Tag Archives: Karl Marx

Opiates: still the Religion of the People

As <wiki>Huxley</wiki> paraphrased Marx in Brave New World Revisited: Once upon a midnight bored out of my freakin’ skull and pondering the imponderable, as oftimes I do, comes The Commercial for a “Happy Pill”, refreshing in its brutal honesty.  WellTabs, Hey, they put a lot of thought into that name.
 
Are you sad, anxious, tired, restless, beat-up, beat-down, ragged, dragged or just plain not feeling good?  Take Our Dope!!  All natural!!  or “some of the ingredients are all natural”

Big Pharma usually has the trippiest commercials, pipe people for a pee-pee problem, a grey bathrobe following you around for an antidepressant, wonder catheters that make you happy, diabetic finger-stick-readers all smiles…  (and a butterfly design)

A list of probable ways the crap will kill you that would scare you silly if you weren’t taking dope to turn your brain off.  (My favorite was a diet pill where the second-to-last side effect mentioned was “uncontrollable anal leakage”)

Sometimes I think the ad producers get paid in merchandise.  They promise, in short, Soma.  That’s what Huxley called it in Brave New World.  There’s actually a narcotic sleeping pill with that name.  Damn shame that Big Business got it declared Porn.  Gotta keep the Masses shivering in fear of Socialists so The Masses don’t notice it’ the Capitalists screwing us.  “Animal Farm” (written by a Socialist” – Good.  “Brave New World” – Baaaaad.

They have the same group of Majority Shareholder (face it , kids, when the 18 political wankers tell you they care about Grandma’s pension they’re simply Lying, the one thing they do best, followed by shirking military service and Real Work, about which the LIE when confronted) yea, veriy, brethren and sistren, the Same jerkoffs who own the businesses which sell us the most gas guzzling cars, the gas itself, McGreaseburgers and Diet Plans, Alcohol and Anabuse, sleeping pills and the so-called “Puritan” work ethic that sleep is evil and we should take stimulants to work harder (Boxer’s Last Words as related by Squealer) Smog and asthma/COPD meds, stress that makes you impotent (and stops your heart) and Viagra, Cialis and Smiling bob’s Magic Penis Pills (which also stops your heart)

… and Uncontrollable Anal Leakage. 

Don;t worry, though they sell Adult Diapers too…

The sell us Sugar in quantities and forms never intended by God or Nature or both, then sell us diabetic supplies shipped direct to your door.

There was another commercial right after the Happy Pill one pictures in black & wAhem… A knife sharpener.  $ 19.95.  Damn it, I know people who can’t write their own names, but know better than using an unsharpened knife.  They also know how to sharpen knives.

Which once again begs the question: “Is you completely lost yo’ MIND?”  If you can’t figure out what to do with a knife, might I suggest you use a baseball bat instead?  Not that you’d have more success, but a lot of stoners would pay to watch the videos.

Now, yours truly was, in his mis-spent and wicked youth, a space cadet.  Many an intriguing story beings “Me and my cousins/brothers/friend/rand strangers/who happened/to/have/dope were gettin’ stoned and we thought it would be a good idea to…”)  Learned many a wondrous thing, like “When you take acid the best thing to watch, Sesame Street because they already go monsters and like, the colors are fantastic!!”  That was from a guy who used pick-up lines like “I want to be a lesbian”, which actually worked.  Then again, he had some WEIRD girlfriends who would respond to “Wow, that stop sign sure is RED!!”

Not the intellectual high pint of my life.

But I learned a few things.

In 8th grade we were shown an anti dope film about The Perfect Drug.  Like, “what if “they” developed a pill that gets you high without side effects?”  Like Soma from “Brave New World” or WellTabs.

If you have the patience to watch the commercial all the way, they offer the first dose Free.  The First shot is ALWAYS free.  Just ask any junkie.  Goes with “Never get high with assholes” and “Never drink anything blue” and “If you stop breathing you probably took too much”.

