Archive for the Psychology Category

Why Would an Artist Architect write a book on Economics & Politics??

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Economics, Environmentalism, Organic Development, Philosophy, Politics, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2017 by Drogo

Wealth inequality is on the rise.

What does that mean for regular people?

Rising wealth inequality nationally means the rich are getting richer, more drastically than before; and the poor are getting poorer, which means they will soon have the rights of displaced Native Americans from 100 years ago. Imagine how that might affect minorities like many blacks and natives who already have the poverty of third-world countries, but are required to pay the fees of first-world plutocrats and corporate cronies?

Most of us are still feeling the Great Recession in our daily lives. The national economic ‘growth’ data that popular economists use, shows that after the corporate bail-outs sectors of our economy grew. Can you guess what percentage of the population benefited from that growth? About 1%.

Many of us middle-class people are losing our wealth when we try to sell our homes because of banker-real-estate fraud on the buyer’s behalf, devaluing old homes in areas of slow growth and using tax money to build new developments which makes a few rich while we get poorer without as many jobs, because money has been drained from the middle to go to the top.

I remember when I first noticed corporate take-over locally in the 1990’s when Walmarts began ‘out-competing’ all the mom-and-pop small family owned stores, and almost monopolized the market even for large franchise chains. Cable-companies made fortunes stringing wires around the country, into rural areas, competing with ‘WV state-flowers’ and antenna TV. Larger companies replaced smaller ones, every-where.

It is time to change the system, but it is not all or nothing. There are elements of alternative systems every-where in history, and around us in America today. If we do not have a right to live, our leaders do not have a right to rule, because they enforce the laws that make us unable to provide for ourselves, laws which we need to take responsibility to change.

Power for the people, and by the people is a constant struggle. ‘Power to the people’! We have to take the power back, from the plutocrats. Economics and politics are combined in America as a corrupt form of crony ‘State Capitalism’. No conspiracy or theory is needed to explain the reality of how corporations function, it is notoriously blatant and commonly accepted as ‘just the way things are’; so without defining every popular economic term that Madoff and Greenspan advocated, I will try to high-light the problems that affect most of us and propose solutions.

“People Power!!!” – AMM (Appalachian Mountain Militia)

I do not expect people to take my word as total truth. I want average people to get interested in how our system works, by helping them to feel that they can make a difference simply by beginning to question the establishment in intelligent ways. I am not a professional economist, I am studying finance as a hobby. For this book I am able to put forth theories by other economists, scientists, and philosophers; by rewording or quoting them. There are millions of people that disagree with my opinions, and I will not include all the information that a basic or advanced economic book would; but I will do my best to interpret and phrase jargon with references as best I can.

I designed and published SCOD Thesis in 1999 to address alternative ways to live. I was mocked by some students and professors for wanting to build a ‘commune’. It was considered absurd to be interested in village design that was not able to be financed by rich clients or the government, for ‘profit’.

I accepted the responsibility that I was a radical rebel, and system out-cast in college when I began to learn more about adult subjects, and got a clearer impression how the business world worked. My experience as a college graduate trying to ‘earn a living’ by selling myself to anyone willing to pay me, was even more discouraging and depressing.

As a drafting assistant, design partner, professor of architecture, and architectural adviser I was so in debt that any money I made had to go directly to pay debt bills, and did not allow me to save for the basics of middle-class property and personal benefit expectations that were promised to come to everyone that played by the rules of the system (higher education = more income). I found those platitudes to be hollow, even for many like me who wanted to find a life-long career within ‘good’ firms. Well it was clear the world for practicing architects was changing from what it had been. I did work with my father for years, and as partners we completed many designs and built many projects; however we made very little profit.

