Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 09, 2005

A.F.E.S. of A.

I am thinking for a while now about a concept some have named the "Authoritarian Free-Enterprise State" of America and how to cope with it. Anna-missed has one possible answer.

by anna missed (lifted from a comment)

Our government has ceased to be a government, and has instead become a corporate "facilitator". It has shorn itself from any public responsibility or morality or even civility in to most elementary sense. Its "soul" purpose now is to act only in the capital interest of its elite shareholders. Morality and ethics are determined only by the legal perimeters which they define as in the "interests" of the "nation".

The Iraq war and the hurricane Katrina only serve to illustrate how far down the road we have come, and beyond the obvious violations of morality, and so within their radicalness, fissures in the veneer will often appear -- when the blatant and glaring contradiction of the product being sold is seen with crystal clarity, as being fraudulent.

Unfortunately for the administration, their project of selling people their own demise, requires a major and risky advertising adventure that must continually be ratcheted up to contain ever greater lies. So as we see, in mats post, they must now create illusions of benevolence within a disaster, that mask, so obviously, their predictable corporate mentality, of opportunistic seizure of wealth without accountability.

Short of armed insurrection, or an epiphany within the press, or some miracle of renewed political representation, what we are left with is to channel our anger (within these fissures between product and advertising) into a culturally derived stake aimed at the heart of the beast -- its credibility -- because an illusion of America, is not America.

Posted by b on September 9, 2005 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

Comments

Forgive the reposting:

Authoritarian

A federal appeals court ruled today that the president can indefinitely detain a U.S. citizen captured on U.S. soil in the absence of criminal charges, holding that such authority is vital to protect the nation from terrorist attacks. ... The decision by a three-judge panel was written by Judge J. Michael Luttig, who is one of a number of people under consideration by President Bush for nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

America, where are you?

Posted by: Hamburger | Sep 9, 2005 1:11:32 PM | 1

what is fascinating to me is that this authoritarian "free" enterprise state (an apt description) drives an ideological crowbar right down the middle of what seemed a seamless set of rightwing/neocon/neoclassical assumptions, i.e. that "free markets" unregulated, inevitably produce maximal liberty and pareto optimisation.

the oxymoron of "authoritarian" and "free" (as in market) -- i.e. the spectacle of private mercenaries participating in police-state tactics, etc. must be producing deep cognitive dissonance in at least some hardcore "capitalist-libertarians" on the Right. much as the spectacle of an elite nomenklatura directing repressive State powers against the people gave any honest Communist a virtual aneurysm during the Stalinist period...? theory meets practise with a nasty thud, tinkle, whong-whong as the wheels all fall off?

what privatisation seems to mean in practise is that government becomes the private police force and enforcers (not to mention spin doctors) of the elite -- a national version of the archetypical "dirty little nightmare third world town" of film noir. it means increasing the intrusive powers of government in the sense of repression and physical violence, armed might, detention, surveillance, interrogation, etc. -- into the lives of "little people" -- but decreasing its powers to impinge on any way on the plutocrats. government will be small enough to drown in a bathtub when it comes to taxation or the provision of public goods and services, but huge as Goliath when it comes to arbitrary arrest and search, eminent domain, indefinite detention, censorship, invasion of other nations, etc.

nothing that ain't been said before by others, and better. but it is all there in "authoritarian free enterprise state"...

Posted by: DeAnander | Sep 9, 2005 4:33:20 PM | 2

I know I'm a one-trick pony on this subject; but I would really like to see as many people as possible read Jane Jacobs' "Systems of Survival: A Dialogue on the Moral Foundations of Commerce and Politics".

Here in a very brief, and hopefully not too disjointed, form is her basic thesis:

When it comes to working life, humans have two general ways of making a living: taking and trading. All animals have “taking;” that is, they go out and find what they need and use it. Hunting and gathering societies are “takers”. To this, humans add trading. Because of the different requirements of these two systems, two separate moral syndromes have developed.

Jane Jacobs call these the Guardian Syndrome and the Commercial Syndrome. The Guardian syndrome applies to work that applies to the administration of territory for the most part – government work, the military, the police, many environmental groups, and aspects of law and education. The Commercial syndrome applies to work involving trade: all commerce, manufacturing, and science.

Here are the moral values associated with each syndrome:

The Guardian Syndrome

Shun trading
Exert prowess
Be obedient and disciplined
Adhere to tradition
Respect hierarchy
Be loyal
Take vengeance
Deceive for the sake of the task
Make rich use of leisure
Be ostentatious
Dispense largesse
Be exclusive
Show fortitude
Be fatalistic
Treasure honour

The Commercial Syndrome

Shun force
Come to voluntary agreements
Be honest
Collaborate easily with strangers and aliens
Compete
Respect contracts
Use initiative and enterprise
Be open to inventiveness and novelty
Be efficient
Promote comfort and convenience
Dissent for the sake of the task
Invest for productive purposes
Be industrious
Be thrifty
Be optimistic

She describes these points in detail; why they go together, and how they interact.

One of her major points is that neither of these syndromes is “right” or “wrong.” They are appropriate or inappropriate. Using the wrong syndrome in the wrong time and place will lead to havoc.

The other major point she makes is that these are SYNDROMES. They cannot be mixed, without creating what she calls “monstrous hybrids” suffering from “intractable moral corruption.”

Some examples of syndrome mixing:

The Mafia and other organized criminals: run Commercial enterprises using Guardian values.
Communism: also run Commercial enterprises using Guardian values – but from a “legitimate” position.
Prisons: when run by for-profit companies
Banks: when making international loans at the behest of government

And not the least of my examples:

The whole Military-Industrial Complex. Once you understand the syndromes, the name alone tells you it is morally corrupt and cannot be anything but morally corrupt. You have production being run in accordance with Guardian values, leading to weak, inefficient, deceptive, nepotistic industries that stifle any attempt to change. Even worse, the people this corruption have fostered are now in every level of government, bring the tattered remains of their Commercial morality to corrupt the government; trading what should be secret information, and rejecting such positive qualities of the Guardian syndrome as Loyalty, Fortitude and Honour. Sure; they are efficient, industrious and inventive -–when it comes to creating tools to destroy the planet. They have none of the “conservative” qualities of the Guardian syndrome, which should be exactly that: conserving of the environment, culture and law. They are Guardians who do not Guard anything but themselves.

http://www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft9312/reviews/glendon.html

Posted by: Ferdzy | Sep 9, 2005 6:39:23 PM | 3

OK Ferdzy. I was sufficiently impressed by Dark Age Ahead -- and by what little I remember of Death and Life of Great American Cities -- that I will read Systems of Survival soon. it's on my list.

