Friday, June 13, 2008

Posted on Democrated Underground Friday the 13th 2008

I always come back to Democratic Underground, even though I become exasperated by some of the posts and responses, because without DU, especially without the Editorials and Other Articles section, I wouldn't know that Joe Bageant even existed. This was surely posted here in February when it first came out, but I'm in the mood to put something up and this is what I read (again) tonight.

Good, thought-provoking, depressing but funny stuff.


"I don't hear so much outrage. In fact, the readers seem to be suffering from what someone aptly called "rage fatigue." Which is another way of saying the bastards have simply worn us out. And it's true.

" . . . I am not kidding when I say rage fatigue victims have fallen into an ongoing mid-level depression.

"... Like whoever else wins the presidency, Obama can never acknowledge any significant truth, such as that the nation is waaaaay beyond being just broke . . . or that the greatest touch-me-not in the U.S. political flower garden, the "American lifestyle," is toast.

". . . the bunny and cupcake set of Americans are still oblivious, or at least pretend to be, but even at the more inchoate and private level, there is a growing awareness that things are going very wrong, and doing so on an incomprehensively massive and complex scale.

". . . We all stand submissively before the global ATM machine network like trained chickens pecking the correct colored buttons to release our grains of corn. Freedom, and to a large extent joy, as we understand it in our common technoculture . . . each with its own type of packaging . . ."

Now speaking as me again, not copying and pasting quotes: If anyone has read down this far (rather than doing the sensible thing and clicking on the link to go read the article in its entirety), the posted DU opinion that has exasperated me most recently is people getting all outraged and indignant because the right wing radio blowhards are attacking Barak and Michelle Obama with smarmy nonsensical quasi-racist slurs. Let the Hannitys and their ilk blab away! One, that's what free speech is all about. Many people, liberals and progressives included, think free speech means people have the right to say stuff they agree with but shouldn't be allowed to blurt out anything idiotic or impolite. We ought to instead allow Scarborough and "Bill-O" keep on revealing how stupid, scared and nasty they really are. We ought to be calling attention to what they're saying and the way they're saying it. Most Americans who believe they're on the Right still don't, however, want to think of themselves as prejudiced bigoted closeted Ku Klux Klanners. They say, "We're not racist, but it's just that . . . "

The answer to hate speech is better speech. Keith Olberman is doing just fine exposing Bill O'Reilly (anyone not watching "Worst Person in the World" would not meet my definition of well informed) with articulate ridicule. We (assuming that there is such a thing as "we") should be asking all those potential McCain voters "Is that what you really believe? Does this trash talking lout really speak for you?" Getting all huffy and asserting that they shouldn't be permitted to say such insulting things is exactly the wrong way to counter them.

Just my opinion. As always, I may be wrong. I often am.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Spilling Over the Banks

For more than thirty years, for the entirety of my
adult life, I have been listening to so-called
conservatives tout the wonders of "deregulation,"
which it has been said would release the mighty engine
of commerce from socialistic constraints and produce a
rising tide that would raise all boats, to the benefit
of everyone. Now that rising tide is about to swamp
us all, and this administration -- of all people -- is
saying that some regulation of some aspects of the
financial services industries, some "constructive
reform," just might be unfortunately necessary. They
are referring to their proposals as "comprehensive,"
though they are hardly that.

Whether conservatives will go along with any of this,
despite their many years' commitment to the ideology
of deregulation, remains to be seen. Also remaining
to be seen is whether such limited limit setting can
be contrived and implemented in time to stave off an
enormous economic catastrophe. The proposed
restructuring, which amounts to redrawing the flow
charts and giving more appearance of authority to the
Federal Reserve, is only being trial ballooned because
a significant segment of the general public has
noticed that Adam Smith's "invisible hand" has always
been in the business of systematically picking their
pockets. For years I have been telling people that
the institutions of the financial services industry
are criminal conspiracies, that the only reason the
senior executives aren't being perp walked is that
they're rich enough to buy off the lawmakers and law
enforcers. Once in awhile they find it necessary to
single out one of their own and allow the book to be
thrown at him (or her, though it's usually a him) to
stave off bad publicity. When this happens the guilty
party invariably gets huffy and indignant, denying to
the very end that he had done or even could do
anything even remotely wrong (think Charles Keating).