My father and I were successful designers, but that success did not transfer financially. Part of the reason capitalism did not work for us, was that many clients were poor, and even the rich wanted to save money. My father out of the kindness of his heart and joy to serve others, and enthusiasm for his craft, would charge fees that may have gone further during the 1970s. Combine low pay with the rise in cost of living, inflation, and this is why my mother had to support our family by working commercial retail at Walmart and teaching at schools; both jobs luckily she enjoyed as best she could. I worked many other jobs besides architecture, sometimes 5 jobs a month, and always actively found back-up jobs and projects that kept me busy. Despite only having one family car and very few luxuries for middle-class, we saw our wealth diminish no matter how hard we worked, and no matter how many clients we had.

I lived within my means, on the budget of a lower-class individual, while striving to serve the public as a middle-class citizen educated by ‘higher institutions of education’. I did not ‘drop-out’ of the system, the system was not interested in using me for the purpose that my education, psychology, and skill-set allowed. I still continue to live in this way, which I feel is the best I can do with what I have available to me.

I do not say these things to complain that my family suffered more than lower-class people, or disabled people (who can easily be disenfranchised by society and the system). I am not comparing how we lived to how other classes live, the point of being honest about my middle-class family experience is to show why I believe that alternative economic systems are important. I have always been interested in the definition of economics, and silly questions like “why do we say ‘trade & barter’ if those terms are synonyms?”. My favorite question as a child was “what makes a unit of something worth anything?”; or more humorously “can we just start using bottle caps or shells as money?”. I still think those types of questions are good.

Professionals whose public speeches, books, and conversations I have studied include Dr. Dean Baker, Prof. Noam Chomsky, Prof. Mark Blyth, Prof. Michael Hudson, politicians Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, Jeremy Corbyn, and many others.

Regardless I think it is always good to hear that other people suffer from a type of economic exchange we could call the ‘oops I should have asked for more” syndrome. So I will try to include a few of those stories too for you. Enjoy the most boring theories you never thought might affect you, and keep on keepin’ on.

If I understand some economists correctly, they are saying we are living in a period like the 1920s when all growth was in the stock market; it was considered ‘capital gain’ but was really ‘striping assets’; which resulted in the Stock Market Crash and Great Depression. No pressure people.

Jeremy Corbyn in the Labor (Labour) Party in England, makes Bernie Sanders look like a centrist about public policies.

“For the many, not the few.” – Corbyn Labour party platform

“Our challenge to a rigged system, is bound to meet hostility. Change always involves taking on vested interests. The stakes are very high.” – Jeremy Corbyn, British Labour Party 2017

Great experimentation with individual and social action must take place now! I have been writing and publishing essays on Teaching, Colleges, Jobs, and systemic economic problems and solutions. In 2017 I am producing a series of recordings and essays on ‘SCOD Economics’. This Economic series includes interviews and biographies across disciplines, and intends to address both present injustices and futurist hopes.

We will discuss injustice within our educational and political system, that adversely affects people with alternative thoughts or theories that are not accepted by the conventional establishment corporate ideology frame-work that contains and controls most of the World. We are given their propaganda that “we can all have any job we want, so long as we try hard and get good grades”. Our reality based on my experience is more like “most of us can have at least a minimum-wage job with few benefits, for a limited amount of time, without job security, pathetic interest for savings accounts, the job we find may be against our own interests, and those who cannot get good grades or are bad at following orders get nothing and will probably end up in jail or homeless”. Despite these problems which I have personally witnessed and experienced, the final goal of the series is to plan for a better more sustainable tomorrow for future generations; even if the series conclusions are largely ignored within our life-times. Historic record has some worth.

From the book – SCOD Economics: Alternative Economic Theories

Economics affects everyone, even those that do not want to be concerned with money or finances. This book is a summary of alternative economic commentaries that emphasize democratic ethics. The Sustainable Cooperative for Organic Development believes in valuing human lives as responsible environmental stewards for our biosphere called Earth, and seeks ways to allow for biodiversity in civilization as well as the ecosystem. We believe in less monopolies, less corporate crony politics, less corruption in government, and more ways to support various ways of life and provide future generations with the ability to provide for themselves. Please let’s work together to leave something for the children that is worth inheriting.

