Tame Capital

From Bob Fulkerson: Nordhaus symbolizes all that is wrong about the environmental movement’s embrace of conventional economics.
“Remarkably, Nordhaus—like most orthodox economists—has never bothered to consider this question. The growth-is-good mantra is so baked into our consciousness that to question it seems almost crazy. Indeed, growthism is hegemonic to the point of transcending ideology. Politicians on the left and right alike hold it up as the single most important policy objective; they may quarrel about how to make growth happen, and how to distribute its yields, but on the question of growth itself there’s no daylight between them.”

Me:

This is why it is important to understand that when all is said and done, there is but one perspective that is sponsored in our current political system and that is a capitalist perspective. It goes unchallenged in our political debates because there exists no viable opposition. There is advocacy, sometimes, for small fixes but never, at least in the mainstream of politics, any for fixes meaningful enough to cause a change in direction even if such is vital to survival. The cost to real people, to most people, of a society in which profit, not people or their planet, is profound but, terribly so, it is profiteers who have the money to buy power and they use it consistently to insure continued profits. The cost to others is always but a minor consideration if it is a consideration at all.

One more thing: We–people who really do care about people and planet–continue to react to incidents when we should be using our energy to deal with causes. The cause of most all of the problems progressives fight to solve can be linked to our–now global–economic system. Money is power because money buys power to buy more power. The fix is in nixing this equation, making it unworkable, ineffective. If we save a forest, while we are doing the work, some other forest somewhere is being destroyed, and so it goes and will continue to go so unless we tame capital, force those who hold the bulk of it to use it for the good of planet and humanity, this, to some extent, necessitating its redistribution.

Empathetically Weak. Empathy is Weakness

Nevada Sagebrush article

This shouldn’t have to be a topic of discussion on campus but it must be because there are terrible people running around doing terrible things to others. It is terribly sad that we live in a country where violence is a regular part of life and that young people have to find ways to cope with their legitimate fears of being harmed. Those who do harm to others, those who make others live in fear are, simply put, bad people, bad because they lack something of critical importance to a civil society, empathy.

How can some people be so numb to the pain they cause others? Perhaps it has something to do with the not so hidden ethos that is accompanies capitalism, the underlying theme that is actually appreciated more than we are willing to speak of that makes winning more important than compassion, that causes many who wish to “succeed” to ignore the cost of their success for others.

There exists in our society a tension between practicality and compassion and a notion of practicality that inures people to empathy for empathy prevents a person from acting boldly and decisively. Empathy undermines a “winning spirit.” He or she who would not hurt a flea is a fool!

The answer to violence in our society is empathy. The answer to violence in the world is empathy. But empathy threatens threatens the empire because the empire thrives on division, on the one against the other, one winning and losers and winning and losing. It is an empire and it is ruled by those with the least compassion, the least amount of empathy. Such people “get things done.” They get what they want. They get their way. And to get there, they have to push others out of their way even if it means killing them.

Nevada Sage Brush: “Anti-semitism, racism and prejudice, ADA accessibility and sexual assault on campus were the primary agenda items. Attendees were broken into smaller groups to create a more intimate setting for a conversation.

Anti-semitism was focused on during the town hall due to a swastika that was carved into the wall of Peavine Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 30. Due to the vandalism, a hate crime investigation was opened.”

I STILL DO NOT LIKE GEORGE H.W. BUSH

I STILL DO NOT LIKE GEORGE H. W. BUSH AND FOR VERY GOOD REASON.

When George H.W. Bush was president, I thought him to be, for many a good reason, a bad person and not a good one. So did many of those now praising him. Okay, he got older and maybe he became a better person. But that is not what he is being praised for; he is being called a great man and a great leader FOR what he did as a public servant.

Are we so stupid as to forget the past, to revise history for the sake of some weird sense of propriety? To praise those whose beliefs and deeds do great harm is symptomatic of something far worse than bad ideas, an inability to understand where they come from and the real beliefs of those who propagate them.

“In a 2009 speech, George H.W. Bush said that Bill Clinton was not his enemy, but his friend.” (From CNN). What I get from this is that there is a class of people in this country who view politics as a game amongst friends. What is difficult to like about this is the cost to others of their playing at this game. To gain election, they accentuate important differences in world view so as to give hope that alternatives to the status quo are possible. In reality, within meaningful contexts of how the world is and will be, they only are different enough that little that is truly important will be affected no matter who wins at the game; things will remain pretty much as they are because as they are, things are pretty good for THEM.

Political opponents in a truly democratic system offer alternatives, representing different ways of going about–it should be–making life better for those who participate in the electoral process. What is most important IS their differences and the debate over how to go about doing things that ensues.

In the case of our modern day “democracy,” the differences are so insubstantial that those with what seem to be critically different political views, who possess different perspectives on how the lives of others should be considered, can reconcile so quickly. That the “opponents” can not only come to respect one another–even if the actions of one or the other is not respectable, even outright inhumane– but also come to see greatness in that other, is a sign that the game is but spectacle, of no gravity.

The truth of the matter is that other people, hardly ever the players themselves, are hurt by those so made respectable and great. Lives are destroyed and people killed. The electoral process, because it has little to do with meaningful differences between the “choices” offered is, to, spectacle, a hollow gesture to a democratic process that really does not exist.