Posted by: DeAnander | Sep 9, 2005 6:44:36 PM | 4

I have to say, while I have been impressed with almost everything she has written, I could not get through "Dark Age Ahead". It seemed more like an outline than a book. She is plainly a slow, plodding thinker who goes from point a to b to c to d to e, etc, etc methodically and with great thoroughness. I think she needed another 5 or 10 years to really chew over the ideas in that book and being 80 or 90 something she didn't take the time...

but seriously, I'd say "Systems of Survival" gave me a handle on how to find a way of making a living that didn't destroy my sanity and self-respect.

Posted by: Ferdzy | Sep 9, 2005 6:58:55 PM | 5

BUSH ELIMINATES MINIMUM WAGE IN LA!!!


NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do by this proclamation suspend, as to all contracts entered into on or after the date of this proclamation and until otherwise provided, the provisions of subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code, 40 U.S.C. 3141-3148, and the provisions of all other acts providing for the payment of wages, which provisions are dependent upon determinations by the Secretary of Labor under section 3142 of title 40, United States Code, as they apply to contracts to be performed in the following jurisdictions: the counties of Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke...

Posted by: John Francis Lee | Sep 9, 2005 8:26:07 PM | 6

Yeah, the Bush system isn't "free enterprise" but controlled enterprise. Nothing connected with a free bidding process for how Halliburton gets their non-compete guaranteed minimum profit contracts.

Posted by: christofay | Sep 9, 2005 9:12:22 PM | 7

Bush Administration Bungled Post-9/11 Economic Relief


The AP review looked at two Sept. 11 loan recovery programs administered by the Small Business Administration…In Colorado, companies approved for loans included liquor stores, a rug company in Aspen, Big O tires, Quiznos sandwich shops, a nail salon in Englewood, a cleaning service in Fort Collins and a drive-through hamburger stand in Colorado Springs that received approval for $995,000.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 9, 2005 9:44:23 PM | 8

Bush Administration Bungled Post-9/11 Economic Relief


The AP review looked at two Sept. 11 loan recovery programs administered by the Small Business Administration…In Colorado, companies approved for loans included liquor stores, a rug company in Aspen, Big O tires, Quiznos sandwich shops, a nail salon in Englewood, a cleaning service in Fort Collins and a drive-through hamburger stand in Colorado Springs that received approval for $995,000.

Oh, and just in:

Plame leak investigation drawing to a close

[L]awyers close to the investigation say there are signs that the 20-month-long inquiry could be wrapped up within weeks in a final flurry of negotiations and legal maneuvering,” Reuters reports. September 8, 2005 7:33 pm |

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 9, 2005 9:52:04 PM | 9

A quick hello ...

The SBA loans were also granted to New York City businesses, with very low (no?) interest and generous terms.

They also required personal gurantees (i.e. your house) in the case I am familiar with.

With NYC's downtown core losing ground as it was, there were many faltering businesses that took advantage.

I didn't know that it was pork. Really.

Pork. 911 Pork. It's almost a phone number:

"If you need asssistance call 911-PORK."

Posted by: jonku | Sep 9, 2005 10:46:40 PM | 10

correction.....america is more than the united states OF america for all you folks that can't quite figure that out for yourselfs.
yes. your government and corporations think they own all of the americas, but hugo and the ghost tend to disagree.

Posted by: lenin's ghost | Sep 9, 2005 11:10:45 PM | 11

When it comes to working life, humans have two general ways of making a living: taking and trading. All animals have “taking;” that is, they go out and find what they need and use it. Hunting and gathering societies are “takers”. To this, humans add trading.

if that's jacobs' foundation, i would be leary of buying into anything she builds on top of that premise. seems to me that a better case could be made for the opposite pairing - trading on the part of animals & hunter/gatherers and taking on behalf of civilized peoples. most of the hunter/gatherer societies that i've read up on never considered the thought of working to make a living. and what they did "take" from their surroundings were considered gifts or sacrifices in a continuing system of natural & spiritual balance. there certainly was a tradeoff underlying any, for lack of better word at this moment, transaction. the animal gives up his life to the hunter in order that he can survive & in return the hunter assumes responsibility for the animal's kin. continual sacrifice & sharing are natural processes of life. we see examples of symbiotic tradeoffs throughout the natural world. hunter/gatherer societies lived harmoniously intertwined w/ their surroundings, in communication w/ all things, very aware of this larger web of life, their relationship w/i it & the importance of maintaining sustainability.

otoh, civilized societies have found the means to remove themselves from the natural world and live in one of their own imagining. abstractions. objectification. commodification. all being attempts to control their environment, to exert dominance over nature, the domestication of the wild, the domestication of other men. property. possessions. power. true trade was never good enough for civilized man. behind nearly every civilized version of trade one doesn't have to look hard to see the motive of profit or exploit, conscious or ingrained. but the act of taking, that is where modern humans have distinguished themselves from all others. taking land. taking minerals. taking life. taking over.

Posted by: b real | Sep 10, 2005 1:08:54 AM | 12

Ferdzy,

Thank you so much for that synopsis of Systems of Survival. I really appreciate this. Very interesting.

One of her major points is that neither of these syndromes is “right” or “wrong.” They are appropriate or inappropriate. Using the wrong syndrome in the wrong time and place will lead to havoc.

I completely agree with this. This is great to see it expressed elsewhere. My feeling is that the Guardian Syndrome is inappropriate for the time which is why it is being "eased out". Due, maybe, to a new era developing in contrast to that which came as a result of the Industrial Revolution. We are in flux now, but, the ideas of cooperation, conservation, etc., will have to be adopted out of necessity. I think the guardians are grasping for their survival not realizing that they might be needed again in the future.

Posted by: jm | Sep 10, 2005 1:28:21 AM | 13

A robin sticks her beak into the earth and takes out a worm. The Orangutan with his prehensile grip takes fruit from the trees. Man with his complicated set of digits does seem to take a large portion, but taking, thus far is essential to survival.

Posted by: jm | Sep 10, 2005 1:36:21 AM | 14

the tax man takes 15-28% of cajun man's earnings. big storm comes. cajun man dies five days after waiting for fed emergency assistance.

the robin and the orangutan give back what they take in another form that contributes to more life. can't say the same for man.

Posted by: b real | Sep 10, 2005 1:48:45 AM | 15

I think the jury is still deliberating on man.

There are a lot of darling bouncing little baby humans coming into manifestation every millisecond and life seems to desire this.