 – Drogo Empedocles

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Peaceful Politics: Theory vs Policy

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Economics, History, Philosophy, Politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2017 by Drogo

True Distinction of Left vs Right in Theory and Policy

Politics 101 – Left-wing goal is humanitarian freedom, Right-wing is totalitarian military. Both can act like each-other to defend themselves, but those are the ideologies. The definitions apply to people based on the majority of their actions, not just words.

The more violence, the more Right-Wing the actions are by proof of theory. True progressive Left-wing leaders have been Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Noam Chomsky; all of which advocated non-violence as a primary and constant belief. The Left-wing leaders that deviate are considered less successful by history, because they competed using violence, which is vital to Right-wing theory. Remember, Classical-Liberals are for individual rights like American Libertarians; a concept with is Liberal and therefore Left-wing (corporations are not people).

Peace by social progress is Left Wing, Peace by military progress (War) is Right Wing. Despite labels, anytime Leftists use violence, they become part of a Right-wing game. I am talking about written theory and ideology in the pure form, not actual leaders or incarnations based on regimes. This was the fate of Communism and the reason why global 2-party systems do not really have a true Left wing today. Terminology gets confused, as no side is purely one or the other. True Left means love, civil rights, compassion, non-violence; but because people think Communist states were Left due to ideology that was barely addressed under totalitarianism…. the words are confusing. Non-violence is vital to Leftist theory, and when Leftists are violent, they play into ‘might is right’.

People who want to be on the Right today, seem to think Hitler was actually Socialist, aka Left, because of his party label. Hitler ran as a ‘National Socialist’; this does not mean he actually was Left-wing, or did anything in accordance with Left ideology; it means he was a demagogue liar that perpetuated militant totalitarianism and fascism under a false label. There is incredible double-speak in politics, and I am seeing it in comment sections more and more. One cannot slaughter thousands of citizens, rule by war, and provide public works for elite survivors and be true Leftist based on false platitudes. This strange lack of educated understanding of theory makes no sense, because neo-nazis are clearly the opposite of hippies; the two extremes of Right and Left in modern society. Hitler’s actions were mostly extreme Right-wing militant and fascist, while most hippies (except for violent punks) are extreme Left-wing pacifists. Major double-speak has been going on in the past few decades, and now under Trump. The confusion with the American Libertarian label has also perpetuated the bashing of the term ‘Liberal’ and now they are attempting to co-op it by claiming to be Patriotic like the founders, in their efforts to allow corporations and the 1% to rule us.

Similar issues with Stalin, ok we can say he and Lenin were Communist because they placed economics in control of their ‘State’ government, but the implementation of laws and results were clearly Right-Wing Totalitarian and not in keeping with Marxist ‘power to the people’ democratic-anarchist worker controlled theory, aka true Communism or Socialism.

Liberal non-violence is not as weak a position as war-hawks tend to portray it. Non-violent resistance to authoritarianism is different than extreme pure Pacifism. The best Left-wing leaders often make the distinction that they want to minimize violence, but self-defense can be justified as a rare exception to the rule, rather than a cause for frequent preemptive attacks. The main Left-wing tool is compassionate negotiation, and when that fails we use sanctions and ‘restraining orders’. The critique by the Right of this Left-wing peaceful tactic, is that peace allows Right-wing war-hawks to continue arming for war (Chamberlain’s failure to control Hitler’s aggression before WW2). This is of course the catch-22 problem of war justification, as I explained with diagrams in Operation 10 COW. It takes strong compassionate humanitarian leaders for societies to break out of the self-destructive war-monger paradigm. We rarely see Left-wing volunteers glorified because they are not financed by capital for obvious reasons; the main reason being that plutocrats who have most of the World’s wealth, and got most of their money from being part of the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) because it includes the largest corporations, now provides the funding for all major political leaders and propaganda on commercial media outlets.