Recently I went to my bank -- I will not name which
one specifically because they're all in cahoots -- to
renegotiate a "Time Account" (they used to be called
Certificates of Deposit) which had matured. Last time
it matured it was paying 4.65 percent interest; this
time the return on investment was a pathetic
percentage of 2.90. They have the nerve to lower the
interest rate they charge their borrowers (the "vig,"
as that other organized crime syndicate calls it), and
lower further the chump change earned by people trying
to save, then lecture us about being poor, unwilling
savers. They put it out there that they're doing us a
great, almost holy service by letting them use our
money to lend out for single digit pennies on the

Years ago I accidentally became a "yuppie" and worked
at the world headquarters of one of the largest
banking corporations. As I clawed my way to the
middle of the corporate heap (I was actually
scrambling, trying to escape), I had a unique vantage
point to see what a crazy crock the whole thing was.
I was involved in the yearly preparation of the state,
national, and global economic forecasts, and could
compare what was said to what had been said the
previous year. There was little resemblance, either
to the previous year's forecasts or what actually had
happened economically. The predictions were
essentially political spin, designed by increase the
bank's efforts to nickel and dime its way to continued
profitability. And they were proud of this, as though
their conniving served a high, noble purpose. Anyone
anywhere who criticized them or did anything to thwart
their money grubbing in any was was characterized as a
dangerous socialist malcontent, deserving of severe
sanctions up to and including termination.

When a "temporary downturn" led them to "eliminate my
position" -- lay me off (they called in "enhanced
redeployment") I learned this. The "enhancement" was
a buy out consisting of one month's pay for each year
I had worked. But since my "date of separation" was
in the eleventh month of the year, I was paid nothing
for that last year. If I had been informed of this
rule before my "outprocessing" began, I might have
been able to lobby to stay on for a couple weeks, but
I was not informed of either that or some of the other
conditions of my departure that enabled them to limit
they amount of actual cash money they were giving me.
That's the way financial services institutions work.
They structure their dealings so that they can appear
fair and reasonable while keeping hold of every penny
possible, which they can get away with because of
their generous "campaign contributions."

They also have entire departments devoted to creating
language that helps them run their cons. The term
"subprime" is a prime (if you'll pardon the pun)
example. The real "prime" interest rate is the amount
set by the Federal Reserve for money it lends banks
and banks lend each other. Loans to customers are
structured as "prime plus one, prime plus two" and so
on. Calling a loan transaction "subprime" cleverly
implies that one is getting a loan below the prime
interest rate, below wholesale, a bargain. But how
many loan officers explained this to those who were
taking out mortgages they really couldn't afford? If
the "financial advisers" had explained this, they
would surely have experienced redeployment without the
enhancement. Of course the banking racket is so
entrenched that, even if their language department
inadvertently gives the game away, the banks are not
hindered. Didn't anyone think that a product called a
"junk bond" might be exactly what its name described?

What can be done about this? Tough question. We
can't boycott money, at least not without living a
complicated, difficult, insecure life. But knowledge
is power, or so I'm told. That's why I try to explain
what banks are and how they work whenever I have a
chance. Perhaps more people may be getting the
picture now that the house of cards is collapsing, the
big Ponzi scheme is unravelling, now that more and
more everyday people are losing more and more homes
and money due to the depredations of the "financial

So until meaningful reforms can be enacted (I'm not
holding my breath), read the fine print, don't take on
debt, and expect to be lied to in well crafted

Labels: ,

Friday, April 20, 2007

Visit the Mothersite:

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Two Good Posts and Threads from which include comments and replies to comments from . . . me

Why We Must Tell the Truth About Torture


Harvey Wasserman on Tom Friedman, the one with the best back and forth between me and others.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

A Call to Cowardice

My parents, now in their late 80s, are still incapable of understanding why I am ashamed of going into the Army in 1965. They don’t get it when I say that, if I had had the courage, what I would have done is stand tall and say, “Hell, yes; I’m a coward and proud to be one; I ain’t going.” Well, I was lucky. I spent 3 years in the Army during the Vietnam war, all stateside. Order were cut sending me over 3 times, but a fortuitous combination of luck and playing the system kept me out of harm's way (though no one in the military is ever completely out of harm's way).

Because I was against the war from the beginning, I used to seek out those who had just returned, take them out drinking, and listen to their stories. Believe me, a true picture of the Vietnam war has never been written or filmed. They all fall short. Some of the stories I heard were so nighmarishly sick and sickenly hilarious that they surpassed even my ability to grok them — and that takes some doing.