Posted by: jm | Sep 10, 2005 2:05:17 AM | 16

I'm old enough to actually have been in Spain under Franco (in my case 1970-72). People don't do revolutions anymore, and the bastards won't let you get rid of them legitimately.

Hence my belief that the Dems are a lost cause.

So you're left with scenarii like Rumania, Argentina, Spain, and my favorite, the old USSR.

Bush will likely died peacefully in bed like Franco as opposed to the Ceaucescu ending I'd really wish for him, but ultimately, the country must first fall apart, I mean really fall apart, for change to come.

That's the only kick in the gonads a nation can understand.

I'll be delighted if we, the US of A, created a new precedent and could steer back towards Humanity without the pre-required shit times, but I can't quite believe it will happen.

Posted by: Lupin | Sep 10, 2005 2:39:04 AM | 17

John Francis Lee - Wow! Dude! George Bush didn't just suspend minimum wages. Re-read the second paragraph! He just suspended *prevailing wages*!

If you work in the trades, you know exactly what that means. A carpenter who usually makes between $18 to $25 an hour, depending on the state, can now be paid any amount, to "will work for food."

Since the reconstruction also means its totally in the Federal government's hands, and will go
as IDIQ to established Federal contractors like HAL-KBR, that means temp workers, for example, can be flown in from *outside the US* to work for $3.50 an hour on just shelter and food rations.

That means the local people's chances to regain some of their lost wealth, by working on the Fed reconstruction projects for a prevailing wage, just blew a big fat tire as the wheels came off.
All the work will be work-for-hire chain-gangs!
All the profits will go to multinational corps!

I interviewed a guy who worked on the Columbia River dams during the Great Depression. He told me they paid him room, board, and 25c a *day*.

Under this declaration, that's exactly what the New Orleans reconstruction program, not just Federal property, but anything paid by Federal aid, can become. A race to slavery wages, but
it's with **our taxes as the charitable aid**!!

They are actually going to use *our* charitable
aid, which is what Congress's $60B aid package is, to extract maximum profits for corporate
contractors, using this emergency declaration,
to pay reconstruction workers sub-minimum wage!

!!!!I just can't believe what I'm reading!!!!

Like someone else here said, all that $60B is going to end up as 95% "administrative overhead", and 5% to the people, working sub-minimum wage.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do by this proclamation suspend, as to all contracts entered into on or after the date of this proclamation and until otherwise provided, the provisions of subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code, 40 U.S.C. 3141-3148, and the provisions of all other acts providing for the payment of wages, which provisions are dependent upon determinations by the Secretary of Labor under section 3142 of title 40, United States Code, as they apply to contracts to be performed in the following jurisdictions: the counties of Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke...

http://www.globalnewsmatrix.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=2503

CORPORATE-SOCIALISM JUST BECAME STALINISM USA!

Posted by: lash marks | Sep 10, 2005 2:40:09 AM | 18

lash marks,

Guess this is what w's cronys get paid to do. Just heard tonight that 4out of the top 6 FEMA executives have no real experience in disaster relief. And w seems to think this is is just fine: "Brownie your doin a great job". You got to admit that from w's perspective this is what's expected. A kind of planned incompetence, in that of course the're real mission is moving the corporate ball forward(& leaving the government program behind), forget about the presumed mission (& what ever that might imply). Everything they do is orchestrated this way -- pack every (hated) government agency with kiss asses and Brown noses that actively work against the function of that agency that are willing to take the heat for w when that function is exposed for being "incompetent" (while doggedly pursuing the alternative agenda of privitization). This allows privitization to replace government because government has just shown itself to be incompetent to the task at hand, while all the dislocation, chaos, and death is just a convenient by product -- which incidentally, also works toward the same end. The only beloved tool of government, and so brilliantly showcased -- in virtually every video scene --for any nay-sayers to plainly see in New Orleans (&the rest of the country), the military is paramount in the distinction of where the cutting edge of competence and intent really lies. As clear as tracer fire in the night.

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 10, 2005 3:41:02 AM | 19

Iraq reconstruction stops as US regime quietly cancels funding

http://www.theinsider.org/news/article.asp?id=1520>Link

Posted by: Noisette | Sep 10, 2005 5:19:18 AM | 20

Thanks for the link, Noisette. I like this quote:

The money all ends up being diverted through US companies in what could be seen as the biggest embezzlement and money laundering operation in world history.

Quite a challenge for old Brownie, sent back to DC to manage the FEMA billions.

Posted by: Hamburger | Sep 10, 2005 5:38:51 AM | 21

holy bird, b real.

You really got me on this one. You are arguing against ferdzy's posting about the syndromes orf guardians versus traders that Jane Jacobs writes about.

Then you just go off! Well, I've read a little of her book about the two styles and I'm going back to read this thread but I wanted to appreciate your comments.

And I do.

Posted by: jonku | Sep 10, 2005 6:00:16 AM | 22

Yo, Anna Missed.

Why don't you flesh that out, it's near about the best I've heard on what's really going on.

And we know it's going on.

Posted by: jonku | Sep 10, 2005 6:06:16 AM | 23

Harpers essay on how disaster always equals more authority

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 10, 2005 9:21:01 AM | 24

I am becoming more and more convinced that they are not incompetent. They only seems so if we assume they think like we do and have the same goals as we do. But if you consider them having absolutely opposite goals to what the majority wants, then I must say they are very competent in achieving them.

For quite a while I have been wondering why they behave as they do. Wouldn't one expect them to behave differently considering the saging pol numbers? They keep happily implementing stuff that goes contrary to the spirit of the (former) USA, fully ignoring the consequences. Actually not quite - there are no consequences.

Well, lately I have come to the conclusion that the must know or at least be certain that they will stay in power for a long time, even beyond 2008. Elections can be manipulated, they already had their trial runs - the Democrats are sleeping, if that doesn't work there is still the supreme court and if needed there is just raw military power and/or private merchenaries, as being used currently in NO. I know this could be one of my tin-foil hat moments - but my gut feeling tells me I actually might not be to far off. So many of my former tin-foil moments turned reality that I am not willing to ignore them anymore.

Boy, I sound depressed, better get going and do something to lift my spirit.

Posted by: Fran | Sep 10, 2005 10:39:32 AM | 25

Posted by: b real | Sep 10, 2005 1:48:45 AM

"the tax man takes 15-28% of cajun man's earnings. big storm comes. cajun man dies five days after waiting for fed emergency assistance."

financier takes 15-28% of cajun mans earnings. big storm comes. cajun man dies and we have yet to hear from usurer.

