Sow why are you angry?
gul she's been reasonable about it to this point. please don't go off topic (not saying that you have so far... but this back and forth is threatening to)
Last edited by bg; 11-06-2010 at 12:59 PM.
You already had one in mind before writing this, haven't you ?What I say in this thread is true, and I like when the picture is clear and everybody sees it. So if that's what you mean by manifesto, then in a way.
Hehe. Yes. Almost every one is based on inequality, be it how much money you earn, where do you work at, with whom you sympathise, etc.The elite of any civilization of every time throughout history has done the same thing. They create debt one way or another in the other classes to earn money on other people's debt. It isn't new. It's just the way things are. No matter what political system you have, I think.
Well, well, well. The 'great' subjectivity versus objectivity debateI couldn't care less if you are red or blue or green or purple as long as you have sane arguments and don't just preach, but actually want to fix things.
I hope you're aware that everything you say says something about you and everything you say can, and will be used against you in a court of law. That said, it[*] might be used for further typing purposes by some fanatical typer.Not more than what I have written. I like to start things without knowing the direction.*
God forbid, of course.
Pardon me, but you seem to be quite in opposition to this so called "housing crisis" you think the elites want us to believe.Yeah, but I'm not very political in that sense. I don't relate to any one ideology. I look for solutions.
Well, fair enough. Solution it is
But it's true that many Americans were in deep denial about the housing-value issue, in part because they desperately needed values not to fall. My ex was so angry about my refusal to continue paying for a house that I knew would drastically lose value that he actually pushed me all the way across the room and threatened to put me out on the street. Home ... a house ... is a terribly important symbol for most Americans. It is, for some of us, everything--the biggest investment we make in our lifetimes, economically, and also emotionally.
I've been watching the decline of the U.S. middle class for years and years--and to some extent I feel that compared to the kind of middle-class life one finds in Western Europe, it was more of an image or a dream than a reality anyway. I mean, it depends, but for many Americans, middle-class status, since the possibility truly began to exist post-World War II, has always been a process, something one is always chasing, something one is always becoming, and something that can be so easily swept out from underneath a person.
I guess my point is, Ananke, your use of the collective "you" comes across as a bit patronizing here. Many Americans I know are quite ill-informed, whereas many are not at all stupid, but almost all of them are mired in a reality in which they are just trying to keep their heads above water. Just to hang on--that will take most of a person's energy right there. I should know, because that's exactly the kind of personal struggle I have been engaged in most of my life. Survival, with a pretense toward being middle-class.
I also think that your statements about Americans simply buying the bullshit we've been fed may be overly strong. Most Americans will complain about, for example, cheaply made Chinese junk. I don't know anyone who thinks buying crap from overseas is a great deal. It's the only deal. We feel disempowered to do anything about it. As you said, our elite own us. I'm not sure what to do. Currently, after the implosion of a shitty marriage, I'm trying to figure out how to keep my own ass a little bit safe, and my son's (uh-oh, I'm over 25!), and if I can get that far, then I will be more interested in attempting to understand what I can do besides trying to stay informed.
So what can you accomplish by unleashing scorn here in a fairly esoteric forum with a highly limited readership? What is it that you want? In the other Great Silent Majority thread you said you wanted answers, and you got some, but that does not seem to have satisfied you.
If I can be of help to you, I gladly will offer help, but I'm beginning to wonder if it is possible to meet whatever unstated needs or expectations are driving these threads. (Anxiety?)
Last edited by goldenbane; 11-06-2010 at 08:02 PM.
What haven't I lost in these last ten years? How can I expect to gain anything? How can I hope for a decent future for my child? Forgive me, but I'm at a personal nadir, and I know people in much worse circumstances than mine. And even if the near future for the supposed U.S. middle class doesn't hold complete catastrophe, I can't say it holds anything very promising.
It's all well and good, I suppose, to posit these arguments and provocations with a smug sense of protection, in the spirit of sport, but please do realize that for some of us these issues really are quite serious, and although I like you a great deal, I see you as beginning to traipse into jackass territory. I see that you mean well, and you are kind to tell me not to worry, but it does absolutely no good whatsoever to tell me that. I have good reason to be deeply worried.
Last edited by goldenbane; 11-07-2010 at 10:27 AM.
