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The Conspiracy Against Socialism


John Simkin
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Ever since the emergency of democracy there has been a strong attempt to introduce socialism. After all, any system based on equality is bound to be popular with the vast majority of the population who are forced to share a small proportion of the national wealth. However, this movement has been continuously undermined. At first, the ruling class kept the majority of people from voting. When that failed they concentrated on the distortion of the socialist message via the mass media. Combined with this was the corruption of leading members of the socialist movement. In the case of Blair and Brown, they were “turned” before they became leaders.

Despite this history I remain an optimist and still believe that sometime in the future I will see a socialist society in Britain. Any ideas on how this could be achieved?

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Guest Stephen Turner
Ever since the emergency of democracy there has been a strong attempt to introduce socialism. After all, any system based on equality is bound to be popular with the vast majority of the population who are forced to share a small proportion of the national wealth. However, this movement has been continuously undermined. At first, the ruling class kept the majority of people from voting. When that failed they concentrated on the distortion of the socialist message via the mass media. Combined with this was the corruption of leading members of the socialist movement. In the case of Blair and Brown, they were “turned” before they became leaders.

Despite this history I remain an optimist and still believe that sometime in the future I will see a socialist society in Britain. Any ideas on how this could be achieved?

Very difficult John, when all the major media outlets, ie 99% of the "knowledge and truth" that is available to people is owned exclusively by the Elite, and used ruthlessly to further their ends. as marx said "A revolutionary must learn to swin against the tide"

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Thanks Peter,

I'll try and be more constructive.

I admire your optimism John and look forward to your thoughts on this.

This is not something that can be described in 60 words or less, is it?

Peter's post would indicate the need for a good education especially in the ways of advertising/propaganda deconstruction and how to think rationally and use logic. However since an educated workforce is no longer really required (all those jobs have gone overseas and the wealthy can always buy one anywhere) the public education system is being run down. Consumers are not required to be informed or educated.

Some thoughts and random musings.

Firstly, I think John is right to be optimistic. It is of no use throwing one's hands up and saying it is all hopeless. I agree it is not without its challenges but is certainly attainable. The belief that it is possible, indeed inevitable is a necessary starting point. Otherwise you should just hand your soul over now to the company for less than 30 pieces of silver and save yourself and everyone all the bother.

Some people say that socialism can't/hasn't worked. Just look at what happened in the USSR etc. it is against human nature etc. Well, you bet it works or 'they' wouldn't have spent those trillions of dollars, pounds, francs, yen and marks trying to undermine it from birth. They could have saved all that money for themselves and waited for the inevitable collapse if it couldn't work. Because it does work, and 'they' know it very well, was why all that money had to be spent and why we got a bit of a pay off in a welfare state to keep us a bit more quiet. You will have noticed that now the eastern block countries have temporarily succumbed to counter revolution the Welfare State has gone/going too. Don't have to bother with that illusion anymore. As for human nature we are social creatures. We die if separated from each other. That is why solitary confinement is a punishment not a privilege. While base emotions can be found in humans it is the altruistic and socially co-operative one's which have resulted in progress in our existence on this planet. It can be seen in animals and within organisms - co-operation, symbiosis. It is not dog eat dog, survival of the fittest. This Darwinian concept wasn't really what Darwin was on about but has been used ideologically by the right to justify themselves and appeal to the baser instincts in some. It appeals to those who promote and benefit from scarcity.

It is important to include everyone, even 'them' as 'they' are human beings and socialism is for all. Well, the majority :tomatoes anyway. You can't please every one all of the time. But they must be respected as human beings. Ideas and ideology, however, are fair game and should stand up to scrutiny. Capitalism is inherently unjust, discriminatory, unsustainable, immoral and inhuman. This needs to be continuously shown and explained and pointed out in all its manifestations. Capitalism cannot stand up to criticism because of these inherent flaws. People who maypresently accept capitalism may become future allies. If they are criticized you create unnecessary problems and alienate a potential socialist. Many people are uneducated and fearful. It is up to us to accept where these people are at. Not to criticize them for being ignorant or afraid but to show how not to be through our actions and explanations. Bring them into our fold, accept them, educate, elucidate, enlighten because not to do so will only alienate them from us and they will be used by TPTB against us. Lumpen proletarians. Attack ideas, institutions but not people.