"the robin and the orangutan give back what they take in another form that contributes to more life. can't say the same for man."

the robin and orangutan only take enough for to-day, they don't hoard and then scalp.

Posted by: pb | Sep 10, 2005 11:13:15 AM | 26

Posted by: Ferdzy | Sep 9, 2005 6:39:23 PM | #

"The whole Military-Industrial Complex. Once you understand the syndromes, the name alone tells you it is morally corrupt and cannot be anything but morally corrupt. You have production being run in accordance with Guardian values, leading to weak, inefficient, deceptive, nepotistic industries that stifle any attempt to change. Even worse, the people this corruption have fostered are now in every level of government, bring the tattered remains of their Commercial morality to corrupt the government"

In any country in the world, interference in government by business or any special interest group would be rightly called corruption. In America it is simply, "lobbying"

Posted by: pb | Sep 10, 2005 11:31:54 AM | 27

@Fran. Ditto here. I just posted this on Kos:

Am I the only one here who does not rule out the possibility that, after the initial miscalculation, and fully taking into account the damages certain to be caused by the hurricane anyway (esp. to our beloved oil industry), certain ideologues at BushCo cough*Cheney*cough saw in Katrina a fantastic silver lining of an opportunity.

An opprtunity to wash away what they undoubtedly considered filth, to grab the now vacant land under new eminent domain provisions, to enroll the survivors and/or the newly-bankrupt into the army, and finally to redevelop the city for the benefit of its White Masters?

If I may be so bold, what many of you see as a series of "failures", I suspect BushCo sees as an uninterrupted string of successes for those few who really matter and run the country.

Posted by: Lupin | Sep 10, 2005 11:33:16 AM | 28

Posted by: lash marks | Sep 10, 2005 2:40:09 AM | #

"I interviewed a guy who worked on the Columbia River dams during the Great Depression. He told me they paid him room, board, and 25c a *day*."

Yeah,...and the second Great Depression hasn't started yet. I guess this would be: 'preemptive action'. GWB sure is a prescient genious.

Posted by: pb | Sep 10, 2005 12:12:31 PM | 29

agree fran. they are not screwing up. they are not doing what we think they are doing. our assumptions are screwed up. time to revise them.

Posted by: eftsoons | Sep 10, 2005 12:32:51 PM | 30

On the takers vs, traders:

Daniel Quinn has in Ishmael a good terminology which I think would fit better with respect to hunters vs civs: leavers vs. takers. The leavers are the wandering hunter/gatherers (who leave what they can not use at the moment) and the takers are the so called civilizations who pile their fortunes in heaps and take more then they can eat.

However, that does not mean that this separation in Guardian and Commercial syndroms might not be meaningful anyway. Everything doesn´t have to start 10 k BC to be relevant.

Posted by: A swedish kind of death | Sep 10, 2005 4:02:16 PM | 31

I think it was Jared Diamond who said that the advent of agriculture and sedentary societies led to the hoarding and the breakdowns of civilization. They take more than they can eat and they also eat more than they need. They kill not only what they eat but others who have what they want to hoard. They kill to protect what they hoard. They are too overweighted to hunt properly so they develop guns and ammo to make up for lost physical prowess. At this point people are so fat with a gut continually full of food that their brain cortexes are undernourished and their spiritual needs are completely ignored.

In comes the unfathomable void inside all these creatures which seems to not only be impossible to fill, but seems to grow larger in response to all the food and shit consumed nonstop.

In terms of taking and leaving, a good point, I think we have big lessons in balance and learning all over again how to leave. How to confront the underlying longing that we overstuffed creatures can't fill. Maybe becoming active again for warmth rather than relying exclusively on outer heat sources. Maybe most of all, to conquer the fear of death. It's insane. To spend the entire life hysterical about something so inevitable.

We have so very very far to go to live in harmony with ourselves, our surroundings and with one another. It all comes home to each individual and until that time we will have governments like this as a refection of where we truly stand at the time.

Tearing down the government will not work. Building up the human creature, will.

Posted by: jm | Sep 10, 2005 4:49:10 PM | 32

In terms of this present USA government, people are falling directly into the trap by obsessing over every crime ad nauseum. That's exactly what they want. To keep you in fear without foresight or energy to look beyond every little thing they do. To keep you in constant crisis probably fabricating some totalitarian nightmare that will continue to exist in the imagination. The shock and awe technique they use that so many people still fall for. They will not change. The people have to change the response.

They laugh at everyone as you can see by the guitar strumming and shoe shopping as people agonize every second on the blogs about how terrifying they are.

Can't you see it?

We have to be acutely aware of every step they take but we also have to take and leave. Leave the event behind after seeing it once and prepare a strategy, reviewing it not for personal gratification, but for more information about the counter action being planned.

Posted by: jm | Sep 10, 2005 5:08:43 PM | 33

Fran, pretty much the same thing has been happening to me. I hate to laps into metaphore (again) but, perhaps we're watching the whole w thing from the wrong perspective, not unlike judging sickness from the effects of symptoms. We keep analysing the symptoms, focusing in on the seeming incompetence of it all, the chaos, death , and destruction that follows like a wake, behind everything they do. While some on this board have argued that this is their intention, to create chaos and perpetual war -- I dont think so, I think rather they would much prefer a big watermellon grin yaaah- sir anyday to chaos, because within that chaos is born a throbbing heart of resistance. And while they may relish and wallow in the glory of this mock battle of their own construction, relying primarialy on their ability to outpace revelation with a neverending coveyor belt of neoogisms and justifications, and the glorification of their military prowess and competence (and N.O. if nothing else is a demonstration of that) their game is to stay one step ahead. So sure, there competent, as competent as the A.I.D.s virus is competent, in deconstructing the natural and innate immunity to any disease. Just ask Paul Bremmer with his medal of freedom.

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 10, 2005 5:17:58 PM | 34

(neologism), above

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 10, 2005 5:23:06 PM | 35

I say with some regret that I've given up on most of the blogs trying to cut through the panic, paralysis, and self pity. I remain at a few, and this is one, because I have hope for the people here. You seem to be able to stretch maybe just enough to see the larger view and have faith in yourselves.

Even if we did descend into totalitarianism, we would have missed enjoying the freedom we have now in all this fear and endtime prophecy. Take the confidence, leave the fear. Every individual that stops being a sucker and fool is one big step forward in release from bondage of the whole.

Posted by: jm | Sep 10, 2005 5:23:13 PM | 36

It's simple physics. The amount of effort expended to control something is equal to the amount of control you really don't have.

It's a sign of deterioration when the invader turns on itself and attacks its own Gulf Coast.
We are a system like a body that must count on its own immune system to fight the invader, even with the help of medicines.

