Friday, September 30, 2005
As I predicted in my article on the $152 billion in tax cuts, the nasty Deficit hystria is back. It is the political equivalent of Chicken Little's 'The Sky is Falling'.
Nobody in the the capitalist ruling classes and their political parties, the Liberals and Tory's, worried about deficits until last spring when the NDP talked about increasing social spending by a pitiful $4 billion.
The red herring of a deficit was raised by Monte Solberg, Tory Finance critic, in an attempt to whip up a bit of good old right wing hysteria over social spending. Never does he mention deficits when his corporate masters get their tax cuts. And his corporate masters were at it again yesterday also bemoaning the possible deficit that could be created by public spending, but never with increased tax cuts to them
Business leaders issue spending warning
Top business leaders warned yesterday that the approaching federal budget must rein in "runaway growth" in spending and cut corporate taxes, or risk undermining Canada's fiscal and economic health. The Canadian Council of Chief Executives told a parliamentary committee's prebudget hearings that any repeat of last year's massive program spending hikes may jeopardize competitiveness. The council represents CEOs from 150 leading corporations with combined annual revenue of more than $600-billion "Program spending last year grew by more than 15 per cent. That was roughly eight times the rate of inflation, and more than three times faster than nominal economic growth," David Stewart-Patterson, executive vice-president of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, told MPs. "Such a pace simply cannot be sustained unless the government plans either to hit Canadians with higher taxes or to break its promise to stay out of deficit," he said. "No sensible economic strategy can be based solely on ramping up public spending."
No then gee what strategy would they suggest....wait for it......
The council said the time is ripe for corporate tax cuts to recharge Canada's competitiveness, which is hurting from weak growth in productivity and foreign direct investment. "Over the past two fiscal years, federal revenue from corporate income tax has grown $7.7-billion or 35 per cent," Mr. Stewart-Patterson said. "Corporate income tax now brings in more cash than the [goods and services tax]."
Ah too bad, they should be paying more in taxes, after all their surplus value is produced by workers not tax cuts or investments. And the Gouge and Screw Tax is a regressive tax on the poor. Are they suggesting that the poor pay more in taxes than wealthy corporations and their bosses? Of course they are. Even if its a myth that tax cuts improve manufacutring and production output. They don't see chart below.
Now in order to avoid more deficit hysteria the Liberals are planning to introduce No-deficit budget legislation. Another dumb idea whose time has passed. Don't believe little old left winger me, take it from those in the know:
"However, Don Drummond, chief economist at TD Bank Financial Group, said a guarantee against deficits was "horrifically bad policy. This is entirely political. We have created an 11th principle 'thou shalt never go into deficit' but the impact of a $1- or $2-billion deficit in an economy our size would be irrelevant. The whole thing seems bizarre."
Yep whats a few billion in deficit, its NOT debt after all and as Alberta showed in 1995 one year after having a deficit it was abounding again in surpluses and has done so ever since. Now of course back then, a decade ago everyone was suffering deficit hysteria including economists at the TD Bank, my what a difference a decade makes.So how come Don Drummond is not on the same page as his bosses, in the Canadian Council of Chief Executives? Hmm can you say special interest group. And almost word for word Monte repeated what this special interest group of the well heeled said;
The dramatic rise in government spending in the last fiscal year has led to accusations by Conservatives that the budget surplus is being squandered and that the economy could slide back into deficit if growth slows. "We support measures to make sure we don't go into deficit, but the government is missing the point. We want to ensure that surpluses are put to some end -- services that make a difference in people's lives, or a reduction in taxes that hurt productivity, or debt repayment," said Monte Solberg, the Conservative finance critic. "Much of the spending does not produce results."
Well the NDP better balanced budget did apply "spending on services that make a difference in peoples lives", but Monte and his Tory pals opposed it. You see their real agenda, is no spending is good spending, everything should be corporate tax cuts. Except that tax cuts to corporations does NOT put money back into production and manufacturing, it goes into general revenues to offset profit losses. Don't beleive little old left winger me? Well the Economist says so:
The chart below shows that in 1995, countries with big budget deficits did generally pay a penalty in higher real long-term interest rates. Today, however, as the right-hand chart shows, there is no correlation at all between borrowing and real interest rates. Similarly, a study by the OECD in 1995 found that countries with big current-account deficits over the previous decade tended to have higher real bond yields. An update of that analysis by The Economist shows that this relationship has broken down, too. Financial markets seem to be doing a poor job as economic watchdogs: in particular, America's profligacy is being subsidised rather than punished.