Our government run by corporations seems to be playing ‘bad cop / good cop’ with us. Bait and Switch, give us the worst, then make us beg for the less worse. If we are not being with nature more than destroying it, we have to balance our system better. as an architect, i learned how our built environment could be more integrated with nature, and still achieve progress in technologies. I was largely unable to find enough clients to pursue those goals, and was blacklisted because of my environmental dedication. So now i practice where ever i am allowed to work on my own designs.

I am not a committed pacifist. I would not hold that it is under all imaginable circumstances wrong to use violence, even though use of violence is in some sense unjust. I believe that one has to estimate relative justices. But the use of violence and the creation of some degree of injustice can only be justified on the basis of the claim and the assessment-which always ought to be undertaken very, very seriously and with a good deal of skepticism that this violence is being exercised because a more just result is going to be achieved.” – Chomsky

Peace

Patriarchy vs Matriarchy

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Military, Philosophy, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2017 by Drogo

My thoughts on why Feminism and Hermes/Aphrodite rights are so critical today –

I believe there are many types of relationships, friendship being most important. I tend to find that males can usually handle aggression better than females because of testosterone, but with gender such statements are of course generalizations. I do think that civilization has operated on the chemical and role differences in militaries and most power systems, allowing men to dominate politics and religion as well. Predatory Capitalism also seems based on competitive aggression more than compassionate sympathy. These patriarchal power structures may be why cultures tend to be so homophobic; as to admit to feminine ‘weaknesses’ like love and care are vulnerabilities that opponents can use against us. I think many of our problems in the World today are a result of our inability to place humanitarian leaders in power, that would balance the lop-sided ‘titanic’ systemic dynamic that has perpetuated demagogues over democracy.

SCOD Economic Theory Series

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Economics, Multimedia Communication, Organic Development, Philosophy, Politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2017 by Drogo

Essays on Educational, Employment, and Systemic Economic Problems and Solutions

by Drogo Empedocles; May 2017

In 2017 I am producing a series of recordings and essays on ‘SCOD Economics’. This Economic series includes interviews and biographies across disciplines, and intends to address both present injustices and futurist hopes. We will discuss injustice within our educational and political system, that adversely affects people with alternative thoughts or theories that are not accepted by the conventional establishment corporate ideology frame-work that contains and controls most of the World. We are given their propaganda that “we can all have any job we want, so long as we try hard and get good grades”. Our reality based on my experience is more like “most of us can have at least a minimum-wage job with few benefits, for a limited amount of time, without job security, pathetic interest for savings accounts, the job we find may be against our own interests, and those who cannot get good grades or are bad at following orders get nothing and will probably end up in jail or homeless”. Despite these problems which I have personally witnessed and experienced, the final goal of the series is to plan for a better more sustainable tomorrow for future generations; even if the series conclusions are largely ignored within our life-times.

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SCOD Economic Permaculture & Futurist Interviews:

Tom the Data Scientist, Libertarian

Cheri M. the Permaculturalist

Beamer the Scientist, Liberal

Aeyla the Care Giver, Independent

Scorpion the Homeless, Independent

Drogo the Architect, Green

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SCOD Economic Commentaries:

My Favorite Job Was Teaching

How Crony-Capitalism Affects Education

Homeless Ways of Life

Public Art and Street Teaching

Alternative Economic Education

Graduate School Politics in Colleges & University

Permaculture in Economics, Business, & Politics

Quest For Consciousness

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References:

Economics Professor Mark Blyth

Economics Professor Wolff

MIT Professor Noam Chomsky

(Page Under Construction – links and more will be added soon)

Quest for Consciousness

Posted in Economics, Politics, Science & Math, Spiritual, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2017 by Drogo

Over the years I have toured many college campuses and made appointments to meet with staff members in their architecture departments. As friendly as some of the professors may have been, they told me candidly there were no job opportunities for me as part of their faculty, and of course none of them were paid to help me, and therefore they did not. I did lecture them on SCOD thesis, and they verified that college politics was not in my favor; despite ‘sustainability’ being a popular theory.