I am phagocyte in this system. And I'll do my job.

Posted by: jm | Sep 10, 2005 5:47:25 PM | 37

A swedish kind of death – I think you are trying to put more into what Ferdzy/Jane Jacobs is saying. There really is not a whole lot to Systems of Survival. While Ferdzy did not say this, Jane Jacobs is saying when we work, these are the moral precepts that we use…

If we are involved in trading we use one set, and if we are involved in regulating (government, charities, environmental groups –etc) we use another. She (Jane Jacobs) goes on to discuss what happens when you mix the two ways of working.

Two types of examples emerge. One type would be lawyers. Jane Jacobs uses the example of English barristers who would have a money pouch on their back side. People would put money in the pouch and when the barrister felt that there was enough then he would take your case. In this example, two different ways of earning a living are being used, sequentially.

The second example is when both examples are used simultaneously. This would include the Mafia, communism, libertarianism, and corporate capitalism.

Jane Jacobs is not suggesting a way to run our lives, she is making the startling statement – Work morality is absolute and constant. This is how the world of work works. It does not matter whether you like it or not (and indeed Jane Jacobs does not really like what she has discovered.). I find it provides an excellent way to help cut through to why the US does not work and why communism failed. It provides reasons why third world countries can not become first world – no matter how much money you throw at them. For me, it clarified a whole lot confusing problems.

Posted by: edwin | Sep 10, 2005 7:48:11 PM | 38

edwin, my point was - which I could have expressed more clearly - that Jacobs theories can be very interesting and clarifying today even though she might be reaching when she places it origins in distinctions between hunter/gatherers and early civilizations. This was kind of an answer to b real.

Ferdzy: "When it comes to working life, humans have two general ways of making a living: taking and trading. All animals have “taking;” that is, they go out and find what they need and use it. Hunting and gathering societies are “takers”. To this, humans add trading."

b real: "if that's jacobs' foundation, i would be leary of buying into anything she builds on top of that premise."

me (tried to say): "ok, b real is right that hunter/gatherers should not be described as takers in this terminology and if this is the foundation it is leaky. However I suspect that this theoretical origins of this conflicts of syndroms is not the real foundation of this theory, and whats more the roots does not have to be 12 000 years for it to be valid."

Anyway, that was how I meant it.

Enough about me, back on the subject of Jacob´s: I have not read her but it looks like an interesting perspective. But edwin, when you say that Jacob says that "Work morality is absolute and constant" I get the feeling that I have not quite understood what you and Fedrzy has told about her theory. Does not both the Guardian and the Commercial syndrom yield a work ethic however different?

Posted by: A swedish kind of death | Sep 10, 2005 8:24:53 PM | 39

ASKOD; yes, they do each yield a work ethic, however different, that's the point.

I think the problem was that people were hearing the word "take" and putting a whole lot of baggage onto it that really shouldn't be there. In this context, taking is not a bad thing, and JJ gives numerous examples of how the "Guardian" values work in hunter/gatherer societies, and how, in fact, those values make it possible to do their hunting and gathering without destroying the ecosystem. For example, "Make rich use of leisure" is a value because something hunters and gatherers need to do a lot of is NOT hunting and gathering. They need to do just enough, and then stop, and do something else. Something the modern fishing industry, for example, doesn't understand: it follows Commercial morality in what ought to be a hunting/gathering (Guardian) activity and the resulting over-fishing and habitate destruction are inevitable because it's the wrong morality for that situation. But it would be just as wrong to try and run, for example, a textile mill using Guardian values. You have to plan, and stockpile, or "hoard" up resources in advance, or it just won't work.

I need to emphasize some more, I think: neither of these syndromes are "right" or "wrong" in themselves. It's completely a matter of context. It is my observation that most people tend to identify more with one syndrome or the other: I myself have very much a Commercial moral view of the world. This book helped me understand a whole bunch of world-views and attitudes that previously had me thinking people were downright nuts.

I hope this is somewhat coherent. I am trying to sum up a long and complicated book in a few short paragraphs.

Posted by: Ferdzy | Sep 10, 2005 8:49:52 PM | 40

Sorry for the misunderstanding.

"Does not both the Guardian and the Commercial syndrome yield a work ethic however different?"

I don't like the term work ethic in this context. Each contains a series of moral precepts that make the syndrome work. It does not yield, but rather just is. Systems of Survival is stunning in that it does not claim to create an ethic, but claims to describe the way things are. This type of claim is something outside of what I expect to see in a book talking about morality. It is important to keep in mind we are talking about how we earn our living, not other forms of moral actions.

If you are in government or government related occupations (eg environmental groups) then there are a series of moral precepts that you must follow or you will end up engaging in immoral behaviour. There is no choice or flexibility in this. Immoral behaviour would include, but not be limited to, graft, cronyism, theft, etc. Similarly, if you are in business there are a series of (different) moral precepts that you must follow or you will end up engaging in immoral behaviour. Business who do not shun force are typically called Mafioso, those who are not honest are thieves, those who do not compete are monopolies, where dissent is not allowed you have company towns like Rochester (I understand that Kodak worked hard to prevent breakaway companies) that stagnate and effectively die.

(She also describes the relation between the two, with the guardian system in charge of regulating the commercial system.)


Posted by: edwin | Sep 10, 2005 8:51:56 PM | 41

Ferdzy: Fish farming on the other hand falls into commercial.

Posted by: edwin | Sep 10, 2005 8:56:12 PM | 42

The main point, as I said which I think is correct In 'Systems', is that the society doesn't really choose the mode. The time and circumstance dictate. This is I think the reason for the failure of so many systems. They are artificially imposed from theory rather than a natural outgrowth. Thus the inevitable failure of the PNAC.

Posted by: jm | Sep 10, 2005 11:30:07 PM | 43

Wow, fantastic observation, Anna Missed, and thank you Fran for your perspective, I hadn't thought about viewing events from the "Bush(Rovian) Paradigm" re competence. Also the Jane Jacobs ideas are fascinating. The level of discussion here is rare, and I am just blown away.