Some convergence in real bond yields is a natural consequence of a global capital market. In a closed economy, if a government increases its budget deficit it must pay higher interest rates to persuade domestic investors to hold more bonds. But if it can tap global savings, it can borrow more cheaply because a smaller rise in rates is needed to attract the required funds. Even so, a more efficient international capital market is supposed to ensure that capital is allocated to the most productive use. Yet much of the recent inflow of foreign money into America is not financing productive investment, but a housing bubble and a consumer binge.One explanation is that, with interest rates low pretty much everywhere, investors are hungry for any sort of yield. This has made them more willing to buy high-yield bonds, and has pushed down the spread that riskier borrowers must pay compared with safer borrowers. This not only encourages investors to price risk too low; it may also produce bigger economic imbalances.
See my How do you spell economic basket case? USA
Thursday, September 29, 2005
In this case the latest issue of the New Left Review (NLR) contains an article
about the Savings crisis in the Global Economy and so does this weeks Economist magazine. They are both subscriber only content. however you can buy them online with paypal for each article or buy them at the local newstand. Both are well worth the price.
New Left Review 34, July-August 2005
Andrew Glyn: Imbalances in the Global Economy
Wide-ranging account of the growing disequilibria within an increasingly integrated global capitalism. Andrew Glyn takes the measure of China’s still gigantic catch-up potential, in comparison to previous Asian NIEs, and assesses the impact of its rise across different sectors of the world economy
The world economy
Sep 22nd 2005
From The Economist print edition
IS THE world economy in good or bad shape? Judged by the pace of growth, it is in rude health. Despite soaring oil prices, the IMF's latest World Economic Outlook reckons that global output will grow by 4.3% both this year and next, well above its trend rate.…
Suffice it to day they deal wit the curent American fiscal imbalance between savings, investment and deficit. The conclusions the both draw is that advanced industrial countries live with deficits, lower savings, and lower investments. That is deficits as currently experienced by the US economy have NO effect on investment or savings. Instead, investments and savings reverse roles in the new economy of longwave bubble in this case the current real estate boom over the last decade, has promoted personal deficits while corproate captial accumulates and is not invested. This anamolous situation is reversed in China and the newly industrialzed nations of the Pacific, where savings grow as does investment.
This is the new crisis of capitalism, America is now an economic basket case and only getting worse under George II's 'Vodoo Economic's" of tax cuts and deficit budgeting,. Says the Econonmist:
"The problem is that big-government conservatism is already stumbling under the weight of its own contradictions. The grandiose experiment in the Gulf could be enough to flatten it entirely. The first contradiction is Mr Bush's insistence on governing like a big-government conservative while taxing like a small-government one. Even before the hurricane hit, federal spending had been growing by 7% this year (on the heels of a 30% hike during Mr Bush's first term). Mr Bush has now promised to spend an additional $200 billion of federal money on rebuilding the Gulf, while ruling out tax increases to pay for it. The money can supposedly come from cuts in other government programmes. Fat chance." "Big-government conservatism faces its biggest test so far; it could prove fatal
This then has lead to the crisis of of the American Empire, it is not reaping profits from its colonies but instead in order to maintain its power is a net importer of investment from the hinterlands.
"America's current-account deficit, at 6% of GDP, is its highest on record; its net foreign liabilities, at 22% of GDP, are also close to an all-time high. Foreign central banks seem to have reduced their purchases of American Treasuries: official holdings of these rose by only $2 billion in the first seven months of 2005, against $295 billion in (the whole of) 2004 and $175 billion in 2003. If this trend continues, other currencies could one day challenge the dollar's dominance."How the dollar might lose its status as the world's main reserve currency
America is now a debtor nation relying soley on credit.
Thus the United States, which in the 1950s and 1960s had been the major source of world liquidity and of direct investment, in the 1980s became the world’s main debtor nation and by far the largest recipient of foreign capital. The extent of the reversal can be gauged from the change in the current account of the US balance of payments. In the five-year period 1965–69 that account still recorded a surplus of $12 billion, which constituted almost half (46 per cent) of the total surplus of G7 countries. In 1970–74, the surplus contracted to $4.1 billion and to 21 per cent of the total of G7 countries. In 1975–79, the surplus turned into a deficit of $7.4 billion. After that the deficit escalated to previously unimaginable levels: $146.5 billion in 1980–84; $660.6 billion in 1985–89; $324.4 billion in 1990–94; and $912.4 billion in 1995–99. As a result of these escalating US deficits, the $46.8 billion outflow of capital from G7 countries of the 1970s (as measured by their consolidated current account surpluses for the period 1970–79) turned into an inflow of $347.4 billion in 1980–1989, and of $318.3 billion in 1990–1999.