For anyone who wants to hear the case for heroic cowardice made convincingly, I recommend the movie “The Americanization of Emily” with James Garner and Julie Andrews (yes, Mary Poppins). It has a strong Paddy Cheyevsky (however the hell that’s spelled) script, one of his fiercest, and makes the case for saying it loud I’m scared and proud better than anyone has before or since. It’s on DVD now, after years of being unavailable. I highly recommend it.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Cost of Costco -- Big Box Shopping

Even though Costco represents everything I hate and am against, even though it is in many ways a nightmare of consumerism on psychotic steroids – my wife and I go about once a month and I enjoy the experience. She believes, with some evidentiary support, that Mangosteen juice is beneficial to our health, and Costco is the only way we can get it without complicated on-line shipping arrangements (it can’t be “grown locally”). I get a kick out of the hour or so that I spend at Costco.

First off, I like the food samples with their immigrant women employed to prepare the samples and say, “Come and try, come and buy” – in some cases, perhaps the only English words they know. I sample everything and will unashamedly return for seconds if I like what I’m tasting. It serves as my brunch for that day.

I’m fascinated by the enormous portion sizes of the products available for purchase. We don’t own a car, so we have to shop so as not to exceed our carrying capacity. The bus ride back and forth is pretty much a straight shot, but we still have to be careful not to buy more than we can haul by hand. We are invariably the people in the line with the fewest purchases. Everyone else has their oversized shopping carts filled with huge packages of products which they will then haul down to their cars and drive home. I sometimes expect the checkers to say, “You folks can’t buy that little; get with the program,” but of course, they don’t.

We live in a city with a large immigrant population (why be coy; we live in San Francisco) and a large majority of the people shopping at Costco with us are foreign born. It’s almost like visiting the Grand Canyon – hearing every imaginable language being spoken, a product-stocked tower of Babel. And I can’t blame them for shopping at Costco. Considering the level of deprivation that they have emigrated from, it must seem like an overwhelming heaven of abundance to be able to buy huge quantities of consumer goods, and feel like they’re saving money and being smart shoppers in the process. They may have heard about global warming but concepts like peak oil are not part of their knowledge base. They are not informed enough to understand the complexities of how the manufacturing and shipping of goods to places like Costco and the other big box stores contributes to the process. Can we really ask or expect them to spend more money to buy smaller quantities grown locally so they can be “ecologically correct”?

People who criticize people who shop at Costco (and Wallmart, and Target etc., etc., etc.) do come across as elitist. Expecting “regular” folks to “get it” is unrealistic. Of course Wallmart is a bad employer and a company that spoils towns by driving business out of business through undercutting prices. We know that, but we can’t blame folks who don’t read blogs and follow current events and study the issues to do the same. They’re too busy trying to get by and asking them to forego cheap prices on principle will get nowhere.

The big box stores will go out of business if and when (I’m betting on when) gas prices and shortages make shipping the products to the stores no longer cost effective and profitable. I wonder what will become of the buildings if and when that happens. The fact that a lot of liberals and progressives disapprove of people shopping there will have no affect on the ultimate destiny of these weird and fascinating institutions.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Terrifying Truth (article & my comment)

A Terrifying Truth by David Lindhoff, from Common Dreams 4/11/07
My comment, abridged:

To those who ask if we're doomed, my answer is: Basically, yes.

It has been thus for years. Thirty seven years ago I was expecting civilization to crash in an ecological crisis — many of us so-called “hippies” believed that. We wanted to create a new culture and transform society (the plan was to create new culture and seduce the baby boomers (then acutal babies)out from under what we then called “the establishment” — good plan; didn’t work, obviously), but only the dreamiest flower children among us believed we had a real big chance of succeeding. We had to give it a try because it was the only thing we could think of to do. In those days, when I was young, I expected the big crash to happen any second — that was the source of my hippiethink: “the future is just a fantasy trip in your head, man; now is the only reality.” Well, the big crash went on for decades without ever happening and I began to suspect I had been wrong. Maybe I should have planned for the future like all those believer-consumers who believed there was going to be one. Now I’m about to turn 62 and am a few years away from retiring with a pension that may or may not be there (see the many articles on Common Dreams about oncoming financial catatrophe), into a world where everyone who is surviving will be so busy scrambling to hang on with no time or place for compassion for “the elderly” — i.e., me and my wife.