Speaking of attacking others remember not to attack each other. Keep the big picture in mind. Remember how divide and conquer has been used over the centuries. Who cares what Stalin did. Who cares what Trotsky did. I am sure if they were alive now they would have both done things differently. Deal with here and now. Work with others who think and feels the same, whether they call themselves, socialist, christian, trotskyist, anarchist, environmentalist, stalinist, individualist, housewife, pensioner, nobody. Don't get caught up in all that. There will always be points of differences. Don't get stuck there. Don't let 'them' use it against us. Work in the areas where you can. Work with as many people as you can on issues that you can. I work very well with Christians in the peace movement though I hate religion and think the church an evil institution. They probably think I am deluded, dictatorial and damned to hell. But we work together very well where it matters. I don't compare them to Torquemada or point out biblical inconsistencies to them and they don't compare me to Stalin but accept a godless heathen like me and we celebrate each other and what we achieve together. After socialism I may point out the inconsistencies but right now there is a bigger issue at stake and I don't want to alienate allies. Don't fall into the trap of denouncing the former socialist countries (or even the present ones). No doubt there were/are problems but this is also a divide on conquer tactics. There is also western propaganda. Don't be blinded by it. Deal with the here and now. What happened in 1957 Hungary maybe useful to know for many reasons (one does learn from history) but you may be in London 2008 or Sydney or Uzbekistan. Local issues and conditions and responses prevail. Don't let Hungary 1957 be used to stop you doing something in London 2008.

Don't feed the beast. Don't buy its newspapers, watch its tv, read its books or listen to its music. Don't shop in its shops. You may have to work in their work places but outside of there and in your head create your world. Reclaim your space. Support co-ops, small business, do it your self. Get independent of it. Boycott it. Show others how to do this so that they too can learn to be independent of it. Laugh at it. Point out how stupid and ugly it is.

Must sleep now. Will post again tomorrow if any interest in this thread. And why wouldn't there be?

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Ever since the emergency of democracy there has been a strong attempt to introduce socialism. After all, any system based on equality is bound to be popular with the vast majority of the population who are forced to share a small proportion of the national wealth. However, this movement has been continuously undermined. At first, the ruling class kept the majority of people from voting. When that failed they concentrated on the distortion of the socialist message via the mass media. Combined with this was the corruption of leading members of the socialist movement. In the case of Blair and Brown, they were “turned” before they became leaders.

Despite this history I remain an optimist and still believe that sometime in the future I will see a socialist society in Britain. Any ideas on how this could be achieved?

John-

There is a difference between equality of opportunity and equality of results.

To the extent that the government reduces one person's ability to fail, it reduces another person's ability to succeed.

I was born in East St. Louis, Illinois (check it out on Wiki). We lived in an adjoining "smokestack" industrial town, where not only did we not have money, but there was no money to be had.

I am a graduate of a heavily integrated public high school and 3 state universities.

Along the way, I cut grass, cleaned tables, washed dishes, worked in factories, washed cars, worked in funeral homes (doing everything), and worked retail. I have been denied a job as a result of the color of my skin. These experiences have helped shape and mold me.

The opportunity to have a successful career doing good work for people who need legal assistance (in my case, as a tax lawyer) has driven me for the last 29 - 30 years, when I started law school.

I don't want the government deciding what I am worth and compensating me accordingly.

I respect people, like you, who think differently, but the above is my philosophy and my motivation.

It has been a lot of work and a lot of fun.

I regard myself as more blest than deserving, and I am happy to have had the opportunity to experience the journey, including the many lean times and the numerous menial low-paying jobs.

I continue to work long hours, because I like what I do for a living.

I don't want the government reducing my opportunity to succeed by taking even more of my earnings and redistributing them to someone who doesn't share my work ethic.