This was a reversal of historic proportions, that reflected an extraordinary, absolute and relative, capacity of the US political economy to attract capital from all over the world. It is likely that this was the single most important determinant of the contemporaneous reversal in the economic fortunes of North America and of the bifurcation in the economic fortunes of Third World regions. For the redirection of capital flows to the United States reflated both effective demand and investment in North America, while deflating it in the rest of the world. At the same time, this redirection enabled the United States to run large deficits in its balance of trade that created an expanding demand for imports of those goods that North American businesses no longer found profitable to produce. Since competitive pressures had become particularly intense in manufacturing industries, these imported goods tended to be industrial rather than agricultural products.
GIOVANNI ARRIGHI New Left Review 15, May-June 2002
Americans have maxed out their savings, rung up their credit cards all on the basis of a real estate bubble around housing prices. America as a nation has maxed out its savings, rung up its international credit, all on the basis of a real estate bubble that keeps the economy booming based on consumer spending rather than investment and production.
The Economist warns that Inflation that terror of the 1970's is raising its head again thanks to the artifical growth bubble in the United States funded entirely on the speculative market in Housing. Not only are houses being bought and sold for a profit but Credit is being overextended to Americans based on their mortgages, in otherwords America is a nation in debt.
INFLATION was supposed to be dead. Yet back-of-the-envelope estimates by The Economist suggest that in September America's 12-month rate of consumer-price inflation will jump above 4%—the highest since 1991.
With inflation edging up almost everywhere, is there a risk of a repeat of the 1970s? A burst of double-digit inflation seems unlikely. Prices took off in the 1970s largely because of serious policy errors. Policymakers now understand that rising inflation harms growth, and independent central banks are more likely to stamp on inflation swiftly.
The real worry with rising inflation expectations is less that they herald a surge in inflation than that they will limit the ability of the Fed or other central banks to cut interest rates if growth stumbles. It is commonly argued in America that if the housing bubble were to burst, and falling house prices threatened to choke consumer spending, the Fed would slash interest rates to prop up the economy, as it did after the stockmarket bubble popped in 2001-02. But then inflation was falling. Today, with inflation rising, the Fed would no longer have that option. If the economy hits trouble, investors and homebuyers should not expect to be bailed out again.
Which is a scary place to be at when the bubble bursts.
housing affordability is deteriorating quickly. In hot markets
on the coasts, such as Los Angeles, the income share required for
mortgage payments on a newly purchased home already matches the
previous two peaks seen in the early 1980s and the late 1980s.
More recently, even affordability in the country as a whole has
started to deteriorate quickly. For example, the National
Association of Realtors -- not an organization known for
excessive bearishness on the housing market -- reports that their
US affordability index now stands at the lowest level since 1991.
Thus, housing valuations are stretched, and are becoming more
stretched the longer the current boom continues.
Goldman Sachs Economist on the Bubble
Finance capital in America, and indeed all G8 countries, are now flthy rich with profits from the investment boom, but are not investing! Warren Buffet: U S Capitalism in Crisis
Corporate capitalism and it's vampyric master; Finance capital, insist on more tax cuts though, so as to make even more profits, for the sake of profits. American investment in production is the lowest it has been in over twenty years back when the market crashed. Which is why there is a global movement to loot pension funds which are seen as another source of captial for profit without having to use it to invest in production.
THE DECLINE OF CORPORATE INCOME TAX REVENUES
By Joel Friedman
A weak economy, new tax breaks, and aggressive tax sheltering have pushed corporate income tax receipts down to historically low levels, both relative to the size of the economy and as a share of total federal revenues. According to the most recent budget projections of the Congressional Budget Office, corporate revenues will remain at historically low levels even after the economy recovers, and even if the large new corporate tax breaks enacted in 2002 and 2003 are allowed to expire on schedule. Deficits over the next decade are now projected to be enormous in size. A joint analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Concord Coalition, and the Committee for Economic Development projects deficits totaling $5 trillion through 2013. An analysis by Brookings economists reaches a very similar conclusion, while Goldman Sachs projects deficits totaling $5.5 trillion. Despite the deteriorating fiscal outlook and the historically low corporate revenue collections we already face, Congress nonetheless seems poised to shower more tax breaks on corporations that would cause deficits to grow substantially larger over time
In 2003, ten large US corporations listed at the end of this report each earned more than $1 billion in pre-tax profits, yet paid no federal income taxes:
• Collectively these ten Benedict Arnold companies earned $30 billion in profits
and paid their CEOs $126 million. The $12.6 million average pay of the CEOs
of these firms was 51% higher than the $9.6 million received by the average
large-company CEO as reported by Business Week.2
• If these ten firms paid taxes at the 35% statutory tax rate, they would have
contributed more than $11.7 billion to the federal treasury instead of extracting
$3.3 billion in refunds, a $14 billion budget swing from just ten companies!