Kurt Vonnegut, many years ago, said “Things are going to get worse and never get better again” and that’s obviously what’s happening. That doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t try to do what they can to reverse the situation. To give up and say, “Screw it; we’re doomed” ensures that the day can’t be saved. My tagline as Paranoid Pessimist is “I hope I’m wrong, but … ” And I do. I take no joy in what’s happening (some who think along my lines seem to, seem to have a “serves humanity right” attitude). I hope that everyone gets their act together, starts working for the common human good, uses the entirety of human imagination and innovative abilities to devise exciting solutions to all these problems, that a wave of compassion for the less fortunate (an essential component of “saving the day”) sweeps through humanity leading to a golden age. I’ll do what little I can to guide things in that direction, though no one ever listens to me (I’m a voice laughing in the wilderness).

What I can do is try to face the future with as cheerful an attitude as I can manage and try to be a pessimistic positivist, face reality without being done in by it, have hope for the future despite all the evidence that there isn’t going to be one. A challenge, but, hey, that’s what they say being human is all about. So I restart up my blog even though, when it was active, no one ever sent me a comment.

So I shall issue a challenge to humanity (like it needs one from me, or cares: Prove me wrong! Turn things around! Find solutions!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Things Are Worse Than I Thought

Frogs and Freedoms dying. Hotlink.

Candidates for "Things Are Worse Than I Thought" are openly sought and eagerly hoped for. If they make me gasp, gag, or shudder, I will be delighted to post them here. Send url to


Sunday, December 11, 2005

A Book That Caused Me to Question My Beliefs

I just finished reading a book that rattled my cage quite a bit: Michael Crichton’s State of Fear. He basically takes the position that the scientific data does not support the idea that human activity is causing global warming, despite the fact that it is widely reported that the scientific community is in nearly a complete consensus about this. His character, Kenner, some sort of Government agent who is chasing evil Earth Liberation Front villains who are trying to create environmental catastrophes to keep the supposedly hugely well funded environmental organizations in the money – the Kenner character challenges what he sees as conventional wisdom about global warming. The book has lots of footnotes and citations and charts that supposedly prove his premise, that weather and environmental activity are too complex to draw conclusions or even think in terms of managing it. (It’s interesting to have so much scientific looking data included in a book that is an action adventure with narrow escapes and all sorts of excitement. I’ve never read Crichton before and have to be impressed with his narrative skill in pulling this fete off.)

As to the presumed consensus of scientists about global warming caused by fossil fuel burning, he compares it to the eugenics movement of the early 20th century which was supported by nearly everyone, even leftist liberal types who should have known better (actually, to me the idea of eugenics has some merit even it did lead to the German holocaust; the only problem is the old “who decides” as to who is “feeble minded” enough to be taken out of the reproductive loop, a responsibility that provides too much easy temptation for abuse).

I certainly don’t have the knowledge to check Crichton’s sources or interpret his graphs. I can declare it all to be bullshit (if impressive bullshit) but I can’t prove it is, or I can believe it and declare global warming to be unproved bullshit, but I can’t prove that.

For a while I had an intense “how dare you” reaction to the book until I got into it. I, as the Paranoid Pessimist, had an emotional attachment to the idea of global warming, figuring it made sense and somehow served humankind right (I had the same reaction to the idea that silicone breast implants caused disease, a concept later seemingly disproved).

Still, there is an appendix in the book full of optimistic “I believe” bullet points, among them:

“ * I suspect the people of 2100 will be much richer than we are, consume more energy, have a smaller global population, and enjoy more wilderness than we have today. I don’t think we have to worry about them.”

That well may be true, but what we do have to worry about are the people between now and this golden age Crichton sees. “Have a smaller global population” ain’t a gunna happen unless there is a huge die off, or die back as some people call it. Crichton’s sunny faith in the future slips by this fact.

And, again fulfilling my role as the Paranoid Pessimist, I say that even if global warming as it is presently conceived is not true, there are plenty of other things going on environmentally that are sure to have destructive consequences (the lessening of the oil supply in a world utterly dependent on oil with no “alternative energy resources” available to pick up the slack being high on the list). Despite Crichton, I believe with Kurt Vonnegut that we have “squandered our planet’s resources, including air and water, as though there were no tomorrow, so now there isn’t going to be one.