I know that it's pesimism to an extreme (which we're good at ) but talking about it, trying to inspire the American people to act, just isn't going to work. I think that in the face of fire though, when it comes, we'll fight like demons (and send those younger than us into the fire) to get through it. We aren't the boomers who thought that ideology and free love would win out to save the day, we're people of action who understand the futility of trying to use words to influence our society (in most circumstances).
I would recommend trying to wake up the people of your own country, if that's what you need to do.
on a side note, I think that for those in America who see a crisis coming, the general feeling is that we're waiting for the ones in power who are raping us to either die, move on, or get pushed out, so that we can get on with rebuilding what's left. We're already becoming isolationist in a way, bunkering ourselves within our families and friends, to ride out the storm.
I think that when the times come, it's quite possible that we'll say FU to the world who took our previous generations promises of future repayment and debting their children, pull our military back within our borders and aim our endless arsenal of nukes at their cities and centers of power, and say "good luck collecting on that, and btw, everything you thought you owned here just got nationalized."
lol okay... that image is a bit extreme, but I wouldn't put something of the sort out of the range of possibilities. The US has more than enough resources inside it to be self-sufficient if we decide to become isolationist at the expense of (or in the face of the fall of) our current policies.
Then again, the Steve side may be right. I've seen so many impending doomsdays come and go that I really see no point anymore in trying to anticipate them. If they come, they come. if they don't, they don't.
since I don't know shit about what I'm talking about, I'll shut up now.
Last edited by bg; 11-07-2010 at 12:05 PM.
A return to isolationism in the U.S. is not at all beyond what I can imagine. It was only reluctantly that most Americans entered the fray of World War II to begin with--look into popular opinion expressed prior to the U.S.'s entry into the war. America conceived of itself as a world apart. Although I see a continuation of that spirit both on the macro and micro levels, I doubt that U.S. leaders will allow the U.S. to fold back into itself. ???
I'm not going to go back through the threads and highlight every single thing you said that came across as holier-than-thou or jackassy. The general point I would make is that you now have said you wish to apply a nonpersonal, sporting inquiry to what for many people is personal and nonsporting. Therefore, I tell you that you tread into a territory where you might also, to some theoretical readers, look less than wonderful.
I don't say you attacked me personally or that you did me any personal harm. I just think you're a bit full of it at this point. I know too many people who have been through too much hell in reality for me to think that playing around with harsh criticism and putdowns is impressive, cute, etc.
I can't really apologize for that (my own feelings, my bad experiences of the last few years) in a sincere manner, ananke. When you said that it had not occurred to you that I might be worried, I was shocked. If you know that these issues are serious and that they affect people directly, then worry is potentially the least of it. However, I recognize that my pain is my own, and it is not your problem, and it's not your fault that this thread began to hurt.
And I do apologize that you felt attacked. I sort of knew I was being attacking, because I do assume you are SLE (you communicate exactly like a Ti-SLE I know, and with equal brilliance), and I made a conscious choice to poke in a way that I knew might be perceived by you as aggressive. That was wrong of me.
Last edited by goldenbane; 11-08-2010 at 09:58 AM.
If you get rid of the state (assuming that were possible), then power shifts to the hands of the next most powerful entity, defined by who controls the most assets and has the greatest material interests at stake. This would turn out to be the military and transnational corporations. These would become the new centers of power, molding local rules in such a way to preserve their assets and organizational survival and influence.Originally Posted by Ashton2
If the U.S. state were magically dissolved, within a matter of months it would be replaced by quasi-states run by military and corporate elements essentially operating by criminal force, before decentralized democratic structures even had a chance to self-organize. So getting rid of the state would be self-defeating and would only lead to worse things. You would have to first get rid of all large-scale business entities and somehow evenly distribute their assets.
IMO the only way to achieve decentralization of power to the degree you describe would be to have absolutely no societal entities with material interests and assets that extend beyond the local community. This is only achievable in a poor country of subsistence farmers, e.g. Bhutan, where there is virtually no concentration of wealth. It is impossible to have large, regional economic entities while only having small, local government. The nature of power is such that it accumulates in the hands of those with the greatest assets. He who owns, or can buy, the biggest stick wins. Thus, local government would retain nominal official power while the real power would be held by non-state entities operating at a regional or national level.
