Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 22, 2019

Open Thread 2019-49


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News & views ...


Posted by b on August 22, 2019 at 17:30 UTC | Permalink

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karlof1 | Aug 24 2019 6:09 utc | 133
"No(w) how do we get from here to there given the differing factions/adversaries. It seems that job's up to us, and it will differ within every nation. Luckily, there's only one Trump."

The fundamental problem with democratic politics even if it is grassroots oriented is: That it is mainly baased on spreading news or "information" and later on collecting "votes" (expressed in polls, demonstrations, elections etc). Whatever is located inbetween these two poles (within the individual mind) allegedly belongs to individuals (is "private") and is not deemed to be subject to "organization", but at most "being influenced" by education or "publishing" ideas ("multiplying" them). The only associations something like "organizing" or "collectivizing" that process of getting to decisions and votes may provoke are such as "brainwashing" and "building a cult". Now the relative uniformity of thought provided by those huge societal groups of the past defined by class, profession, regional or national provenance, sex/race etc is long gone. And in the same period of time, all three state programs, state socialism, social democracy (welfare state), and neoliberalism, one after the other failed in coping on a permanent basis with the most basic challenges related to organizing cooperation (division of labour, reproduction) on a societal scale: coordination - building consensus - transnational/global relations (particularly with regard to gradients in terms of mentalities, level of production etc) - all of that in conditions of advanced modern industrial production. I think this failure is basically a failure of the "public sphere" as a deficient means of mass communication, and of electing representatives, as a deficient means of settling conflicts and brokering compromises (between interests of big groups). This sphere (or rather "epoch") of "the state" as the ultimate instrument of social organisation is itself a consequence of an earlier failure of "market economy" to cope with the three tasks above - and the disintegration of traditional groups (and the according more or less "ideological" "group thinking" formed and guided by "interests") most likely being the main cause of that failure. (Just another traditional "backdrop" resource of the kind Noirette referred to above - and another and most important mistake in classical Marxist theory: Uniformity would be the natural consequence of inevitable class struggle and the resulting consciousness of wage labourers).
And here we are: There is a "real category" (btw one discovered by a Marxist theorist, Antonio Gramsci) or level of societal organization beyond the state which - in case a sufficient number of people get at that level (enabling themselves to get there etc) - would be able to make good for the failure of the previous two levels, its name is: civil society; not the actual civil society being a passive byproduct of the ongoing manipulation of constituencies in order to ascertain voting results as desired; but as that part of the whole population which is able to process on a collective level incoming information with the help of shared concepts and criteria of relevance, hypotheses and/or tried and tested methods, strategies and rational aims, and common rules of dealing with missing knowledge and uncertainty (risks, chances). The best way to achieve that advanced state of mutual understanding might be: building small groups af 4 or 5 people who (meeting each other face-to-face on a regular basis) try to share and equalize their respective "rules of processing information, ie learning", at least wrt all topics of societal organisation (Which are the most important ones? first topic of all...). Of course, they would have to build links between them (each member of one of these circles simultaneously belonging to a different circle; or building extra circles for exchange of results reached within the original circles etc) - hereby forming a network where news and new aspects/ideas can be spread and shared at great speed and at the same time can be processed according to the same "principles of learning". The latter being explicit, the group as a whole is able to explain their results and decisions in each case to a permanent audience of sympathizers (and/or people just interested in listening) which later on may turn into more circles as well.

The main topics to be worked on might be (each on an international "global" level, and in this order):

war (geopolitics, imperial system; complete disarmament)

mass pauperization (imminent or already being there; sustainable equality of preconditions for reproduction and lives everywhere)

ecological transformation of industrial modes of production (repairing the geo- and geosphere; building "redundant" (in a good sense), robust and de-centralized=local, regional etc reproduction cycles (cradle-to-cradle); replacing industrial technologies and materials as far as possible by such embedded within natural cycles).

Of course, in the end such a movement can offer their own candidates and form a party if necessary.

PS: To avoid capturing a thread (even if it is an open one) I invite you to discuss this topic on this special forum

Posted by: franziska | Aug 25 2019 10:40 utc | 201

Russ at 170. Yes I agree even hesitated to post what I did because specially on the ‘agri / nature’ topic a lot of footnotes could, should, be made. I have had *comrades* blast me for being too critical, ha ha ;) Doctrinaire lot!

