (to put it in Christian terms -- think "Maya" for those of other religious persuasions), and while I personally think that will happen someday, it won't happen through political means. You can't force people to be good. All you can do is remove the survival problem, and let them think for themselves. So as I see it, to call yourself a communist is to promise more than you can deliver.
I think communism's emergence is somewhat inevitable... but only after the planet gets so trashed that people are as horrified by the thought of profit and private property as we are now by cannibalism.  The caveat is that the alternative is extinction.  I honestly don't think there is any other possibility.
Making pigs fly is easy... that is, of course, after you have built the catapult....

Offline JRM

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Re: left libertarianism
« Reply #126 on: January 08, 2017, 09:59:23 AM »
I think communism's emergence is somewhat inevitable... but only after the planet gets so trashed that people are as horrified by the thought of profit and private property as we are now by cannibalism.  The caveat is that the alternative is extinction.  I honestly don't think there is any other possibility.

[I highlighted some words above.]

As you well know, JDW, various kinds of ecological havoc show up as a precursor or harbinger shadow, or hint of things to come.  The most salient current example I am familiar with is anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD).  By the time ACD is noticeably problematic for us, we've already gone a bit too far in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. The result is that even if we were, hypothetically, to stop all such emissions immediately we'd still see a very significant increase in global average temperatures down the road -- due to thermal inertia.  There are, I'm sure, many other examples of ecological harm which manifest their symptoms gradually rather than all at once.

My point is that once our planet is "trashed" to the point that people are "horrified" to the point of changing course, it is very likely far too late to prevent the demise of our species and many thousands of others.  We need to see and feel the harbinger of what's to come before it arrives, then begin to put on the brakes while in that shadow.   So far, we're only nudging the brake with a toe, barely, contemplating pressing down on the pedal.  We need to press it down. Now.  The train needs to slow down for the curve ahead.

Politics may be a part of this pressing of the brake.  But I don't think it can be politics as we have known it so far.  A new politics must emerge for these times.  And I don't think we yet know what that means or what it might look like.  It will not resemble 20th century politics when it arrives.  Or, rather, there will be new things in the mix which we've not seen before. 

« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 10:03:59 AM by JRM »
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline K-Dog

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Re: left libertarianism
« Reply #127 on: January 08, 2017, 12:42:11 PM »
Now I think we can agree that the communist socioeconomic order described would be a wonderful thing, but I for one do not think its emergence is inevitable. In fact, I can't imagine it happening at all short of a global cure of Original Sin (to put it in Christian terms -- think "Maya" for those of other religious persuasions), and while I personally think that will happen someday, it won't happen through political means. You can't force people to be good. All you can do is remove the survival problem, and let them think for themselves. So as I see it, to call yourself a communist is to promise more than you can deliver.
I think communism's emergence is somewhat inevitable... but only after the planet gets so trashed that people are as horrified by the thought of profit and private property as we are now by cannibalism.  The caveat is that the alternative is extinction.  I honestly don't think there is any other possibility.

We will take the alternative and go extinct.  Once the planet is trashed people won't be horrified by the thought of profit and private property.  People won't recognize that their own behavior is the same behavior as that what trashed the planet.  People will blame the trashing on other people, certainly not how they live.  Denial not self-examination is the norm.  Living on a trashed planet will not result in enlightenment but rather the experience will so brutalize people that thinking of the common good will seem a foolish luxury.  Food in the belly will matter far more than making a better world.

People in their 20's with little life experience will often say things like 'good Trump is elected now the system can crash and we can build something better'.  They project their good intentions onto others not realizing that once the system crashes good intentions will not be good for anything and that the only part of 'we' when they are thinking these thoughts is themselves.  They also don't appreciate that the current level of misery would look like paradise to previous generations.

I don't mean to compare you to ignorant twenty-somethings JD.  I chose that as an example only because youthful naivety brings my point home well.  The truth is we all tend to project how we think onto others.  I do it but I try not to.  If the system crashed you and I might indeed say 'great lets build a better world' and we would not be alone.  Yet the crowd of people with pitchforks coming down the road at us to do us in would far outnumber us, our supporters, and our intentions.

The only chance to build a better world is now.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 12:46:02 PM by K-Dog »
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: left libertarianism
« Reply #128 on: January 09, 2017, 08:34:38 AM »
I think communism's emergence is somewhat inevitable... but only after the planet gets so trashed that people are as horrified by the thought of profit and private property as we are now by cannibalism.  The caveat is that the alternative is extinction.  I honestly don't think there is any other possibility.