While exploring the Maryland University campus again in 2017 for open-house Maryland Day, among my various conversations, I did have a fortunate discussion with quantum physics graduate students and a business school professor, outside of the Science Department. We were talking about particle-wave theory, the split-test experiment, and the question of what observer consciousness, or whether they turned the lights on or off had to do with it.

I congratulated the business professor for being concerned about whether science could account for consciousness; as we have a cross-disciplinary problem of not being able to quantitatively value life-forms and the Eco-system in direct ways that protect our existence from predatory capitalism. He recognized that this problem did indeed exist, and that he “only went into business to make money”, but he was very concerned about getting the scientific establishment to acknowledge that consciousness exists. I defended the students who had volunteered to answer public questions, by telling the business professor that he was “pushing the limits of their knowledge, because science is about conducting quantitative verifiable experiments; and I wish that spirit had a residue that we could measure, but there does not appear to be much evidence that conscious exists apart from biology.”

Our two quests are linked, because monetary currency is mutually agreed upon around the globe, but life and environmental science are often ignored for profits that do not take their worth into account as variables that have economic value. If consciousness cannot be verified, given quantitative worth, and supported in monetary terms, then how can we ever develop Economic Consciousness for Life-forms? Perhaps we can begin with Bio-diversity preservation theories that do not depend on ‘consciousness’. Climate Science is getting ignored currently also, so perhaps corrupt politics or predatory instincts are to blame. On a positive note, I went to the Art Department and explained this problem during another conversation about the value of art and artist income.

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West Virginia Coal Mine Wars

Posted in Economics, History, Military, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 5, 2017 by Drogo

Chronology of the WV Coal Mine Wars

1912 – West Virginia Miners strike in Paint Creek and Cabin Creek, and are evicted from their houses; tent colonies are set up.

1913 – The Blue Moose Special train passes through the encampment of Cabin Creek and opens fire on the unarmed inhabitants. A reconciliation between the coal operators and the miners leads to the right to organize in Cabin Creek and Paint Creek.

1919 – An armed march by some 5,000 miners is organized on Lens Creek with the intention of overtaking Logan county and establishing a union. The march was abandoned some days later when the miners learned that federal troops would be sent in.

1920 – Seven Baldwin-Felts detectives, two miners and the Mayor Testerman are killed in the Matewan Massacre. Sid Hatfield, the Chief of Police of Matewan who was involved in the shooting, is charged with the deaths of the detectives.

1921 – Matewan Chief murdered in public. Sid Hatfield and Ed Chambers are gunned down on the steps of the McDowell County courthouse by C.E. Lively, a Baldwin-Felts (Pinkerton) detective. Lively is never convicted of the crime.

Though tensions had been simmering for years, the immediate catalyst for the uprising was the unpunished murder of Sid Hatfield, police chief of Matewan, At a rally on August 7, Mother Jones called on the miners to march into Logan and Mingo counties and set up the union by force. Armed men began gathering at Lens Creek, near Marmet in Kanawha County on August 20, and by four days later up to 13,000 had gathered and began marching towards Logan County. Meanwhile, the reviled Sheriff of Logan County, Don Chafin, had begun to set up defenses on Blair Mountain.

The second armed march of the miners took place, with the same intent as the first; to reach Logan County, overthrow the crooked Sheriff Don Chafin and organize a union. What would become known as the Battle of Blair Mountain was composed of some 10,000-15,000 armed miners in total, marching from Lens Creek in Kanawha County, to Logan County, some sixty-five miles away.

The WV Mine Wars end at the Battle of Blair Mountain where Don Chafin and 1,500 men were waiting for the miners. There was sporadic fighting for a week with hundreds of deaths. The miners eventually disbanded when 2,000 troops, aerial forces as well as chemical warfare troops converged at Blair Mountain. The rebellion was forced to surrender, and lay down arms.