Marx was prolific, plenty of interpretations are possible, etc. outside of careful scholarly analysis situated in the time. Power relations are of course important, maybe no 1., so there is that, yes.


Being called a Marxist today only translates to championing mingy minor measures that promote re-distribution, from the rich to the poor thru various types of legislation / taxation / handouts, favors / state paid services / whatever -- in contrast to changing the power structure and economic, environmental management.

What cultural Marxism means I haven’t quite grasped. It appears to be a trope of the US alt-right (also hard to define, Hillary’s deplorables) and refers to Unions, Workers Getting Together, and by implication, open borders, etc. (?)

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 25 2019 13:54 utc | 202

My post 201 was cut off in the end, it should continue: ... or another forum of your own choice.
As I emphasized in earlier posts/threads, this is not about luring away commenters from here. I just don't want to contribute to consume space and attention of readers of b's blog by even further prompting discussions on topics far away from those b is writing about. Apart from that, I do believe that here are plenty of attempts to approach a range of issues systematically related to each other as the posts on Hudson and Marx, public finance, movement, strategies of a radical opposition in Western countries etc seem to indicate. So if barflies take offence at my "invitation" I apopolize but would like to ask for to name an adress of a discussion board or forum where we can meet and talk about such topics in a sufficiently comprehensive and appropriately thorough manner. At least if there is need for that...

Posted by: franziska | Aug 25 2019 14:35 utc | 203

@197 Not a lot of interest in Prince Andrew here Mina but the story isn't going away. I don't think anybody is swallowing his excuses. He was a damn fool for getting involved with Epstein and Maxwell who must have got some good laughs out of him. Can't help thinking there must be a video or two somewhere of Andrew's backside.

"His view has always been, say nothing, it'll go away," Daily Mail journalist Andrew Pierce said in an interview last week. "But he saw the danger, the damage to his reputation and to the reputation of the Royal Family from that photograph, which is why he felt he had to speak out, because he was in the lair of the sex offender, waving goodbye to young girls."

Posted by: dh | Aug 25 2019 14:38 utc | 204

fyi Canada's Banderite FM in a red dress is at it again...

Canada Refuses To Side With US on Allowing Russia Back in G8

"Russia's violation of international law in invading Crimea and annexing it, in continuing to support war in the Donbas, is something we cannot allow to stand,' Freeland said. If Moscow wants to rejoin the international delegation, it must end the war in Donbas and leave Ukraine..."

Canada's 'foreign policy' is called that because it is run by foreign lobbies: US, Zionist and ultranationalist Ukrainian. Canadians themselves take little interest in these matters and only know what they read in the Globe or the Guardian.

Posted by: John Gilberts | Aug 25 2019 17:10 utc | 205

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 24 2019 0:40 utc | 120

Thanks for the tip, haven't checked Alibris in quite some time, been using

I've tended to move all over the region over the past several years, which is why I usually refer to it that way. Ontario (OR), Seattle, Friday Harbor, a couple places in ID if that counts, Pend Oreille County in eastern WA, etc.

Posted by: AshenLight | Aug 25 2019 19:47 utc | 206

Finally I have go ask, who of the faithful actually read Das Kapital?
Posted by: Lurk | Aug 22 2019 21:41 utc | 33

Alan Nunn-May when he was sentenced to !0 years in jug, decided that it gave him a good opportunity to read and digest Das Kapital. So he asked a friend to send him a copy. However, the governor of HMP Wormwood Scrubs, thought it was "unsuitable reading matter" for a prisoner in his gaol and told him so.
A day or two later, Alan was pleasantly surprised to be given his parcel of books by a "Trusty" who had the job of cleaning the governor's office. He explained that he had seen the parcel and had nicked it, because he thought it a shame that Alan should be deprived of books sent to him from outside. Alan then asked his advice on how to hide it. "No problem" came the reply "I'll take it to the book-binding shop and get it rebound as a Holy Bible."

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 31 2019 20:24 utc | 207

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