[I highlighted some words above.]

As you well know, JDW, various kinds of ecological havoc show up as a precursor or harbinger shadow, or hint of things to come.  The most salient current example I am familiar with is anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD).  By the time ACD is noticeably problematic for us, we've already gone a bit too far in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. The result is that even if we were, hypothetically, to stop all such emissions immediately we'd still see a very significant increase in global average temperatures down the road -- due to thermal inertia.  There are, I'm sure, many other examples of ecological harm which manifest their symptoms gradually rather than all at once.

My point is that once our planet is "trashed" to the point that people are "horrified" to the point of changing course, it is very likely far too late to prevent the demise of our species and many thousands of others.  We need to see and feel the harbinger of what's to come before it arrives, then begin to put on the brakes while in that shadow.   So far, we're only nudging the brake with a toe, barely, contemplating pressing down on the pedal.  We need to press it down. Now.  The train needs to slow down for the curve ahead.

Politics may be a part of this pressing of the brake.  But I don't think it can be politics as we have known it so far.  A new politics must emerge for these times.  And I don't think we yet know what that means or what it might look like.  It will not resemble 20th century politics when it arrives.  Or, rather, there will be new things in the mix which we've not seen before.
We will take the alternative and go extinct.  Once the planet is trashed people won't be horrified by the thought of profit and private property.  People won't recognize that their own behavior is the same behavior as that what trashed the planet.  People will blame the trashing on other people, certainly not how they live.  Denial not self-examination is the norm.  Living on a trashed planet will not result in enlightenment but rather the experience will so brutalize people that thinking of the common good will seem a foolish luxury.  Food in the belly will matter far more than making a better world.

People in their 20's with little life experience will often say things like 'good Trump is elected now the system can crash and we can build something better'.  They project their good intentions onto others not realizing that once the system crashes good intentions will not be good for anything and that the only part of 'we' when they are thinking these thoughts is themselves.  They also don't appreciate that the current level of misery would look like paradise to previous generations.

I don't mean to compare you to ignorant twenty-somethings JD.  I chose that as an example only because youthful naivety brings my point home well.  The truth is we all tend to project how we think onto others.  I do it but I try not to.  If the system crashed you and I might indeed say 'great lets build a better world' and we would not be alone.  Yet the crowd of people with pitchforks coming down the road at us to do us in would far outnumber us, our supporters, and our intentions.

The only chance to build a better world is now.
JRM, K-Dog, I definitely agree with what both of you are saying.  If I were a betting man, I would give human extinction in the next few centuries very heavy odds in favor.  And if we are going to go extinct in the near-term, the sooner the better.  But I think Guy McPherson is a cockeyed optimist in that respect.  2030 is way faster than this can all play out -- even a nuclear war, unless it was specifically designed to genocidal, would still probably leave a few surviving pockets for at least a little while.

And honestly, I'm not counting on collapse to change people's minds -- that was my mistake up until 2009 -- I'm hoping for the survivor effect.  Not for the first round, mind you, it'll go to those best at grabbing what's available -- but once all the consumable goods from industrial civilization are gone, the best looters will meet their demise too, and only those who can generate true wealth will remain -- if any survive to that point.

And what do I mean by generating true wealth?  Stuff like Greening the Desert:
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/2xcZS7arcgk" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/2xcZS7arcgk</a>

But I do have a glimmer of Authentic Hope for change before the collapse (not without collapse, because the change will engender collapse), and that is Dave Cohen's Flatland Nihilism: that nothing we do makes any difference to human happiness after about 3 months.  While that is bad for people trying to warn against collapse, it also strikes at the heart of Consumerism: nothing you buy will make you happy.  If people truly accepted that (and there is an army of marketeers working against that), then consumer spending would tank rapidly.
Making pigs fly is easy... that is, of course, after you have built the catapult....

Offline JRM

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Re: left libertarianism (Hey, kid. You're duped!)
« Reply #129 on: January 09, 2017, 09:15:26 AM »
I believe humanity has everything at hand which it needs to radically transform our economies and societies as a whole rather rapidly, thus choosing sustainable and even regenerative ways of life which could avoid the worst case scenarios of collapse.  But we don't do those things.  We don't enact them, even though they are on the shelves and in the books and could be enacted dramatically starting tomorrow.  Part of the problem is sheer inertia and habit, which we'd still have even if it weren't for the exacerbating influence of pseudo-education and pseudo-"press" (media) ... and pseudo-religion... and other attendant cultural-creators / maintainers. 