I also learned that you friendly neighborhood pusher works for the Shadow Government.  The same 1%s who would sell their own mommas if they could find somebody who actually buys skanks.  Big Brother has his nasty little hands in everything.

Anima sana in corpore sano, and the Happy Pill seems to be a vitamin and other nutrient supplement.  Still being pushed like dope.   Message is probably more harmful than the substance.  Bark worse than bite literally.

If proper nutrition would become addictive, cool.  It won’t have an instant effect, and to keep the good mood and energy going you would need meditation, exercise and a more harmonious diet, with a lot less toxins.

Marketing tells us otherwise.  We’ve become so used to seeing instant results, as in “Take this pill and you problem disappears before the end of this commercial” that we thing the In Reality half hour it takes for the pill to have a measurable, palpable effect, means the recommended dose isn’t enough so we add more.  That part was noticed decades ago.  We believe the hype of “Your friendly burger joint clown or Fairy Dope Mother will make you happy.”  even with the certain Knowledge it won’t.

That’s the magic of Pavlovian conditioning.  Black is White if they sell us so.  and they do sell us.  Gold has a certain grip in humanity, with any practicality coming late in our history.  (computer parts, and really nothing more)

The mere sight of it draws us into madness, to hold it in one’s hand makes thieves and murderers of the Best of men  Invites destruction in our midst and the gold should have been left buried, held safely beyond our reach. Mutter Erde should have kept if from us the way a human mother would keep rat poison beyond the reach of her toddlers.

Instead we became “smarter” than she, and learned to find it.

And to sell poison to each other to obtain it.

Disclaimer”  I don’t buy stuff off the T.V. so I don’t know if WellTabs actually works even temporarily, but at least my criticism of the inherent falsehood of commercialism won’t cause uncontrolled anal leakage, and if it does, you might stop that by dispassionate evaluation of you other life choices.

It is impossible to be overly cynical.  Soylent Green is PEOPLE.

George Who?

This is a paper from some time ago, well prior to the advent of Occupy events. Henry George wrote from a sensibility one rarely finds expressed so explicitly today. The modern reader should note that Christian underpinnings in no way disrupt either the reasoned logic or the passionate humanity behind George’s arguments. Follow the links! Many Occupiers have promoted education, the deeper aspects of which are rarely available in 3 page tracts….

For Eric Stephenson
16 February 2009

George Who?

It seems peculiar that in 2009 no one has heard of Henry George, if only for the fact that during his prime a hundred years past his was easily one of the most recognizable names on Earth. Just a journalist really, George’s hardscrabble upbringing, his early experience in the business world, and maybe just a little OCD inspired him to craft an entirely new approach to economic theory. Its publication very quickly garnered him international acclaim, respect, and supportive friendship from many of the greatest figures of his day. Many, encountering his work for the first time today, would no doubt label him a Commie, particularly given that George’s work followed Marx and Engels’ by three decades. This misinterprets George. His thinking split the difference between Adam Smith and the Communist theorists in many ways, sharing common ground with both camps but firmly establishing his own territory. His work deserves a second reading.

George was born in Philadelphia, September, 1839, to a family headed by a hardworking but low-budget printer. By providing the Church cut-rate printing services, George’s devout father enabled Henry to garner a relatively high-standard primary education from the Episcopal Academy. He left home after high-school seeking his own way, and after a brief period of adventuring, found himself in San Francisco where he joined the Printer’s Union, following in his father’s footsteps after all.

George lived a poor man’s life–same as any tradesman at the height of the Robber Barons’ power–until an editor at the San Francisco Times came across a piece he had written and left lying around. He accepted an offered staff writing position at $50 a week, which seemed a princely amount compared with his father’s $800 a year. He traveled quite a bit for the Times, and in 1868 on assignment in New York City first encountered the squalid conditions surrounding and adjoining vaunted islands of luxury and power that would inform and undergird his writing for the rest of his life.