Taxation is nothing more than the governmental taking of the earnings of one person's efforts, at the threat of imprisonment, and spending and re-distributing such person's earnings as it sees fit.

I concur with the holding of the Supreme Court (I forget the decision, but it is quite old) that the power to tax is the power to destroy.

I think that the government should use it more sparingly.

I don't see how someone can argue that the goverment is overreaching in most matters (with which I certainly agree), while, at the same time, arguing that the government should take more money from its citizens on the threat of imprisonment.

Taxation is an onerous and omnipresent form of governmental intrusion.

It drains our national productivity.

It keeps our levels of living down much more than it enhances them.

If I wanted help with anything, the last party I would turn to would be the government.

I don't want to pretend to work, while the government pretends to pay me.

I want to have the ability to succeed or fail without any governmental "help".

Edited by Christopher Hall
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Ever since the emergency of democracy there has been a strong attempt to introduce socialism. After all, any system based on equality is bound to be popular with the vast majority of the population who are forced to share a small proportion of the national wealth. However, this movement has been continuously undermined. At first, the ruling class kept the majority of people from voting. When that failed they concentrated on the distortion of the socialist message via the mass media. Combined with this was the corruption of leading members of the socialist movement. In the case of Blair and Brown, they were “turned” before they became leaders.

Despite this history I remain an optimist and still believe that sometime in the future I will see a socialist society in Britain. Any ideas on how this could be achieved?

John-

There is a difference between equality of opportunity and equality of results.

To the extent that the government reduces one person's ability to fail, it reduces another person's ability to succeed.

I was born in East St. Louis, Illinois (check it out on Wiki). We lived in an adjoining "smokestack" industrial town, where not only did we not have money, but there was no money to be had.

I am a graduate of a heavily integrated public high school and 3 state universities.

Along the way, I cut grass, cleaned tables, washed dishes, worked in factories, washed cars, worked in funeral homes (doing everything), and worked retail. I have been denied a job as a result of the color of my skin. These experiences have helped shape and mold me.

The opportunity to have a successful career doing good work for people who need legal assistance (in my case, as a tax lawyer) has driven me for the last 29 - 30 years, when I started law school.

I don't want the government deciding what I am worth and compensating me accordingly.

I respect people, like you, who think differently, but the above is my philosophy and my motivation.

It has been a lot of work and a lot of fun.

I regard myself as more blest than deserving, and I am happy to have had the opportunity to experience the journey, including the many lean times and the numerous menial low-paying jobs.

I continue to work long hours, because I like what I do for a living.

I don't want the government reducing my opportunity to succeed by taking even more of my earnings and redistributing them to someone who doesn't share my work ethic.

Taxation is nothing more than the governmental taking of the earnings of one person's efforts, at the threat of imprisonment, and spending and re-distributing such person's earnings as it sees fit.

I concur with the holding of the Supreme Court (I forget the decision, but it is quite old) that the power to tax is the power to destroy.

I think that the government should use it more sparingly.

I don't see how someone can argue that the goverment is overreaching in most matters (with which I certainly agree), while, at the same time, arguing that the government should take more money from its citizens on the threat of imprisonment.

Taxation is an onerous and omnipresent form of governmental intrusion.

It drains our national productivity.

It keeps our levels of living down much more than it enhances them.

If I wanted help with anything, the last party I would turn to would be the government.

I don't want to pretend to work, while the government pretends to pay me.

I want to have the ability to succeed or fail without any governmental "help".

You've got to be kidding, Chris.

While I admire your tenacity and work ethic, do you really expect everyone in society to emulate your feat---and to hell with them if they can't? Government is probably the wrong word because it is often associated with waste and mismanagement, but public investment in schools and other utilities greatly benefits society. As the recipient of a public school education, you should be the first to acknowledge that.

So what's your alternative to taxation? Collect no taxes and privatise everything, including the police? Hey, maybe the police force's financial sponsors will determine who gets arrested? Why not go all the way and privatise the Government? Think of the taxes you'll save.