This perspective helps explain the growth of the centralized state in the U.S. over the past century or so. It simply mirrors the growth in power of business entities, which in turn mirror the growth in national economic wealth. As economic entities grow in influence, the state "has to" grow as well in order to remain the top dog.
The only countries where central government actually possesses less power than business entities are third-world countries whose governments are bought off by transnational corporations who gain access to their national resources and proceed to exploit them for their own economic gain. If the U.S. State were somehow dissolved by common consent, something like this would happen, either at the hands of U.S. or foreign corporations.
It is easier for the eye of a camel to pass through a rich man than for a needle to enter the kingdom of heaven.
In general, one thing I don't understand ananke is how you can be so bullish on China. You think their economy will hold up, considering how much they artificially inflated their currency? I agree with a lot of experts who predict China's economy will crash in 10-20 years.
Yes, you're right that the US is in a lot of debt right now. But not too much compared to US' GDP. It won't take that long to pay it back, if we focus on paying it back... the downsides to a country being in debt are greatly exaggerated... it's not nearly as bad as personal debt. I'm an American and fine with the government being in debt, call me ignorant if you want. But please explain your argument, what's wrong if our government is in a bit of debt right now? How will that hurt economy in the long-run? I know the dollar will weaken, we'll have to export more and import less... but that will change with time. Our automakers survived the economic crash and are on-par now with Asian cars in terms of quality... the auto industry should be the backbone of American exports in the 21st century... so again, there's no problem imho with America being in debt right now. Call me an ignorant American if you want, but I don't think my well-informed opinion is ignorant at all... I simply disagree with you.
1) Titling the thread "Great Silent Majority"... implying Americans are ignorant of what is going on or don't care... which is far from the truth. It's very insulting, especially after how many tea parties have been organized the past couple years to protest big government... and our midterm elections this past week won over 60 seats for Republicans, greatly protesting the Democrats' control... the largest number of seats won in midterm elections in over 70 years.
2) "It was the US/rich elite stealing your money. All of your system is built to serve the rich." ... very offensive saying our money is being 'stolen', even if you feel this is true, can't you word things a little nicer? Also implying that you understand our government better than we do is very offensive, without listing any reasons why, extensive study, etc. Your general implication that we are ignorant and don't understand what is going on.
3) "You have been slave traded without even realizing it." Also very offensive... if you don't realize by this point how 'jackass' you can come across, I'd be worried...
4) "It's cute that you thought you could buy anything for next to nothing." Seriously this is getting old. CUTE? You don't think Americans realized they made a mistake? You don't think Americans feel remorseful/sorrowful/mad that many of them had to declare bankruptcy, move out from their homes, struggling still with unemployment to find work? I don't think any American appreciates YOU acting all high and might, calling our mistakes "cute" from your armchair philosophy. Obviously hindsight is 20/20.
5) "You are already sold, and your elite has taken the profit and can't be touched anymore. And your government was your slave ship." Again, belittling the average American.
6) "Ironic that you think you are the smartest and strongest and best." Implying that we are dumb, weak, and the worst.
7) "It must suck so much to see the real picture." Again you're acting all jackassy and high and mighty, like obviously you are enlightened to see the truth. Please come back down to reality, ok? You're not the only one who understands what's going on.
8) "No wonder most of you are in denial." General assumption again of Americans, and personally insulting.
^^^ THAT'S JUST FROM ONE POST. Need I cite all your posts where I think you can be a jackass?
I'm quite sorry ananke. I try to respond in your posts as politely and professionally as possible, but when I saw Golden's post, and your arguing that you literally don't understand how you can come across... worries me.
And don't give ME that crap about how I don't really know you, I only know the image you project on the internet, jada jada jada. It takes someone really rude to write in the way you do all the time... much less argue that you don't come across as a jackass? Yeah, you're the perfect angel on the forums. Please insult Americans more, your highness.
I think that Mountain Dew is simply sympathetic to me, and I greatly appreciate that. I also think that for anyone who is newer to this forum and doesn't know anything much about ananke personally, or hasn't read many past posts by her, it's potentially difficult to understand her point of view. This is a trap I've fallen into, for it's certainly easy to project when you are presented with a blank screen, yes?