Having gained considerable respect as a newsman and a fair amount of seed-money, George and a partner, William Hinton, established the San Francisco Evening Post in 1871. George unabashedly used the paper as a human rights platform until 1877, when, some say, powerful railroad interests against whom he had written since his SF Times days shut the Evening Post down. Quickly landing a government post through highly-placed friendships he had developed, he used the leisure time it afforded to produce his magnum opus, Progress and Poverty, and published it in 1879. George moved to New York in 1880 and promptly left for England and Ireland, touring there to support Irish land support. By the time he returned, his life had changed forever. Progress and Poverty had made him a celebrity (de Mille 1-152).

George’s political economy laid out in his roughly 600 page book begins with his assertion that Smith’s approach established private land ownership as the foundation of economic and social structure, referring often to “the sacred rights of private property” (Smith, par. 1.11.79). So far few would argue, but George figured this skewed, and brazenly wrote that, “[t]he great cause of inequality in the distribution of wealth is inequality in the ownership of land. The ownership of land is the great fundamental fact which ultimately determines the intellectual and moral condition of a people….[I]t necessarily follows that the only remedy for the unjust distribution of wealth is in making land common property” (295, 391). He argued that as a foundational natural resource there is no basis for sequestering land in private hands. He proposed to hold land in common and allot it to users for as long as they needed, for whatever production they could derive from it, and the holder would pay tax, (rent), on its assessed value until relinquished. The holder and any capital or labor involved would keep whatever profit came from the working of the land, and the public would base taxation only upon the land itself. Note that this negates both income and capital gains taxes. (During George’s prominence, no federal income tax existed in the United States). George insisted the extensive system described philosophically in Progress and Poverty, and rather more technically in The Science of Political Economy, would adequately supply the government’s fiscal needs without additional taxes while simultaneously encouraging entrepreneurship and curtailing development of a landed class.

Marx, whose seminal works came before George, but close enough that both wrote from the surrounding milieu of the Industrial Revolution, addressed similar problems. He and those following took the matter to a deeper extreme, however, allowing for no private ownership of either property or capital. Marx expressed a well known hostility to capital. The familiar Communist adage, “Property is Theft,” represents a drastic condensation from Marx’s arguments that labor always seems to wind up on the short end of dealings with those holding either land or capital (Marx, chap. 6, par.2). Like George, Marx chafed at the inequities this arrangement produced, especially with the exacerbations of capital lording over labor, which industrial development had completely disassociated from the land producing the wealth. “The means of production and of exchange, on whose foundation the bourgeoisie built itself up,” says Marx, “were generated in feudal society,” (Marx, and Engels 1848, chap. 1, par. 21).The Communists implemented a far more radical seizure of all private property, including both land and capital, consolidating it under a central federal power (chap. 2, par. 75). Contrarily, George felt that capital deserved its due, and sought to rectify the problems he saw by implementation of a more enlightened “single tax.”

A few germane observations present themselves for discussion. Smith, George, and Marx all expressed notions we might call idealist—Utopian even. Each sought to solve timeless conundrums with an incredibly optimistic approach. Jaded 21st century readers might consider any one of them painfully naive, in retrospect. None of them had the advantage of the hindsight we enjoy, however, and fruitlessly denying the problems each pointed out in his broader work does not help at all. Smith wrote when, fresh from the collapse of European Feudalism, land served as the key to wealth of any kind, and still viewed as an unlimited resource for the grabbing. The vast inequities the Industrial Revolution had abruptly produced vexed George and the Communists. None of these could have predicted today’s technological, information based economies, with the problems they addressed dispersed over the entire planet. Today, the rate of separation between the “Haves” and the “Have Nots” poises to exceed the conditions affecting either set of writers.
George did not design a perfect system. Neither, as amply demonstrated by both history and current events, did Smith or Marx. Henry George thoughtfully and humanely addressed a terribly intractable matter in human affairs, however, and deliberately allowed for future thinkers to expand his work. His work deserves contemplation as we forge into a new century fraught with uncertainties. Our present crisis may help encourage just that.

