Archive for capitalism

AA Economics – SCOD Transition Systems

Posted in Economics, Philosophy, Psychology, Spiritual, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2017 by Drogo

Religious vs. Business

Christian, AA, Buddhist vs Capitalist Business

Economics is a belief based philosophy that we can use psychology (behavioral) and accounting (math) to facilitate successful transactions of commerce. Some people want rational and peaceful economic systems in harmony with nature, and others want predatory ‘winner takes all’ systems as over-bearing master abusers. Before Marx wrote about communism and socialism, Christianity was founded on communal living and social services (similar to tribal Pagans). Christian social services are based on the concept that ‘giving is its own reward’ because God loves them, wants them to give without material or monetary benefit, and will reward them in the after-life for their sacrifice. AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) uses a Christian prohibitionist type of addiction therapy, run on member based donations and volunteer work. Buddhism has a similar charity concept that encourages vows of poverty and sacrifice.

Rather than predatory State Capitalism, or dogmatic Church Monarchy, we could change towards more moral humane systems. We can reward ‘givers’ more than ‘takers’. We need to be aware of the poor who give it all away, and the rich that take more than their fair share; because the system currently works in reverse. So we can develop a middle-ground between the two extremes of Religion and Business ideology. Communism clearly has the modesty of religious morality, and Socialism has the best aspects of trade & barter ethics. Clearly the best type of Capitalism (if it is to survive) will embrace egalitarianism for the majority of the population, that makes more property public and rewards those that give to others the most.

Predatory Capitalism is like an addiction, it is very hard to break a harmful habit if we feel we cannot stop ourselves from doing, even when it hurts ourselves and others more than it benefits them. Therefore perhaps a SCOD system of economic transition can be similar to AA, where we can admit we have a problem, and that by helping others we are solving the problem. Then we can begin apologizing to all those we could have given more to, when we only practiced Capitalism.

* This essay is an addition to the book:

SCOD Economics: Alternative Economic Theories

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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

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.

*

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)

American Dream Fallout

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Economics, POB Audio, Politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 11, 2016 by Drogo

In the Wake of the Great Recession the American Dream Dies

“The American Dream is a crucial thread in this country’s tapestry, woven through politics, music and culture. Though the phrase has different meanings to different people, it suggests an underlying belief that hard work pays off and that the next generation will have a better life than the previous generation. But three years after the worst recession in almost a century, the American Dream now feels in jeopardy to many…” “Economic statistics validate those feelings. According to the Census Bureau, an average man working full time made 10 percent less money last year than he did a decade ago.” [Read full story at NPR – American Dream Faces Harsh New Reality]

“New economic research shows Americans are no longer as likely to make more than their parents did at the same age…The American dream is harder to attain than it used to be. People may have felt that for a long time. Now there’s a body of research to back that up. One definition of the American dream is that your children will make more money than you did. Now economists have charted the percentage of people who make more than their parents did at the same age, and the picture is striking…” (adjusted for inflation) If you were born in 1940, you had a 92% chance that you would make more money than your parents did, because of national economic growth. For those born in 1980 it has fallen to 50%. Besides changes in educational and industrial labor, the main economic reason most people are not out-earning their parents is that corporate productivity gains go disproportionately to the few people at the top. Income inequality between the poor and the rich is the main problem. [Read full story at NPR – Economists Chart ‘Index Of The American Dream‘]

“Income Inequality Impairs The American Dream of Upward Mobility.” [Read and Listen to the full story at NPR – Debate: Does Income Inequality Impair The American Dream?]

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Like a phoenix we can rise from the ashes and co-create a new American Dream!

 

SCOD Economic Theory

Posted in Economics, Organic Development, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2016 by Drogo

Imagine for a minute that Capitalism was not ‘the only economic system that works’, as popular opinion believes; but instead that Capitalism is a failed system by humanitarian standards, that greedy people perpetuate so that no government can ever serve its’ citizens democratically. Most conservative capitalists would rather see church morality imposed on the masses, because that is their only response to the failings of Capitalism. When homeless get no government support, the capitalists will say “if they are too lazy to work, then they should find a church to take pity on them.” When a crazy person wants to exercise their amendment rights, rather than recommending they get help or take free medicine, the capitalists will say “they need to commit a crime so that we can put them in prison”. What if instead of trying to cover up for the failings of a selfish individualist economic system, we instead worked hard to practice an economic system that is for the common good, with its own built-in ethical code? SCOD economic theory is a combination of trade-barter and spiritual morality*. SCOD theory uses a sensible code of economic ethics* to foster transactions.

Offer only as much as you can spare, do not gamble all that you have. The higher your price is, the less you want to exchange it. Before finalizing a trade, consider how the transaction will affect the other party; if that trade will hurt them and they are ethical traders, then cut them a bonus break-deal. A bonus break-deal is when you give them MORE than they asked for, because you appreciate them as an ethical individual.

Mutual trade with ethical responsibility and humanitarian benefit.

*morality is more to do with religious dogma of reward and punishment, and ethics is more about common sense and having social respect for the good of the whole community.