The Myths Underlying Corporate Tax Breaks
Myth # 1: Corporate Tax Breaks Increase Investment and
Stimulate Job Growth
This widely popular myth has led a public increasingly starved for good jobs to
enthusiastically embrace corporate tax breaks. If only the myth were true! To the
contrary, not only did US private non-residential investment fall 7% between 2001 and
2003, according to the Commerce Department, but those companies receiving the
greatest accelerated depreciation tax savings saw their investment decline the most.
According to CTJ, the 25 largest beneficiaries of accelerated depreciation deductions tied
to new investment cut their total property, plant and equipment spending by 27% between
2001 and 2003. The other 250 companies in the study saw their investment spending fall
just 8%.15 Similarly, corporate tax cuts are no panacea for job growth. The ten corporate Benedict Arnold companies (those paying no taxes in 2003) collectively employed 765,500 peopleat the end of 2003, and added an anemic 1,518 jobs, a 0.2% increase, in 2004.16 Job
growth in the corporate Benedict Arnold companies was even worse than the anemic
1.1% job growth delivered by the economy as a whole.
If America is Empire then the Emperor, has no clothes! Tis a reflection in a mirror darkly, of the truimph of Keynesianism for corporations.
The neo-liberalism that began in the 1970's, and truimphed in the Reagan/Thatcher/Mulroney era of the eighties that crowed about the end of Keynesianism, which had rescued capitalism from the ravages of depression and continued to be the golden goose of post WWII growth, merely turned Keynes on his head. They had not abandoned his General Theory, they simply reversed the capital flows, now consumers and their savings were used to prime the pump instead of finance capital.
So Americans and their government and corporations are now in the same debt boat. Finance capital in America on the other hand is flush with cash, but being deficit shy, would rather see the State go into debt, than invest their profits in production and manufaturing, except abroad.
And when they do invest its with borrowed money from foriegn investors, which is why in the globalized economy more American corporations are being bought off by their European, Japanese, Russian and Chinese competitiors. Dahlmer Chrysler is only one example of this take over of American corprotations because of their debt crisis. Imagine if China and Japan the USA's largest creditors, call in their chips, whats for sale then?!
In the wings awaits America's major competitor, the one they did not wage Cold War with, China. See my article China: The Truimph of State Capitalism
If America was the Western Migration of capitalism from England and Europe in the 19th Century, and the 2oth was America's century with capitalism moving from the bastions of the Eastern Sea Board to all points west ending in the Silcon valley boom of California.
Then the 21st Century is the age of Capital in the Pacific. Japan, Korea, the Phillipines, Malaysia/Indonesia, Hong Kong, are now little tigers of new industrial capitalism in the Pacfic. The farthest Western shore, China, now arises on the horizon of glorious global capitalism. Ironic that.
For what we know, the present rise of East Asia to most dynamic center of processes of capital accumulation on a world scale may well be the preamble to a recentering of the regional and world economies on China as they were in pre-modern times. But whether or not that will actually happen, the main features of the on-going East Asian economic renaissance are sufficiently clear to provide us with some insights into its likely future trajectory and implications for the global economy at large.
First, the renaissance is as much the product of the contradictions of US world hegemony as of East Asia's geo- historical heritage. The contradictions of US world hegemony concern primarily the dependence of US power and wealth on a path of development characterized by high protection and reproduction costs--that is, on the formation of a world-encompassing, capital- intensive military apparatus on the one side, and on the diffusion of wasteful and unsustainable patterns of mass consumption on the other. Nowhere have these contradictions been more evident than in East Asia. Not only did the Korean and Vietnam wars reveal the limits of the actual power wielded by the US warfare-welfare state. Equally important, as those limits tightened and expansion along the path of high protection and reproduction costs began to yield decreasing returns and to destablize US world power, East Asia's geo-historical heritage of comparatively low reproduction and protection costs gave the region's governmental and business agencies a decisive competitive advantage in a global economy more closely integrated than ever before. Whether this heritage will be preserved remains unclear. But for the time being the East Asian expansion has been the tracklaying vehicle of a developmental path far more economical and sustainable than the US path.