But I could be wrong.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

'Worse Than I Thought" Archive

Bummers by the Number . . .

1., 2., 3., 4.,

The 4th Amendment forbids "unreasonable searches and seizures" by the government, but does not specifically forbid summary executions. 6.

At last men came to set me free;
I ask'd not why, and reck'd not where;
It was at length the same to me,
Fetter'd or fetterless to be,
I learn'd to love despair. Lord Byron - The Prisoner of Chillon 7.

Marshall Law is a-comin' our way. 8.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Excerpt from "Net Bomb"

Net Bomb

Once upon a time (within my living memory) institutions and their managers tolerated a little harmless "G.I. griping," thinking of it as a safety valve. As long as an employee just "bitched" and didn't try to get people to actually do anything, it was provisionally okay. But now that things generally are much more unstable, the owners and managers and their flunkies and lackeys are much more aware of how tenuous—and how foolish—their own positions are. They yearn to see themselves as bold, innovative commanders of commerce, but they secretly fear that they are both replaceable and ridiculous; so the need within them to salve their hidden insecurities by seeking out and punishing signs of dissent among their underlings has intensified, and computerization makes this ever so much easier for them.

People don't seem to grasp why the rules and dress codes and all the other utterly arbitrary things they get so picky about are so important to them. Well, it's easy. All the idiotic edicts that come down—where managers are encouraged to rule by paranoid whim, forbidding anything that makes them the least bit uneasy—serve the System's purpose by continually reminding us who do their dirtywork that our thoughts, goals, desires, notions count for nothing and should be stricken from the record if they aren't 100% "on line for the bottom line." It’s for the same reason that militaries whack off the hair of the newly inducted—to impress upon them that their preferences as to how they like to look (or whether they want to remain alive and uninjured) do not matter one little bit. That's why "top" management will almost always, unless bureaucratically cornered, back the rules and decisions of lower management, even if those rules and decisions are astonishingly pointless, petty, and lacking in any semblance of sense. It's because they all know, down deep in their cells, that the slaves have to be constantly reminded that we have no real choice but to be slaves. An edict may in and of itself be so stupid as to be laughable, if one still has the courage to laugh, but the overall effect is to empower those who control the slaves and disempower us who are the slaves. Allowing managers to practice whatever sorts of petty bullying they can devise keeps us in our place—too psychologically destabilized to think clearly enough to plot an effective escape ... or a hostile take-over.

Once you understand this you can see how everything that makes things hard for us makes it easier for the System and its supporters. The "global labor pool" not only increases profit in those institutions for which profit is the primary drive, but it further disempowers us workers. In a situation where good workers are somewhat scarce, then we have a modicum of bargaining power. But if everybody is competing with third-world peasants for whom a pennies a paycheck is a big step up, then we have no negotiating leverage whatsoever and must accept whatever terms and working conditions they choose to impose on us.

They loathe having to treat us as "human beings" when they believe wholeheartedly that we are there for nothing more than to act as components in the machinery of their advancement. They have resented every concession they have ever had to make to "employee rights." They don’t want to treat us as human beings because that diminishes their image of themselves. That’s why the hypocrisy of their efforts to be "nice" is always so obvious, if you have the nerve to see it. They think they deserve to be able to act like military drill instructors and, more important, they believe we deserve to be treated that way, and anything short of that is, to their way of "thinking," a hindrance to their effectiveness. They can’t manage worth a bean and believe we’re to blame because we want to be treated with a modicum of consideration and decency.

The current hiring practice of running computer checks on potential employees to scrutinize every possible detail of someone's prior life and eliminate anyone with anything on their record that might seem even slightly untoward also increases the System's power by delivering the message that only those who live "acceptable" lives will be acceptable as employees. The fact that someone had, for example, financial problems a decade ago has no real bearing on the kind of job they would do, but giving institutions the power to eliminate job seekers for such irrelevant trivialities keeps all employees on their toes on the straight and narrow, afraid to step even slightly out of line for even a moment, for fear of losing out when their tiny transgression pops up on somebody's database. The slaves feel as if they dare not make even the tiniest gesture of noncompliance because everything is recorded and accessible via the Internet to those who may someday pass judgement on them. Every two-bit personnel clerk now has Big Brother near as the nearest mousepad.