A massive disruption with/from the past is needed in these areas (education, "press", religion, cultural institutions) just when we are the most complacent and conservatively traditionalist (in 20th century terms of "tradition").

I think education is key.  The current educational establishment in the USA, for example, should be immediately overthrown and replaced -- and not in order that we may have another kind of people ten, twenty, thirty years from now. Rather, so that we can begin to have another kind of people immediately!  If this were to happen, that would be the very fulcrum upon which the media (press) would inevitably have to transform.  Vice versa wold also do the trick.  A critical, post-hyperindustrial press would create the conditions in which a post-hyperindustrial education would become inevitable.

Our problem with education is that it has ZERO relevancy to our present historical moment, or to our participation in a democratic society.  ZERO -- most of it, anyway.  Our American educational establishment was designed to turn out people fit for a flourishing INDUSTRIAL civilization which had no limits to its power and flourishing -- neither physical nor social limits.  It was designed in the late 19th through mid-twentieth century, before it became obvious to anyone paying attention that industrialism is a Dead End.  Literally.  It was at the very moment that classical industrialism exploded into hyperindustrialism that Corporate Capture transformed contemporary "education" into an absurd factory for turning out morons with degrees.  "If the world hyperindustrializes, by golly, let's turn out hyperindustrial students."  (Astonishing that this can be done without first swirling the braincase with an ice pick!)  And how did education (and the media) respond to the horror of hyperindustriaism?  It shoved coal on the speeding train of it as if there were no tomorrow. It threw gasoline on the fire. It said "Hell yeah! Let's turn our students into the world's most vapid imbeciles in the name of 'education'".

Things have their breaking point, and I think we're at that place now.  All we have to do is let the students in on the sick game which "educational institutions" are playing on them.  We should let the students know!  "Hey, kid, you're duped.  The future you're preparing for will never come.  If you want a real education, you're going to have to see through the smoke and mirrors."
« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 09:30:58 AM by JRM »
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline K-Dog

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Re: left libertarianism
« Reply #130 on: February 23, 2017, 08:46:22 PM »
I consider her perhaps the best living American author. Three of her books touched me deeply, and I've read a couple more that were very good.

High on my list:

The Lacuna

The Poisonwood Bible (also historically accurate, but about missionaries in the Congo)

Flight Behavior (the best novel about climate change ever written, and very salient today)

Never heard of any of these. Tnx, Eddie!

I went to Half Price Books tonight and bought 'The Lacuna' and another of Barbara Kingsolver's books 'Pigs in Heaven', that one only on her reputation as a writer.  A few pages into 'Lacuna' I was happy with both purchases though I still know nothing about the second.  She writes really well.  The reviews I read were right.

My original reason for going was to find  books by Gene Logsdon as recommended in 'From Filmers to Farmers' but I struck out on that.

Pigs in heaven is an excellent book, the first one I read of hers. Someone had left it in my cabin in '95 when we sailed to the USVI. I read it at sea. More of a fun read than the others I mentioned. Enjoy.



I finished it a few weeks ago.  Made me go to the radical feminist bookstore that has a whole shelf of Trotsky's writings.  I got a longish pamphlet on him there that has some suggested readings of his.  I'll be back knowing what to get next time.

So what prompts this disclosure.  Because I ran across this today and thought to myself.  I wonder what Trotsky would think of this:

Quote
"Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda."

The bourgeois perhaps?  A cultivated blind eye that imagines an infinite horn of plenty and has chosen to be ignorant of human suffering is what I see.  A pie in the sky god wannna be.  Disgusting.

Quote
"famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges."

wow!  A whole book of this crap is apparently available and people seem to be willing to pay good money to pretend oil will not deplete and that the good times will go on forever and the earth will actually support 7 billion people.  They pretend CO2 won't warm the globe because they think they are exempt from it's consequences.  Let others suffer.  A smiling enemy.

https://www.getscoop.com/books/homo-deus

They even believe 'we' don't have to die but when they think of living forever, I suspect they only think of themselves.  There is no 'we' to them.

Here is one place I found this heavily promoted cookie tossing publisher sponsored review.  It appears to have no source but is on many websites.

http://www.kurzweilai.net/homo-deus-a-brief-history-of-tomorrow

Harrison Shepard got some strange promotional reviews that totally misrepresented his writing in the most excellent Lacuna.  Reviews not even close to the truth of his fictional books in Barbara Kingsolver's masterpiece.  I hope Yuval Noah Harari has equal disdain for this review as Harrison had about his.
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

 

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