In terms of the "Rovian Paradigm", a basic assumption is that you *can* fool - or, more accurately, bullshit and distract - most of the people most of the time. And because of this belief they are being brazen and sloppy and therefore too slow on the brake. I do think much of their incompetence is real and not misunderstood. If they were truely evil geniuses as opposed to Mayberry Machiavellis, they would keep a larger segment of the voting public happy while still screwing them royaly but largely in secret. For example, if FEMA had done its job in N.O. (as it did in FL in '04 in the face of three hurricans and however many electoral votes) Bush could have come up looking like the fatherly protector he tries to project while still, and probably more easily, suspending prevailing wages and engaging in other manuevering that will put the lion's (liar's) share of tax dollar loot into the hands of corrporation, and, of course screw the poor some more. In other words, they made their job more difficult because they are incompetant and they are incompetant because they are blind in one very cruical area important to the public, compassion and empathy. They are sociopaths incapable of any humanitarian thought or impulse, so they are constantly creating bigger messes than neccessary to complete their task of establishing an efficient cleptocrasy.

So, yes, we have to look at the big picture, the filthy greedy, immoral vision of corporate colonialism, but we have to hammer on each and every injustice and outrage and scandle and lie because we need every body to realize how horrible these people are, show them how we are all being fucked hard so that our fellow citizens become angry enough to do something about it.

Posted by: stoy | Sep 11, 2005 1:25:01 AM | 44

context: think of the usa as being run as a corporation. dick & george are the first ceo tagteam to hold the highest offices in the company. the most fundamental rule of corporate planning/operation is that it is required, by corporate law, to produce an income, deliver a profit, and act primarily in the economic interests of its shareholders. corporate interest takes precedence over any form community welfare. this behavior is structurally determined, encapsulated in a system of rules and laws w/i which the company is intentionally compelled to operate. recall vp cheney's proclamation, "the american way of life is non-negotiable", in this context: the corporate obligation/priority/value system/ideology/culture is non-negotiable. otherwise, mgmt can be sued under u.s. corporate laws & replaced w/ a more responsible team.

the corporation must always turn an increasing profit, obtained through either undercompensation of its workers - see latest exec order re fair wages - or by reducing the amounts paid for raw materials used in production - see cafta - which is then distributed among the shareholders. profit & growth are its two ultimate imperatives. the company must continuously reward its shareholders & it must continuously expand its scale of operation in pursuit of resources & raw materials. to advance in these areas, it must be both competitive & aggressive, authoritarian in its division of roles, and employ dehumanized economic quantifiers to measure performance. the corporation is not human, not could it be. its structural rules eliminate any room for moral or personal behavior. to recognize the absurdity of a model predicated on infinite growth & perpetually increasing profits on a finite planet would interfere w/ the non-negotiable status of "the american way of life."

the corporation does, however, find it necessary to present a benevolent, human face in order to protect itself from negative public opinion. large expenditures are perennially committed to public relations appendages to control public perception & spread the corporate meme. full advantage is taken of every medium to implant, influence, and reinforce ideas & images conducive to the corporate ideology. staged public relations events are very effective in getting an image or idea out to as many people at the same time as possible. social and technical scientists are in constant employ, w/ special teams on-hand for damage control.

while corporate executives do draw sizeable salaries, the majority of their income is generated through exercising stock options, bonuses, creative accounting techniaues & other perks.

Posted by: b real | Sep 11, 2005 2:44:29 AM | 45

b real,
Now we're talkin (wish I could lay it out like that) -- which would then lead to just how is morality givin the pass? Particularly by those blindly enabling such an unprecidented consolidation of wealth, who for some occult reason are unable to transfer their own personal morality into a social expectation from their political representatives. Aside from the garden variety religious-right hypocrisy, there is I suppose also an implicit demand in such structure, for a deference to authority -- as long as that authority can mask the internal contradiction (morally speaking) by preserving the individuals sense (and cultural fear of the other) of security in exchange for complicity. It would seem this is then easily templated and more comprehensively, onto a real and material reliance on capital heirarchy, or more properly, the corporate identity -- in its quest for supremacy. And that quest , as is well known is not bound to the same standards of morality as an individual ( not to mention sharing an equivilant tax burden). It is curious that a deference to the word of god is so easily transfered into an anxiety about the welfare of the rich and their insatiable desire for ever more capital, at the expense of even their own self interests, that the poor would be the willing patsy for the rich, in material terms. Perhaps here then, the Calvinistic inclinations have been so successfully internalized as to be superceeded by its own success, by the sheer yawing breadth of singular superpower omnipotence, in its ability to challenge all limitations. Where the worship of power alone has managed to displace morality to the extent that the self preservation of the individual is totally dependent on the capacity of the individual to assume an equivalent quota of denial. And in this case denial is the abscence of morality.

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 11, 2005 6:38:58 AM | 46

I think we are all in denial in some way all the time. Denial seems to be a universal coping mechanism. Veils of illusion cover the areas we can't look at until we are prepared or necessity strips them away. And we all have moments devoid of morality which is why moral superiority is so offensive. The criminals who blatantly and uninhibitedly display their immorality provide a hook for those who can't face their own. Their criticism, fear, and eventually hatred of these entities escalates and the prospect of any reasonable evaluation of anyone often becomes impossible.

The reliance on authority is also universal, so the wealthy supreme are just as subservient, maybe more so since they become servants to all their wealth and possession an elaborate, mechanical, cold, grinding system they are caught in.

It is fascinating to study the quest for power and supremacy but it is likewise so interesting to look at the desire for subservience. It's a contract and both parties are probably torn between willingness and resentment of their positions.

I believe that one of the fundamental reasons for our social problems is this hierarchical need we are trapped in. We all create it together. Sometimes I think those toward the bottom might be more complicit in being there than one might think, though the insatiable desire for more exits in everyone somewhere.

Posted by: jm | Sep 11, 2005 7:30:39 AM | 47

I keep mentioning William Gibson, but he was illustrating these very observations almost two decades ago in his novels "Neuromancer," "Count Zero" and "Mona Lisa Overdrive" - the last of which I am currently reading. His vision of the future is one in which multinational corporations operate outside of any law, while everyone else without significant means is disenfranchised through various mechanism in the system, numbing themselves with drugs, technology and completely immersive entertainment. In "Count Zero" we learn that Georgetown is under a dome and whats left of the federal government in located in McLean, Virginia. Reading these books in the '90s I thought we were a long way off from such corporate take over, but obviously, we were one administration away from seeing how we are passing the threshold into this realm.