Second, the renaissance has been associated with a structural differentiation of power in the region that has left the United States in control of most of the guns, Japan and the Overseas Chinese in control of most of the money, and the PRC in control of most of the labor. This structural differentiation--which has no precedent in previous hegemonic transitions--makes it extremely unlikely that any single state operating in the region, the United States included, will acquire the capabilities needed to become hegemonic regionally and globally. Only a plurality of states acting in concert with one another has any chance of bringing into existence an East Asian-based new world order. This plurality may well include the United States and, in any event, US policies towards the region will remain as important a factor as any other in determining whether, when and how such a regionally-based new world order would actually emerge.
Third, the process of economic expansion and integration of the East Asian region is a process structurally open to the rest of the global economy. In part, this openess is a heritage of the interstitial nature of the process vis-a-vis the networks of power of the United States. In part, it is due to the important role played by informal business networks with ramifications throughout the global economy in promoting the integration of the region. And in part, it is due to the continuing dependence of East Asia on other regions of the global economy for raw materials, high technology, and cultural products. The strong forward and backward linkages that connect the East Asian regional economy to the rest of the world augur well for the future of the global economy, assuming that the economic expansion of East Asia is not brought to a premature end by internal conflicts, mismanagement, or US resistance to the loss of power and prestige, though not necessarily of wealth and welfare, that the recentering of the global economy on East Asia entails.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
The King is in his counting house, someone get him a calculator........
2.8 billion....6 billion....8 billion.....
do I hear 10 billion, or maybe 12 billion
In his last days as our lame duck Premier, Ralph is acting like he is President of a High School Students Union. And we suffer with his Ralphenomics. The link in the header takes you to my other Blog....Red Between The Lines....and stories on the Alberta Surplus
Alberta news roundup: Sept. 23
September 23, 2005
Premier says dividend cheques should keep coming
Premier Ralph Klein says dividend cheques could keep coming, so long as energy prices remain high.
Klein says Alberta's budget surplus could reach a record $8.8 billion dollars this year -- about three times what the government estimated in the spring budget.
Alberta's Liberals say the province is blowing the windfall energy wealth on gimmicky giveaways.
The NDP says Albertans deserve something better than the promise of more cheques in the mail.
Feds haven't ruled out taxing cheques
Federal and provincial officials say Ottawa has not ruled out taxing Alberta prosperity cheques bound for the province's children.
Transportation Minister Lyle Oberg says tax rebates paid to adults wouldn't be subject to Ottawa's attention.
But the minister says in theory, cheques earmarked for the youngest, unemployed Albertans theoretically would be.
Deputy Prime Minister and Edmonton MP Anne McLellan says she can't ensure that the 400-dollar payments will be exempt from taxation.
Fed says Alberta's wealth good for entire country
A federal politician who has said Alberta's energy wealth may have to flow to other provinces now says
Alberta's prosperity is good for the entire country.
Federal Transport Minister Jean Lapierre says more money in the pockets of Albertans means increased revenue for Canadian businesses.
In August, Lapierre said that a struggling manufacturing sector in Quebec may force Ottawa to intervene with a financial lifeline.
He then said that the dollars may have to come from Alberta.
Widowers' benefit program shut down
Alberta's widows and widowers benefits program is being shut down and replaced with another form of funding.
Premier Ralph Klein says the details of the new program are vague, but insists people will not simply be cut off.
A new program under Alberta Human Resources is to be in place before the existing support ends.
In 2003, the province moved to create one massive social-assistance initiative which would combine three programs into a single income-support and employment-training program.
Yep we have the lowest Welfare/AISH and other support payments in Canada, and one of the lowest minimum wages as well. But hey lets give everyone a one time bonus cheque.....
Rebate cheques not much of a legacy
Government is making things up as it goes along, unlike what occurred in Alaska
|The Edmonton Journal|
Sort of like Klein's surplus forecasts.
In the province's first-quarter fiscal update three weeks ago it was $2.8 billion.
Last week Klein pegged the budget surplus at $3.8 billion.