The personal computer and its various networks and Internets may not be evil, but they have made all this possible—the power and control they have given people who do not have the wherewithal to be entrusted with power and control has had an evil effect.

And therein lies the brilliance of my plan—if it works right and escapes from the confines of this Local Area Network into the Internet and through all the E-mail and hyperlink pathways, it will make everyone terrified of their computers, and the global networked institutional environment will lock up, and no one will know where the Reset button is. On top of that, the population downsizing that our planet so desperately needs will be off to a good start. Those who are left will either slaughter each other in a struggle for survival or—miracle of miracles—figure out how to cooperate and create a non-oppressive, non-stupid society. Either way, the spine of the System will have been snapped—at least for awhile, to give us some time and thinking room. The human race will either reach its finish line (and a case can be made by any real hard-core environmentalist why that would be a good thing) or the kind of cooperativist communitarian civilization we need will develop out of what remains, and who knows, perhaps even networked workstations may come back into common usage, with kinder, gentler software.

Monday, November 07, 2005


T. S. Elliot:
"When good does evil to fight evil, it becomes indistinguishable from the evil it is fighting."

Catherine Crier, author of Contempt: How the Right Is Wronging American Justice
"Today the radical Right is winning, and they know it. Sooner rather than later, we may be living in a very different country, a country that had been ours, a country that will be theirs." Before being plucked as a legal commentator on national television, Crier was a Republican judge in Texas.
"I no longer believe things will get better," Crier concludes, "unless and until America's real majority -- the rational, pragmatic, tolerant, Constitution-loving preponderance of U.S. Citizens -- expresses its outrage and takes action against this attempted hijacking of our beloved Republic." Source

Eric Alterman:
“You know, I’m getting a little tired of wondering, “How will the Bush cheerleaders spin this one?” every time fresh evidence appears that they were deliberately misleading the nation into war, and that this deception is responsible for the deaths of 2000 Americans, the wounding of more than ten thousand more, and the killings of tens of thousands of others, as well as the torture of who knows how many people, and the hatred of America world-wide, as well as the creation of more terrorists, one of whom, eventually, will attack us, and kill more of us, starting the whole thing again, leading to more excuses by Bush cheerleaders for their deliberate deception…” Source

Anna Quindlen:
"The leaders of the Democratic Party should take time off from their fund-raisers and visit the Vietnam Memorial, too. They should remember one of the most powerful men the party ever produced, Lyndon B. Johnson, and how he was destroyed by opposition to the war in Vietnam and bested by those brave enough to speak against it.
At least Johnson had the good sense to be heartbroken by the body bags. Bush appears merely peevish at being criticized. Someone with a trumpet should play taps outside the White House for the edification of a president who has not attended a single funeral for the Iraqi war dead." Source

  • More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.
    * Woody Allen

  • Pessimism, when you get used to it, is just as agreeable as optimism.
    * Arnold Bennett

  • The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.
    * James Branch Cabell

  • I don't consider myself a pessimist. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel soaked to the skin.
    * Leonard Cohen

  • He that hopes no good fears no ill.
    * Thomas Fuller

  •, in brief, playing the sure game. You cannot lose at it; you may gain. It is the only view of life in which you can never be disappointed. Having reckoned what to do in the worst possible circumstances, when better arise, as they may, life becomes child's play.
    * Thomas Hardy

  • If we see light at the end of the tunnel,
    It's the light of the oncoming train.
    * Robert Lowell

  • How many pessimists end up by desiring the things they fear, in order to prove that they are right.
    * Robert Mallet

  • There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist, except an old optimist.
    * Mark Twain

  • Logic and sermons never convince,
    The damp of the night drives deeper into my soul.
    * Walt Whitman

  • Sunday, November 06, 2005

    Who is "We" by David R. Henderson

    An article I liked and thought said good, important things here.

    "Proponents ... thought of society as an organism – and of each of you, dear readers, as simply a cell in some part of the organism. And just as our cells have no importance outside their ability to serve our whole body, in the aforementioned three ideologies, our whole beings had no importance aside from their ability to serve the whole society. So, of what value was the individual? He was simply a tool for the ends of others, none of whom have importance either because they, also, were tools. And if society was an organism, then it made sense for the head to run things, right? Government was thought to be the head. And, of course, because there were many people within government, the true head was leader of the government . . ."