It's easy to grasp where I'm coming from, because I generally put personal things first and am quite open about them. It's hard to grasp where she's coming from, because her communication, at least in this thread, puts the personal last.
Yet Ananke is correct when she says she's on my side. She's a friend, and it's okay.
I'm not contributing to the debate so I wonder why i'm posting..... I suppose it seems to me she's being a little challenging in her opening title in order to get a response, but she's not just calling people 'jerks', she's actually putting effort into constructing valid points.
I haven't posted as i've nothing to say on the subject - I think lots of the Western world is in a huge decline, just the way it is, and I can't see anyone being collective enough to do something. I'm not even sure I want a 'collective force' doing something. BTW i'm not American.
Btw ananke, your argument of "I state the truth", 'therefore I'm entitled to say whatever I want however I want' is not only immature but illogical, because I can just say the same thing in return. I'm only concerned for the truth. I state the truth, you are wrong. Therefore I'm entitled to use colorful language such as 'jackass' and you are in the wrong to use language such as 'slave'. See what I did there?
Mountain Dew, I don't want you to think I've abandoned you after you bothered to agree with me.
I call a lot of my friends "jackass"--it's not a super-serious word in my personal lexicon. (If I call someone a "piece of shit" or a "goddamned motherfucking piece of shit," that's pretty bad.) "Slave" for me is a very serious term but not an insult per se. I have used it occasionally to express the condition I believe myself to be in. And yet it does come across as potentially insulting here, because of the following point:I guess somehow my colorfully insulting language offends people more than ananke's. It's ok for ananke to call people slaves, but it's not ok for me to agree she's a jackass? I'd rather be called a jackass than slave, but yeah ok, I'm the one who's being insulting. /sarcasm I just agreed with what was already stated, and gave ananke the response she was looking for when she felt the need to insult Americans in her first post.
It's just that having it presented as a new piece of information is condescending, yes. It sets up an argument in which I as an American am framed as ignorant and I must start fighting my way upward to prove I am not a complete moron before I can ever begin to state any ideas about the topic at hand.I find your whole realization of the 'truth' that Americans are being used quite naive.
Now, all that said, please let me reiterate that I am so OVER it and am cool with ananke. She doesn't mean anything personal here--I'm quite sure of it.
My only final point would be that something was rhetorically off about this thread, because we seem to be seriously sidetracked!
Ananke doesn't see that though. She thinks the American people agree with what our government is doing, and even the thread title 'Great Silent Majority' is a direct insult to all the Americans who came out last week and voted against the Democrats in-power. Largest turnaround in 70 years, over 60 seats for Republicans and tea-partiers won.
Voting is our only way of exercising true power. I understand the points you made ananke, but it's not like I can snap my fingers and make them better. America's practically a dictatorship, with the only chance the average person has of getting their voice heard is by grouping up with other people and protesting... which is exactly what the American people have done! It's insulting to hear our government is a slave ship from a foreigner, because I know that's the "truth", and that's exactly what the American people have been fighting against and rebelling against for years now! No duh!
Her assumption that the American people don't even know of the problem she describes is insulting. I'm curious to know what biased media she's been exposed to, which doesn't inform her of all the protests/rebellions of the past couple years against American politicians in-power. Tea parties, threats, even gunshots toward politicians, etc.
I could go on and on... but I have not accrued debt over the past 30-40 years. I did not get buried in debt... I did not get in trouble with the housing crisis... I did not ignore the level of debt our country owes the world... and I am not in denial with what's really happening. All those assumptions in her original post of the 'average American' cloud her version of the truth that we are aware what is going on and actively fighting it. I find it personally insulting that she ignores all the actions of Americans rebelling against big government.
To sum up all my posts so far... I would say to ananke:
We are already aware of everything you have said. Yes, it's the truth. Sooooo.... what do you expect us to do about it? We've been protesting and fighting for years now already...
Okay. To sum up my understanding of the problem: People (slaves/hustlers) want things that they can't afford. Other people (masters/dupes) give them these things. But eventually, the Duped Masters no longer want to fund the Hustling Slaves, and assert their Masterdom by taking all of the Slaves' stuff, rather than just a little. The Guards of the Guardians (Masters of the Masters, or Hustling Masters) are the people who profit off of transactions, who will retain money and power after the whole business is over, and so America was killed by ATM fees.