Posted by: stoy | Sep 11, 2005 11:29:31 AM | 48

If government can be seen as a reflection of corporate ethics (or lack of), it also can perhaps be seen to mirror other modus-operandi, and i'm thinking here of the relative expeniture of capital and means used to insure the survival of the corporation. While it is true that product development is important in this regard, I'd bet the majority of expenditure resides in the maintance of market share. This would, of course, involve advertising to maintain or expand the desirability and or trust in said product, ensuring its relative fetish potential within the competition. But the ultimate insurance against market share erosion most likely involves being able to eliminate or limit the competition, as opposed to further innovation and R&D expeniture. In this respect, the corporate entity is actually working against innivation, pouring its resources instead into litigation, espionage, political cronyism, and all manner of manipulation consistant with monopoly development. It doesn't take an economist to see that the logical evolution is accumulation and consolidation at the expence of everything else; product, innovation, and social need included. So when government comes to embody the corporate entity (he is the ceo president after all), we see the country being run pretty much like an Enron, or maybe GM. And because the need for innovation in product comes as a last resort, it is natural that the agency of government becomes bloated with payola for loyality at the expense of efficiency -- the very preeminent liberitarian reasoning notwithstanding. While Ken Lay, Skilling and the rest are now seen to have been living in a manufactured fantasy land of corruption, graft, and deception, they were, for a while the envy of wall street, and the shinning example of potential of capitalism unbridled with the mundane constraints of regulation or morality. They were, like the present gang in the white house, all about creating a new reality.


Posted by: anna missed | Sep 11, 2005 4:51:25 PM | 49

That's why it so self defeating. The sickness within the corporate entity will eventually destroy it. I think there is breakdown occurring now that is being kept hidden. Their omnipotence is vital to the image but in time in won't be worth it to maintain the illusion.

Corrupt comes from the Latin: com rumpere

To break thoroughly.

It has to happen to complete the cycle. That's why alternatives should be developed constantly to be used when called for.

Posted by: jm | Sep 11, 2005 5:23:50 PM | 50

stoy,

If they were truely evil geniuses as opposed to Mayberry Machiavellis, they would keep a larger segment of the voting public happy while still screwing them royaly but largely in secret.

I disagree. All CheneyCo need to stay in power is 50.001% of the electoral college votes (or, going forward, 5/9 of the SCOTUS). Anything beyond that is a waste of treasure from their point of view. The more rabidly unhappy the 49.9999% the better, because it means that they are extracting the maximum amount of blood and toil from the largest possible group; and the group itself will have less credibility.

I keep coming back to something from Billmon a few days back:

Even the legally blind can see the Rovians are serious about the essential functions of government. It's just that in their value system, funneling federal money to sympathetic interest groups while simulatenously redistributing the tax burden away from those same groups are the two essential functions of government.

First I believed them. Then I believed they were just incompetent. Then I believed they were both incompetent and corrupt. Now I'm coming around to the view that they are completely amoral.

It was later than I thought, when I first believed you.

Posted by: PeeDee | Sep 11, 2005 7:56:11 PM | 51

I also agree that at this point they are acting as if there is no longer any potential for accountability - they believe that they are close enough to destroying for the foreseeable future and in time for the next election any mechanism in the USA (media, elections, courts) which would be able to hold them accountable.

Posted by: PeeDee | Sep 11, 2005 8:00:28 PM | 52

A point on corporate ethics. I think I agree with most of the points uttered above -- not all, but most. I have never worked in the corporate sector (lucky me), so I suppose my impressions as an economist are those of a rank amateur. But one of the things that strikes me most as an outsider from the University is how easy you can get fired for crossing your boss, and how easy it is to become a boss without having any particular competence that would merit you being boss. Now, among the many things that are wrong with this administration, one of them is the idea that if you don't like it you can quit, and if you don't toe the line you will be fired. This is I think the contribution of corporate culture to the government of the United states. I have worked in two civil services, the American and the French. I know what bureaucracy is like, and i also know what kind of motivations keep people working in them. The present administration is destroying government. Pure and simple.

I also think that not terribly deep in the Pentagon there is a group of people actively planning to turn the United States into a dictatorship. But that's just me.

Posted by: Knut Wicksell | Sep 11, 2005 10:02:28 PM | 53

We may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is nearing its end. It has cost a vast amount of treasure and blood. . . . but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country.  As a result of the war corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.

Abraham Lincoln, 1864

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 12, 2005 4:20:58 AM | 54

Then I believed they were just incompetent. Then I believed they were both incompetent and corrupt. Now I'm coming around to the view that they are completely amoral.
Close to the perimeter of wisdom you are PeeDeewan: incompetent, corrupt and completely amoral they are.

Actually, they're not really incompetent: they're very good at marketing, masters at putting lipstick on a pig. They make the most of their talents. We live in a world defined by marketing. They simply took that to its logical end.

Posted by: Colman | Sep 12, 2005 6:44:26 AM | 55

anna mist- i'll have to spend more time rereading & thinking about your posts, but my initial response to your question - just how is morality givin the pass? - would be that it is too dangerous/damning/traumatic for us to acknowledge legitimate definitions of what constitutes good vs. evil behavior. therefore, we fabricate our reality around false definitions that constantly shift to serve our ends; think of the us' contributions to philosophy - pragmatism & utilitarianism. quite easy to pull off in a culture that has lost contact w/ its roots & is primed to think (not sure that is the best word) that we are part of a larger cosmology that is disconnected from/outside of our everyday life.

p.s. i'm thinking purely from a us perspective in my analysis, as there are some peculiar aspects of our history that accelerate the tendencies we observe here.

Posted by: b real | Sep 12, 2005 10:45:31 AM | 56

apologies - "missed" not mist

Posted by: b real | Sep 12, 2005 10:48:13 AM | 57

The Government Document Library


The Government Document Library provides direct links to PDF files of the 1000+ documents offered through the Download For Democracy campaign's P2P component. Since late March, over 3 million pages of government documents have been downloaded from outragedmoderates.org via P2P.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 12, 2005 1:15:48 PM | 58

I am intruiged by the concept of striking at the illusion of America, but not America itself, however, I'm not sure it's possible. One of the things I have noticed about Americans willing to perpetuate the corporate state is that there is no distinction between symbol and reality in their mind. A simple example here is the persistent attacks on flagburning as though it were something which actually hurt America.

If it were preference for symbol over reality, or misunderstanding symbol for reality, I think it could be fought. But not understanding that there could be a difference? I got nothing.

Posted by: Rowan | Sep 12, 2005 2:03:49 PM | 59

@Rowan

Perhaps, this could explain some things...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 12, 2005 2:30:03 PM | 60

Uncle $cam I couldn't access that link - said access denied.

Posted by: jj | Sep 12, 2005 2:47:45 PM | 61


jj, that's odd,works for me...also, worked in preview. Maybe try cutting and pasting this:

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/5558/718/1600/Sanctity%20of%20Life.jpg

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 12, 2005 2:57:06 PM | 62

doesn't work either way for me

Posted by: beq | Sep 12, 2005 3:41:13 PM | 63

that link worked for me right after it was posted, but now i see that access has been blocked. they prob don't like direct linking to images.