In any case, the energy crisis will soon transform the global political and economic landscape and make the left versus right argument redundant. Unless we change from a 'me' to a 'we' society, it's all over:

http://www.alternet.org/audits/82476/?page=entire

http://www.alternet.org/democracy/82339/?page=entire

Edited by Mark Stapleton
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Ever since the emergency of democracy there has been a strong attempt to introduce socialism. After all, any system based on equality is bound to be popular with the vast majority of the population who are forced to share a small proportion of the national wealth. However, this movement has been continuously undermined. At first, the ruling class kept the majority of people from voting. When that failed they concentrated on the distortion of the socialist message via the mass media. Combined with this was the corruption of leading members of the socialist movement. In the case of Blair and Brown, they were “turned” before they became leaders.

Despite this history I remain an optimist and still believe that sometime in the future I will see a socialist society in Britain. Any ideas on how this could be achieved?

John-

There is a difference between equality of opportunity and equality of results.

To the extent that the government reduces one person's ability to fail, it reduces another person's ability to succeed.

I was born in East St. Louis, Illinois (check it out on Wiki). We lived in an adjoining "smokestack" industrial town, where not only did we not have money, but there was no money to be had.

I am a graduate of a heavily integrated public high school and 3 state universities.

Along the way, I cut grass, cleaned tables, washed dishes, worked in factories, washed cars, worked in funeral homes (doing everything), and worked retail. I have been denied a job as a result of the color of my skin. These experiences have helped shape and mold me.

The opportunity to have a successful career doing good work for people who need legal assistance (in my case, as a tax lawyer) has driven me for the last 29 - 30 years, when I started law school.

I don't want the government deciding what I am worth and compensating me accordingly.

I respect people, like you, who think differently, but the above is my philosophy and my motivation.

It has been a lot of work and a lot of fun.

I regard myself as more blest than deserving, and I am happy to have had the opportunity to experience the journey, including the many lean times and the numerous menial low-paying jobs.

I continue to work long hours, because I like what I do for a living.

I don't want the government reducing my opportunity to succeed by taking even more of my earnings and redistributing them to someone who doesn't share my work ethic.

Taxation is nothing more than the governmental taking of the earnings of one person's efforts, at the threat of imprisonment, and spending and re-distributing such person's earnings as it sees fit.

I concur with the holding of the Supreme Court (I forget the decision, but it is quite old) that the power to tax is the power to destroy.

I think that the government should use it more sparingly.

I don't see how someone can argue that the goverment is overreaching in most matters (with which I certainly agree), while, at the same time, arguing that the government should take more money from its citizens on the threat of imprisonment.

Taxation is an onerous and omnipresent form of governmental intrusion.

It drains our national productivity.

It keeps our levels of living down much more than it enhances them.

If I wanted help with anything, the last party I would turn to would be the government.

I don't want to pretend to work, while the government pretends to pay me.

I want to have the ability to succeed or fail without any governmental "help".

You've got to be kidding, Chris.

While I admire your tenacity and work ethic, do you really expect everyone in society to emulate your feat---and to hell with them if they can't? Government is probably the wrong word because it is often associated with waste and mismanagement, but public investment in schools and other utilities greatly benefits society. As the recipient of a public school education, you should be the first to acknowledge that.

So what's your alternative to taxation? Collect no taxes and privatise everything, including the police? Hey, maybe the police force's financial sponsors will determine who gets arrested? Why not go all the way and privatise the Government? Think of the taxes you'll save.

In any case, the energy crisis will soon transform the global political and economic landscape and make the left versus right argument redundant. Unless we change from a 'me' to a 'we' society, it's all over:

http://www.alternet.org/audits/82476/?page=entire

http://www.alternet.org/democracy/82339/?page=entire

Kidding?

I think not.

I didn't say that there should be no taxes, but that the taxing power of governments should be used sparingly.

That is certainly not the present case.

You may try to put words in my mouth, change the subject, etc., but what I said was quite clear.

I think that we should have less, and not more, taxes.

I felt the same way about taxes and large government when I was making minimum wages.