Garden Cities by Ebenezer Howard

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Book Reports, Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2011 by Drogo

From the book Garden Cities of To-morrow by Ebenezer Howard 1898, 1902

Ebenezer Howard was a shop keeper’s assistant, farmer, writer, sociologist, and statesman. Howard valued good living conditions, democracy, nature, human rights, and personalities. Osburn and Mumford added notes that introduce, critique, review, and praise Howard. JH Osburn claims Howard may have been influenced by Bellamy’s book Looking Backward. According to Lewis Mumford Howard was also inspired by Spense, Buckingham, Wakefield, George, and Kropotkin. Howard’s narrow building lots were handed down from medieval English dimensions (20 x 130 ft).

Garden Cities of To-morrow begins by describing the “Three Magnets”: Town, Country, and Town-Country. Howard explains why we are attracted to the best of both Town and Country aspects. Town-Country benefits have cooperation, beauty, nature, green fields, green parks, good utilities, good commerce, social opportunity, high wages, low rents, low price rates, and low pollution!

In most chapters, Howard proposes how Garden Cities would function with diagrams. He describes inter-connected urban nodes. Central City is shown with a constellation of satellite micro-cities (garden cities, towns, villages, developments). Garden Cities at their heart have a central garden, with rings of dwellings, shops, roads, industry, fields, and farms. The ordered layout is meant to improve biological, social, economic, and personal life for everyone.

Howard considered some difficulties with analytic self-criticism. He saw the weak points in his plans, and how they might fail. This foresight can allow us to prepare for the worst problems, to better shape designs for the future. He maintained that human ideals are worth trying; quoting Darwin “Selfish and contentious men will not cohere, and without coherence nothing can be accomplished,”. Howard believed that Socialism and Individualism must come together in the future to realize a true, vital organic society and state.

Ebenezer Howard felt that Garden Cities would work, because the plans were based on understanding human nature. He indicated that Urban or Communal failures are a result of the ‘Duality Principle’ (Janus). Ignorance of the Duality Principle allows kindred mistakes, by regarding one principle action to the exclusion of others. Howard believed we are all communists to some degree, even those that shudder at being told this, because we believe in roads, parks, and libraries. Individualism is no less excellent, in his mind, as he compares good society to an orchestra that plays together, but practice separately. Expense, however, always tends to get in the way of progress.

Sir Raymond Unwin worked with Howard. In 1903 they designed and established the first Garden City in England, named ‘Letchworth’. Letchworth proved a success, and in 1919 the second Garden City ‘Welwyn’ was founded. By 1950 the cities had a combined population of over 40,000. The account of their success is given in Purdom’s Building of Satellite Towns. Some key points regarding the study of Garden Cities are: how urban and rural districts connect, health and sanitation, zoning limitations of density and sprawl allowing light, gardens, and leisure, harmony rather than standardization, communications, ownership and cooperative leasing, public freedom and choice of enterprise.

Contemporary critics dismissed “Garden Cities” as more akin to the fantasy of H.G. Wells, than to the realities of urban planning. Despite the critics, Garden Cities of To-morrow is cited in countless planning bibliographies, and provides an organic alternative to bleak industrial future city-scapes. So what happened? Our suburbs in America do not follow his models, although some are better than others. Howard wanted to keep the city, town, and country distinct from each other, unlike amorphous suburban sprawl. He wanted more green around and in cities, by confining and condensing urban development, to keep the country rural, pastoral, and agrarian; yet integrating their foundations for healthy and function living.

“The pathway of any experiment worth achieving, is strewn with failures. Success is, for the most part, built on failure.”  – Ebenezer Howard

“Creative work always arises by the synthesis in one’s mind of material from otherwise unrelated sources…”  – J.H. Osburn

General Smedley Darlington Butler

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Military with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2010 by Drogo

Smedley Darlington Butler (1881–1940), nicknamed “The Fighting Quaker” and “Old Gimlet Eye,” was a Major General in the US Marine Corps and was the most decorated Marine in US history. Butler was awarded the Medal of Honor twice during his career, one of only 19 people to be awarded the medal twice. He was noted for his outspoken anti-interventionist views, and his book War Is a Racket was one of the first works describing the workings of the military-industrial complex.

After retiring from service, Butler became a popular speaker at meetings organized by veterans, communists, pacifists and church groups in the 1930s. Butler was known for his outspoken lectures against war profiteering and what he viewed as fascism in America. General Butler came forward in 1934 and informed Congress that a group of wealthy industrialists had plotted a military coup to overthrow the government of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Even though the congressional investigating committee corroborated most of the specifics of his testimony, no further action was taken. Documentation was found in the National Archives (2003) by John Buchanan, that the conspirators were DuPont, Remmington, & Prescott Bush.

Between 1935 and 1937, he served as a spokesman for the American League Against War and Fascism. In his 1935 book, War Is a Racket, Butler presented condemnation of the profit motive behind warfare. His views on the subject are well summarized in the following passage from a 1935 issue of Common Sense :

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.”

General Butler played an important role during the Bonus Army veteran protests. He was on the side of the veterans, and MacArthur and Eisenhower were on the side of Congress who refused to pay, and violently attacked the Bonus Army camps. It is amazing that few people ever mention that part of their distinguished portfolios.

Smedley Butler died at Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, June 21, 1940. He was buried at West Chester. His doctor had described his illness as an incurable condition of the upper gastro-intestinal tract, probably cancer.