Posted by: b real | Sep 12, 2005 3:50:47 PM | 64

beq and b real

copy and paste still works for me, how about tinyurl

Posted by: dan of steele | Sep 12, 2005 4:02:43 PM | 65

ahh dos, thanks.

Posted by: beq | Sep 12, 2005 8:08:34 PM | 66

anna missed- But the ultimate insurance against market share erosion most likely involves being able to eliminate or limit the competition, as opposed to further innovation and R&D expeniture.

usa corporation concerns re market share erosion are addressed in the national security strategy (nss). buried w/i the economic disneyland rhetorical flourishes are the keys to the mission statement.


...the United States will work with individual nations, entire regions, and the entire global trading community to build a world that trades in freedom and therefore grows in prosperity.
...
We will use our economic engagement with other countries to underscore the benefits of policies that generate higher productivity and sustained economic growth, including:

* pro-growth legal and regulatory policies to encourage business investment, innovation, and entrepreneurial activity;

* tax policies—particularly lower marginal tax rates—that improve incentives for work and investment;

* strong financial systems that allow capital to be put to its most efficient use;

* sound fiscal policies to support business activity;

* investments in health and education that improve the well-being and skills of the labor force and population as a whole; and

* free trade that provides new avenues for growth and fosters the diffusion of technologies and ideas that increase productivity and opportunity.

...

* ignite a new era of global economic growth through free markets and free trade;

* expand the circle of development by opening societies and building the infrastructure of democracy;

as you state, the corporation is actively working against innovation, but then isn't that what conservatism is all about - the preservation of capital?

it's both interesting and alarming that, according to the nss, the corporation's "gravest danger...lies at the crossroads of radicalism and technology." the radical enemies refered to in the document consist of the much-touted, rarely defined, "terrorists", the "embittered few", who perpetrate violence against "innocents." obviously this is directed at those who resist usa corporation's "way of life" across the globe. what i find interesting is that radicals in this nation, the environmentalists, have been singled out over the more lethal right wing "pro-life" and hate groups, as the southern poverty law ctr's recent intelligence report detailed. interesting in that a bunch of militant wackos who amass arms & make plans for invading army bases to stop un attempts to take over the nation, among other incidents that the rpt cites, are not considered a threat to the corporation's "way of life", whereas a movement of radicals - using the going to the root definition of the term - that point out the flaws in corporate societies' logic, are. terrorism against innocent humans is allowable, in the case of the former; the latter sometimes, though infrequently, engages in the destruction of property. this is the machine protecting its own. the implications are alarming. the environmental movement is close to being the only true moral movement we have in this society. the civil rights movement finds its ideology, strategies & meaning in christian religious doctrines, a vision of universal brotherhood under the divine authoritarian father, a reality, of course, constrained by the limitations of the christian idea of history. its morals are saturated in an ideology that has brought us expansionism, conquest, war, abstraction, slavery & genocide. and, as you allude to, it has been used continuously to neuter people from their own interests. there was a witty comment, posted here a couple of months ago, that i found very funny: the meek shall inherit the earth...in six-foor plots.

anyway, i've started shifting tracks and taking another path (plus my fingers are getting tired). that earth is the only thing that unites us all & if we were to realize our inheritance now, we can defeat the machine/corporation. i believe it also provides a solid base against which to define examinations of morality.

Posted by: b real | Sep 13, 2005 12:24:57 AM | 67

Uncle $cam, your link worked perfectly for me. And it's a point I agree with, but I don't believe that congress giving more money to complete incompetents will solve the problem, just like whatever they did for Schiavopalooza didn't make her any less braindead (though it made many of us more....)

Posted by: Rowan | Sep 13, 2005 1:10:25 AM | 68

"The poor you will have with you always."-Jesus of Nazareth

And herein lies the problem...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Sep 13, 2005 1:13:20 AM | 69

(This is my elaboration of last paragraphs of Paul Craig Roberts' art. on NO that I linked on thread on Bu$h, in which he mentions how close we are to a Totalitarian State.)

So, much is going on I can get overwhelmed & lose sight of the basics, so let me list a few things that Bu$hCo. are taking from us:

1) PRESIDENT AS KING & RULER OVER ALL: There's a chance the US Supreme Court may over turn the ruling, but if not, the President of the United States now will have the power to jail any US citizen without charges, without a lawyer and without a hearing for as long as he wishes. All he need do is say that the US citizen is an "enemy combatant." That's what the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week. link

2) Under Kelo, Elites & Powerful Developers can take our property any time they wish.

3) Control over our bodies - Stacking courts to Outlaw Abortion & possibly Birth Control.

4) Patriot Act permits:

* secret FBI and police searches of your home and office

* secret government wiretaps on your phone, computer and/or Internet activity

* secret investigations of your bank records, credit cards and other financial records

* secret investigations of your library and book activities

* secret examination of your medical, travel and business records.

* the freezing of funds and assets without prior notice or appeal

* the creation of secret 'watch lists' that ban those named from air and other travel

So, Democracy means what?? Toss in rigged elections & plop on top that Jackass Party may not affect any of this.

Holy Bloody Christ...

For whatever good it does, here's an update on the Impeachment Movement

Posted by: jj | Sep 13, 2005 1:35:38 AM | 70

LEADER OF THE WORLD

I am pampered and bored
I want to be the leader of the world!
I want to command your attention
'cuz I am bored
I want tanks, and ribbons, and guns going off somewhere, A 4th of July at my command, 'cuz I am bored Let's celebrate, shall we, something,
With 21 rifle-shot salutes and enemy exterminations

I want to be the leader of the world
If you don't let me, I'll make a new war
If you don't let me, I'll take your gold
If you don't let me, I'll punch you galore.
I love curfews: you are in, I am out
I love repression: you can't walk, I fly my plane
I love oppression: no one can know what I'm about.

I am pampered and bored
I want to be the leader of the world!
Can you rig the elections dad?
Can you buy the voters brother?
Can you change the laws judge?

I want to be the leader of the world
If you don't let me, I'll steal your bread
If you don't let me, I'll delay the preach-thread
If you don't let me, I'll punch you galore.
I love the FBI: you are in, I am out
I love WTO: you can't walk, I fly my plane
I love Limbaugh: no one can know what I'm about.
But best of all, I love the LORD.

By Ricardo G. Valencia-Sevilla

Posted by: Ricardo G. Valencia-Sevilla | Sep 13, 2005 7:26:14 AM | 71

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