I don't care to be a serf, awaiting my standard weekly paycheck in an amount determined by the government.

And I certainly don't trust the government, as a rule, to make good decisions with taxing and spending matters.

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John, In my view the most important priority will be the MASS ACTIVE DELEGITIMATION OF THE CORPORATE MEDIA. This has been the scrambler, the joker in the deck that older socialists had been unable to predict. There have been about eighty years of communications reasearch designed to fragment opposition, so that it doesnt matter if a Bush or a Hillary Rodham Bush has eleven percent support: if the other eighty nine percent have no means of "recognizing their own stregnth and are continually divided by lapel pins while millions are bombed with their taxes off thier plasma screens, then eleven percent it shall be!

With that in mind, I think that clear limitations of the internet,AS IT CURRENTLY STANDS are becoming obvious. It does not have tha ability to create critical mass that CAN MAKE THE CAMPAIGN THE WAY THE CORPORATE MEDIA STILL CAN EVEN WITH DWINDLING VIEWERSHIP. It is not so much the totat number of viewers as the ability to create a national common denominator that says" on thursday morning seventy percent will know about the lapel pin but only 2% will know about said event among iraq defense funder."

Now what do I mean by ACTIVE DELIGITIMATION?

NOT going to the internet as an "ALTERNATIVE" It is not a REAL alternative if it cannot pose an alternative narrative within the public sphere. Indeed it could be counterproductive in the sense that it represents a shrinking of the public sphere, and a marginalization, and creation of niche issues that never become part of the elections and publicly mediated policy decisions.

The time has come for the internet to actively challenge the leigitmacy of the Corporate Media. What might this mean?

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Ever since the emergency of democracy there has been a strong attempt to introduce socialism. After all, any system based on equality is bound to be popular with the vast majority of the population who are forced to share a small proportion of the national wealth. However, this movement has been continuously undermined. At first, the ruling class kept the majority of people from voting. When that failed they concentrated on the distortion of the socialist message via the mass media. Combined with this was the corruption of leading members of the socialist movement. In the case of Blair and Brown, they were “turned” before they became leaders.

Despite this history I remain an optimist and still believe that sometime in the future I will see a socialist society in Britain. Any ideas on how this could be achieved?

John-

There is a difference between equality of opportunity and equality of results.

To the extent that the government reduces one person's ability to fail, it reduces another person's ability to succeed.

I was born in East St. Louis, Illinois (check it out on Wiki). We lived in an adjoining "smokestack" industrial town, where not only did we not have money, but there was no money to be had.

I am a graduate of a heavily integrated public high school and 3 state universities.

Along the way, I cut grass, cleaned tables, washed dishes, worked in factories, washed cars, worked in funeral homes (doing everything), and worked retail. I have been denied a job as a result of the color of my skin. These experiences have helped shape and mold me.

The opportunity to have a successful career doing good work for people who need legal assistance (in my case, as a tax lawyer) has driven me for the last 29 - 30 years, when I started law school.

I don't want the government deciding what I am worth and compensating me accordingly.

I respect people, like you, who think differently, but the above is my philosophy and my motivation.

It has been a lot of work and a lot of fun.

I regard myself as more blest than deserving, and I am happy to have had the opportunity to experience the journey, including the many lean times and the numerous menial low-paying jobs.

I continue to work long hours, because I like what I do for a living.

I don't want the government reducing my opportunity to succeed by taking even more of my earnings and redistributing them to someone who doesn't share my work ethic.

Taxation is nothing more than the governmental taking of the earnings of one person's efforts, at the threat of imprisonment, and spending and re-distributing such person's earnings as it sees fit.

I concur with the holding of the Supreme Court (I forget the decision, but it is quite old) that the power to tax is the power to destroy.

I think that the government should use it more sparingly.

I don't see how someone can argue that the goverment is overreaching in most matters (with which I certainly agree), while, at the same time, arguing that the government should take more money from its citizens on the threat of imprisonment.

Taxation is an onerous and omnipresent form of governmental intrusion.

It drains our national productivity.