Hmmm... I like the idea that America has been subsisting, effectively, on reputation. I will accept this base-less dollar because I have faith that it has value (it has value by the common agreement of the people). On the other hand, really, how is a piece of paper printed by the Treasury any more or less arbitrary than a shiny rock? For one thing, the piece of paper, at this point, is probably harder to counterfeit. From that perspective, this seems like Socrates complaining about writing, and the US comes off pretty freaking awesome for being the first people to replace shiny rocks in several thousand years (and then overgo ourselves by replacing paper with little bits of electricity, literally nothing--but no more nothing than the paper and the rocks). We're as impressive as the people thousands of years ago who said, "I have a lot of shiny rocks. What if I make people think that these shiny rocks should be traded back and forth for horses and stuff?"
(The World Economic Tragedy is a tragedy of common sense.)
And I know the government owes the world an absurd amount of money, but ultimately, doesn't that come down to a fight? I mean... other people still have to play their cards right. If I'm China, and I hold huge amounts of US debt, I still have no means to force the US to pay that debt, except to march in and take the "money" from them. Or we do a treaty, people get substantially poorer, and the balance of power is altered, but nobody dies. I like that plan. Or we can have a revolution of the people and force the rich, on pain of death, to surrender their wealth to pay for our sins.
I don't know that this economic crisis is any more crisis-y than the environmental crisis.
Big picture: what do we do about it? The problem is now too large to be comprehended by a single mind (although I would love for a genius to try)... I think what we do is we try to make people better people, since that's the only way to solve things anyway, and if we can't do that, then we write poetry and try to alleviate the sufferings of others (not through poetry, but in addition thereto).
Actually... now that I think about it, I don't think the US is going to crack and fall into the Pacific Ocean (although California will, lol). Most empires die slowly, and I highly doubt america will be any different. The prognostications of doom and gloom for the middle class may be somewhat accurate (but really, I don't think we're going to be in bread lines, either, to be honest), but as for America itself, if it dies at all, it dies a soft death, like Rome, like Athens, like Sparta (acutally, Athens' death was fairly violent, but not so violent either). The apocalypse isn't coming. Hell, if things go well for us, we could suffer a period of decline and then rise up as a respectable nation (maybe in a few more pieces though. Actually, that would be the perfect end for America: finally divided into four-to-seven smaller nations, like the Bell Telephone Company).
Have people been living unsustainably? Yes. Are the fundamentals so altered that the world is really going to end? I don't think so. It may get way worse than we're used to, but...
Anyway, "what are we going to do about it?" Nothing. The system is in place, and you have to let it run its course. If that course is towards failure, then it is. The best you could hope for is to convince everyone that the crash is coming, and then do your best to position the nation for as soft a landing as possible. Oh, and write poetry and go to church and comfort widows in their distress.
The suffering is large-scale, but inevitable. Let's give people the tools to handle their suffering instead, and maybe also the strength to keep their children alive by whatever means are necessary.
The conversation between Golden and Ananke demonstrated that only strength responds to strength ("only strength can join itself to strength" according to the Nietzchean Harold Bloom).
Mountain Dew and Ananke's conversation was very entertaining as well. Quadra conflict is annoying/a bitch.
Not a rule, just a trend.
IEI. Probably Fe subtype. Pretty sure I'm E4, sexual instinctual type, fairly confident that I'm a 3 wing now, so: IEI-Fe E4w3 sx/so. Considering 3w4 now, but pretty sure that 4 fits the best.
Yes 'a ma'am that's pretty music...
I am grateful for the mystery of the soul, because without it, there could be no contemplation, except of the mysteries of divinity, which are far more dangerous to get wrong.
quite a few insulted and upset people, perhaps you were to aggressive in your approach to this topic, considering it affects many people in this world in a negative way, directly or indirectly.
Agreed--I believe we're already dying, but who isn't?but as for America itself, if it dies at all, it dies a soft death, like Rome, like Athens, like Sparta (acutally, Athens' death was fairly violent, but not so violent either).