The Battle of Blair Mountain was the largest armed insurrection since the Civil War, and the largest organized armed uprising in American labor history. It led almost directly to the labor laws currently in effect in the United States of America. It was the final act in a series of violent clashes that have also (confusedly) been termed the Red Neck War, from the color of neck-scarves worn by the miners, and the likely impetus of the common usage (originally Scottish term Red-neck) in the vernacular of the United States.

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During the American Mine Wars of the 1920s, and the period that followed, liberal Union moderates (Democrat Centrists) argued they could produce concrete benefits for workers much sooner than radical Socialists who planned to overthrow capitalism in the future. Left Wing politics began to move right towards Center, as unions negotiated with company bosses; union leaders began to get paid more as they demanded more dues from paychecks, and workers began to see less effective representation.

In the 21st Century, Mayor Kip Stowell of Harpers Ferry, WV and other local liberals and historians voted to preserve the Charles Town Jailhouse. The modern jailhouse building was used to jail General Bill Blizzard, during his trial for ‘Treason’ (armed insurrection terrorism like John Brown). It was scheduled to be demolished by the Republicans in office. The jail was saved by a replacement with Democrat County Commissioners.

In 2005, the West Virginia Archives and History Commission voted unanimously to recommend to the National Park Service that 1,600 acres of Blair Mountain be included on the National Register. Coal mining companies and nearby landowners promptly sued to overturn the nomination. The Sierra Club moved to join the suit, and in May 2006 a West Virginia judge granted the Club’s participation. That same month, the National Trust for Historic Preservation placed the Blair Mountain battlefield on its list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Places. The United Mine Workers union also came out in support of the National Register listing because of its importance to the labor movement.

(more research to come….)

PBS Video Documentary of the WV Coal MINE WARS – covers much of the history

Coal Mine Wars

Corporate Media Fails Democracy

Posted in news, Politics, Recommendations & Tributes, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 27, 2017 by Drogo

Sadly it is up to bloggers and independent media to hold corporate government and media accountable, as underfunded as we are. In 2016 I would watch Bernie Sanders lectures online with enormous live crowds, while all news networks ignored his popularity and instead chose to air Clinton and Trump as their two pre-selected favorites. Every single day, every week, for months during the National election campaigns. It was blatantly obvious to me time after time, that our public news was being filtered in favor of the two candidates that their bosses had decided were worth reporting on. It was a ridiculous ‘good guy vs bad guy’ show, with no room for rational public dialog on issues that affect us.

The failing of big news media outlets to cover all the candidates was not just by ‘for-profit’ corporations like the major commercial tv networks, but also newspapers and ‘non-profits’. Obviously commercial news networks [FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, Washington Post, NY Times] would not want to advocate any politicians that threaten their corporate sponsors, but apparently even the ‘liberal’ news shows of NPR & PBS were not immune to their corporate sponsors either, despite receiving our tax payer money (some government funding) and a majority of their money from PUBLIC pledge-drives!! I will no longer donate to my beloved NPR or PBS until they begin to cover the smaller candidates much more during (at least) National elections. Usually NPR or PBS were the only intelligently sensitive news sources I had to rely on for many years, and I still love many of their shows. However the National election press coverage clearly showed that corporate money corrupts even the media, not just our government. In hind-sight they have done this with many other ‘lesser known’ but brilliant candidates that have represented popular beliefs, like Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, and Cynthia McKinney.

We must remember that our media and government is there to serve us, not the other way around. If corporations insist on forcing us to submit to their influence, by dictating what or who gets propaganda and attention and how they get it, then we must not only resist but supply alternative solutions and vote for change. We the people must unite and show our opinions for support or boycott publicly. Thank you to all those who have done this resistance fighting already!!! Remember, remember, how they foiled our democracy; and have been doing it for a long time. Please continue to seek the truth so that democracy can work for us.

Bernie Sanders