It keeps our levels of living down much more than it enhances them.

If I wanted help with anything, the last party I would turn to would be the government.

I don't want to pretend to work, while the government pretends to pay me.

I want to have the ability to succeed or fail without any governmental "help".

You've got to be kidding, Chris.

While I admire your tenacity and work ethic, do you really expect everyone in society to emulate your feat---and to hell with them if they can't? Government is probably the wrong word because it is often associated with waste and mismanagement, but public investment in schools and other utilities greatly benefits society. As the recipient of a public school education, you should be the first to acknowledge that.

So what's your alternative to taxation? Collect no taxes and privatise everything, including the police? Hey, maybe the police force's financial sponsors will determine who gets arrested? Why not go all the way and privatise the Government? Think of the taxes you'll save.

In any case, the energy crisis will soon transform the global political and economic landscape and make the left versus right argument redundant. Unless we change from a 'me' to a 'we' society, it's all over:

http://www.alternet.org/audits/82476/?page=entire

http://www.alternet.org/democracy/82339/?page=entire

Kidding?

I think not.

I didn't say that there should be no taxes, but that the taxing power of governments should be used sparingly.

That is certainly not the present case.

You may try to put words in my mouth, change the subject, etc., but what I said was quite clear.

I think that we should have less, and not more, taxes.

I felt the same way about taxes and large government when I was making minimum wages.

I don't care to be a serf, awaiting my standard weekly paycheck in an amount determined by the government.

And I certainly don't trust the government, as a rule, to make good decisions with taxing and spending matters.

Like Mark I can also appreciate your tenacity and work ethic and I am pleased for you that you feel this has been a positive and formative experience for you though I see many crushed by this type of experience. I also agree that the personal tax burden is too heavy and can act as a disincentive. But I also feel that our society, Western Europe, Australia and the US are governed for the few at the expense of the many and that they are far from democratic. Have you read Ricardo Semler? He wrote a book called Maverick (and others since). Read it if you get a chance. I think you may like it. He is a businessman, capitalist, but he can see that it can't go on like this for ever. Look at Venezuela. Bursting with enterprise at the moment. It is not tax per se but how it is used. For example, I have never understood pay-roll tax. Why penalize employment? The corporate tax share has steadily been reduced over the years and individuals have had to pick up the slack and have a heavier tax burden. Pensioners now have to pay VAT/GST whilst business and the wealthy don't. GST is presented as a very equal tax - we all pay the same amount - and you don't have to buy these products anyway but for the wealthiest person in a system to pay the same as the poorest is not equal or moral. I do believe from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs. This saying is attributed to Marx but is actually a Christian quote, from whom escapes me at the moment. No person is an island. In our society all produce is socially produced and the fruits of that labor should be socially shared.

When I hear about your life as a student I am filled with sadness. Though you value the experience I see here how many people are destroyed by it. How much human waste and misery there is. All unnecessary. I see students working two jobs just to pay rent here (often in overcrowded and substandard accommodation also) with little left over for food and I see their health and studies suffer. Many just give up altogether. Not everyone has rich parents who can pay for their housing and educational costs. My Iranian friend who was a refugee in Poland (in Poland not from Poland) tells me how amazing it was to study there. All free from kinder to tertiary level. All books and materials provided plus accommodation and meals (as much as you could eat/want) and a small stipend as well. My husband tells me the same about Hungary. A former finance about Czechoslovakia. The Cubans I meet here tell me the same about Cuba. Cuba is a poor country. Yet they can do it. They even do it free for foreign students who can't afford to study in their own countries. Thousands every year. Australia takes in foreign students but only for their money. There is no reason for you or any student to suffer like that. There is also no reason why you can't volunteer to help out cutting grass, cleaning tables, washing dishes, cars, picking fruit. Whatever. If you want to have that experience, but you should not be compelled to do this on top of trying to learn. Your role as a student and future professional and just as a human being should be valued enough by your society to make it possible for you do dedicate yourself fully to that end.

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There are many successful socialists communities that work, such as convents, abbys, Kibbutz, boarding schools, Texas poligimists compounds, prisons and the military.