Works Cited

De Mille, Anna George. Henry George: Citizen of the World. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1950.
George, Henry. Progress and Poverty: An Inquiry into the Cause of Industrial Depressions and of Want with Increase of Wealth: The Remedy. 1898. New York, New York: The Robert Shalkenbach Foundation, 1979. 17 February 2009

Marx, Karl. Wage-Labor Capital. 1849. 17 February 2009

Marx, K. and Engels, F. Manifesto of the Communist Party. 1848. 17 February 2009

Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. 1776. Ed. Edwin Cannan. 5th ed. London: Methuen & Co., Ltd., 1904. 17 February 2009

United States Department of the Treasury. Fact Sheets: Taxes. 17 February 2009 (This link is obsolete).

Karl Rove admits error in Iraq strategy

ERROR? wtf? Since when, exactly, does a long string of bald-faced Lies work out as being mistakes? Saying something is orange when it’s actually red is a “mistake”. Losing count of how many beers you drank before getting behind the wheel is a “mistake”. Voting for Bush once would be a “mistake” and twice would be unspeakable stupidity, (or Complicity).
 
Underestimating the strength of the will of Human Beings to not be conquered, murdered and robbed might be a very large and stupid mistake, but once it’s been pointed out that it never works and has historically FAILED every damn time, then it becomes Sheer Arrogance to push on with it. Not a “mistake”. After being warned, calling everybody who warned you “Traitors, Idiots, Moonbats, Bleeding Hearts, Deluded, Crazy, Terrorist Sympathizers” and so forth, then having your collective nose rubbed in the big steaming pile of your own “mistake”… and then pushing on… that’s not a “mistake”. That’s, in the case of sending Americans to kill and die for your money and your arrogance, Treason. And Murder. Thousands of counts of Capital Murder just for the American Soldiers, made airtight Capital Murder by the Patriot Act and several Executive Orders that Karl Rove wrote.

Any one count of a serviceman murdered by their treasonous actions would get the entire Bush Administration including Rove and their Ministry of Propaganda Fox News HANGED. Much as I’m opposed to Capital Punishment, I believe I’d buy tickets to the event.

Then there are the murders of Iraqi and Afghan and Somali and Sudanese and Pakistani and Uighur and Filipino and the list goes on Civilians and Prisoners of War, Each one of them an act of Capital Murder by reason of it being Terrorism. And again, through the definitions provided by Rove and Jeb Bush and Condi Rice and their fellow PNAC Imperialists.

Which one would be a Mistake?

How a ‘credit crunch’ can help kick an economic depression into place

jenny_and_marx.jpg In a system…where the entire continuity of the…process rests upon credit, a crisis must obviously occur — a tremendous rush for means of payment — when credit suddenly ceases and only cash payments have validity. At first glance, therefore, the whole crisis seems to be merely a credit and money crisis. And in fact it is only a question of the convertibility of bills of exchange into money.

But the majority of these bills represent actual sales and purchases, whose extension far beyond the needs of society is, after all, the basis of the whole crisis. At the same time, an enormous quantity of these bills of exchange represents plain swindle, which now reaches the light of day and collapses; furthermore, unsuccessful speculation with the capital of other people; finally, commodity-capital which has depreciated or is completely unsaleable, or returns that can never more be realized again.

The entire artificial system of forced expansion of the [ecomony] cannot, of course, be remedied by having some bank, like the [Federal Reserve], give to all the swindlers the deficient capital by means of its paper and having it buy up all the depreciated commodities at their old nominal values.

Incidentally, everything here appears distorted, since in this paper world, the real price and its real basis appear nowhere, but only bullion, metal coin, notes, bills of exchange, securities. Particularly in centers where the entire money business of the country is concentrated, like London [or New York]…the entire process becomes incomprehensible.