This is one of the points I never got around to fully making. It's hard for me to imagine the United States over the very long term in its present configuration. I think it will eventually have to be broken into pieces in order to be manageable and for government to properly serve its citizens. And of course, there's that little matter of cultural differences; one would think that with the advent of popular culture, such differences would be smoothed over, but somehow they seem just as pronounced as ever. (So says a southerner transplanted to California and now in limbo.)The apocalypse isn't coming. Hell, if things go well for us, we could suffer a period of decline and then rise up as a respectable nation (maybe in a few more pieces though. Actually, that would be the perfect end for America: finally divided into four-to-seven smaller nations, like the Bell Telephone Company).
I'd like to see the government reconstituted in a variety of ways, with ministries of culture, law/infrastructure, and economics, each somewhat independently run; I'd like that overall structure to be in place at regional levels; I'd like each region to have a variety of political parties that enjoy proportional representation and serve their particular interests and values; and I'd like for the federal government to continue to exist but to be set up more as an administrative service provider to the regional governments. The federal judiciary is another matter; not sure about that ... But anyway, all of this probably only goes to show why I should never work in anything related to politics and government.
Last edited by goldenbane; 11-10-2010 at 12:28 PM.
Thanks for the info about Somalia. I wasn't aware of this case. I think this sort of thing can work there because they have tribal traditions and traditional mechanisms for self-governance. The U.S. has no such thing -- it's an almost completely desintegrated society of rootless transients. Furthermore, I assume Somalia had almost no corporate structures at the moment of collapse.
>> "Somalia's inhabitants subsequently reverted to local forms of conflict resolution, either secular, Islamic or customary law, with a provision for appeal of all sentences."
What would Americans revert to? What are the local forms of conflict resolution in, say, New Orleans?
>> "In 2006, the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), an Islamist organization, assumed control of much of the southern part of the country and promptly imposed Shari'a law. The Transitional Federal Government sought to reestablish its authority, and, with the assistance of Ethiopian troops, African Union peacekeepers and air support by the United States, managed to drive out the rival ICU and solidify its rule."
There will always be groups trying to fill the power vacuum.
>> "Somalis have for centuries practiced a form of customary law, which they call Xeer. Xeer is a polycentric legal system where there is no monopolistic institution or agent that determines what the law should be or how it should be interpreted."
We don't have traditions like this in the States. We may have 200-300 years ago...
>> "With very few exceptions, Somalis are entirely Muslims, the majority belonging to the Sunni branch of Islam and the Shafi`i school of Islamic jurisprudence, although some are also adherents of the Shia Muslim denomination. Sufism, the mystical dimension of Islam, is also well-established, with many local jama'a (zawiya) or congregations of the various tariiqa or Sufi orders. The constitution of Somalia likewise defines Islam as the religion of the Somali Republic, and Islamic sharia as the basic source for national legislation."
This is one of the keys of Somalia's relative success. It has relatively minor ideological and racial rifts. Not so in the U.S.
It is easier for the eye of a camel to pass through a rich man than for a needle to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Rick, to me you feel almost morbidly pessimistic about everything in the US. Can you list the positives that you see to balance that? or do you see none? I assume that since you live here again (you do right?) that there are reasons keeping you here.
On the positive side, many Americans are super friendly. I generally enjoy the individualism, self-reliance and craftsmanship that Americans are known for. The scenery is absolutely unparalleled. Very few countries have wilderness as Americans know it. I was very happy long-distance hiking in the U.S. and made many friends, most of them misfits like myself. I am homesick for the mountains. But the system itself is on a road to ruin.
In hindsight, going to an inexpensive university where I had a full scholarship and then moving abroad have been the wisest financial decisions I've made (maybe postponing marriage, too), although at the time it seemed like I was giving up better opportunities. I do not envy the lives of most of my high school or college peers who continued along paths supposedly guaranteeing financial security and status.
Last edited by Rick; 11-12-2010 at 09:49 AM.
It is easier for the eye of a camel to pass through a rich man than for a needle to enter the kingdom of heaven.
I think that there is a subculture of living this way here, but you need to have somebody ahead of you (family wise) to smooth the road. I've seen some of my friends who have the same sort of lives forced to sink into dept or take up scammery as a lifestyle to maintain (actually most of those people are much more materialistic that I).
God, I wish I could try europe. maybe someday I'll get to it.
If it weren't for property taxes genuine stability would be achievable. I've heard of middle-class people paying up to $1000 a month on property taxes for a nice, largish home. Property tax may have been a good idea during boom times, but it's hurting people more and more these days.