Those who want to live in such a society can do so, or create their own.

The idea that a government can be given the power to seize and redistribute wealth, and impose such a system on an entire nation, even if directed by a majority of its citizens, is reason enough to overthrow it.

Bill Kelly

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Guest David Guyatt

Allow me to be the one here who is less sanguine when it comes to being optimistic in the near future. If one reviews the overall trends of the last three decades then it is apparent that civilization has been shoved backwards rather than nudged forward. Recognition of this underlying reality is the indispensable requirement to change.

Mankind's inherent nature is, thus far, always wide open to manipulation of one sort or another and it stands to reason that the elite know how to apply the right kind of pressure to assure their continuing nourishment. Therefore a political remedy is not feasible or likely.

I therefore come back to Maggie's original point about abolishing stupidity and greed because I think this is the key to any progress.

Since these weaknesses cannot be abolished or outlawed (at least with any chance of success) then the only solution is a personal one. It comes down to each one of us taking responsibility for changing our own natures.

Placing our faith in political parties or accompanying dogmas to do this for us is simply ducking the reality.

Imo.

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Guest David Guyatt

No probs Peter.

Sanguinity aside, my perspective is a Jungian one as you know. As Jung said in his later years: "man is the cause of all coming evil".

I have absolutely zero faith in the political process ever achieving an optimistic outcome and consider that relying on a collective body to do so, is a sure prospect of having one's hopes dashed.

The only answer is if enough individuals become more conscious of themselves.

One simply does not know how many it will take to tip the scales.

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 Short of that, we are only documenting, for far

into 

the future, to some visiting alien civililization, the endgame of Homo ovis.

Ah yes, now there's an interesting topic. Perhaps they have already visited and will return for a review. Why are we so much more intelligent than all other species we share the planet with? Why is this massive disparity in intelligence required? Why would evolution do such a thing? Perhaps it has a sense of humor. Why do humans have so much trouble giving birth, potentially life-threatening, while the other species rarely have a problem? Why hasn't the evolutionary link connecting homo sapiens and apes ever been positively established? Why did we suddenly appear, a mere 60.000 odd years ago (barely yesterday on the evolutionary timeline) and proceed to destroy the ecological harmony of the planet? Worth it's own thread, imo. The ultimate conspiracy theory.

Getting back to the topic of politics, I tend to share the pessimism expressed by David. A harmonious global civilisation seems to be an idealistic goal which none of the current political systems can deliver. Human nature itself appears to be the problem--the greed and stupidity Maggie alluded to. It's part of our genetic makeup, unfortunately.

Previous generations had the luxury of discussing politics under the backdrop of a stable planet yielding virtually unlimited energy and wealth. Things have changed. We know the planet can't sustain the existing population, let alone the extra 3 billion projected by 2050. We've hit the wall. The energy and climate crisis have to be factored into the global political debate--the first order of business. We know the causes--energy guzzling lifestyles and too many people. Religion and nation states are also dangerous extravagances, imo. Political solutions to these problems threatening the survival of all the planet's species can be found only by thinking well outside the box, imo. I think we owe it to future generations to give it a go, since we seem to have had massive intelligence gifted to us.

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Guest David Guyatt
Why did we suddenly appear, a mere 60.000 odd years ago (barely yesterday on the evolutionary timeline) and proceed to destroy the ecological harmony of the planet? Worth it's own thread, imo. The ultimate conspiracy theory.

Mark, I hesitate to mention this because Steve Turner hails from Lowestoft and that, alone, is more than enough of a burden to load on his shoulders.

But the earliest evidence of civilization in the UK (long since evaporated, I know) and, indeed Europe, dates back 700,000 years. This early humanid is known affectionately as "LOWESTOFT MAN".

You see the cause of my concern.

So to summarize, man irrupted in Lowestoft, proceeded to inhabit the planet, killing it with the infection he inherently carried as he went.

If you've ever been to Lowestoft on a saturday night you'll understand... :angel

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article764618.ece

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