On Monday it was $6.8 billion.
By Thursday, Klein had it as high as $8.8 billion -- almost triple the forecast three weeks ago and much higher than anything that could be attributed to the recent surge in energy prices. At this rate, wait 15 minutes and it'll be worth another $7 million.
Alberta New Democrats say the situation is so screwy they might ask the province's auditor general to investigate how the government comes up with its surplus forecasts.
NDP writes auditor general to investigate revenue assumptions
The NDP Opposition wants an investigation of Alberta's revenue assumptions by the Auditor General. "You don't just forget to count six billion dollars," says Mason. "In Tory hands, our money is counted using whatever new math Ralph Klein dreams up in order to suit his political whims," he said.
The NDP suspects the government is up to no good, of course, wondering if Klein is playing a Machiavellian game with the numbers for his own devious ends. As usual, they give the government more credit for diabolical planning than it deserves.
The government is making things up as it goes along. It has no long-term, well-thought out plan for the surplus. It's as if a fiscal hurricane Katrina had breached the government's levees and flooded it with surplus cash. Klein is turning on the pumps and trying to get rid of it as fast as possible.
Last month there was no plan at all for rebate cheques, according to sources close to Klein. Back then Finance Minister Shirley McClellan was forecasting a $2.8 billion surplus. She didn't want to raise expectations and have people demanding money back.
Instead, she was leaning toward a tax cut for lower income Albertans but first she wanted to see what an in-housemreview of Alberta's tax system came up with later this year.
Then Klein got involved -- and, faster than you could sketch it on the back of a napkin, came up with the idea for rebate cheques. He's playing what he calls "retail politics," buying back the love of Albertans who deserted him in last year's election.
He keeps saying the $400 cheque is a one-time "prosperity bonus." But because he has no long-term plan for surplus money, reporters had no problem getting him to bet on the chances of a rebate cheque next year.
"If the price of oil stays where it is, yes, much better than 50 per cent," said Klein.
In perpetuity? -- asked one reporter. "If the price of oil stays where it is," responded Klein.
Undoubtedly, many Albertans will welcome the cheques, especially those left behind by boom times -- just as some outside the province will start to wonder if they should be entitled to a share of Alberta's wealth.
Klein's badly thought-out, and rushed, plan could end up making us a target for Canadians who don't live atop a sea of oil and gas, especially when they see the province's second-quarter fiscal update in November.
So, to try to head off the easterners at the pass, Klein will go on a cross-Canada tour near the end of November to explain that a prosperous Alberta means a prosperous Canada. "Keep your hands off," he'll say in the nicest way possible. It might work. Then again, his trip might be the equivalent of painting a bulls-eye on his front and hanging a "kick me" sign on his rear.
Before he explains his position to southern Ontario, he'll be explaining it to South Africa. Klein is headed there this weekend to speak to the World Petroleum Congress. His trip will also take him to Germany and Ireland -- at a cost of $70,000. Put another way, that's the equivalent of 175 rebate cheques.
For all of you who think annual rebate cheques are a great idea and who point to Alaska's annual dividend payments as a shining beacon, allow me to point out that Alaska has built up a $26-billion Permanent Fund to pay for those yearly cheques to 650,000 residents. The dividend cheques are paid out of interest earned on the fund. Alaska does not dip into the principal, nor does it turn energy revenues directly into dividend cheques as Klein has done in Alberta this year, and might continue to do for years to come.
Klein's plan is like frittering away your lottery winnings in a few years instead of living off the interest forever.
Mason to Klein: forget trip-Premier would look 'like a rodeo clown in a bullring'
Sending Premier Ralph Klein east to try and talk other provinces out of coveting Alberta's oil-driven budget surplus is like "putting a rodeo clown into a bullring," says Alberta New Democrat Leader Brian Mason. "He's just going to get everyone stirred up," he said. Klein's planned junket tour of Ontario and points east - intended to convince the rest of Canada that Alberta already contributes more than its fair share to the federation - is doomed to backfire, said Mason. "He's the one who single-handedly turned this into a national issue by his bellicose and belligerent statement: 'Hands off our money,'" he said. "I think he's the last person to go down east and tell the rest of Canada they shouldn't force Alberta to share its wealth." Rather, the premier should stay at home and develop a real plan for the province's resource revenue by consulting with Albertans, Mason said.
And this cartoon is from the Calgary Herald....in 2004, when the surplus was oh a couple of billion, reminding us that ever since King Klein was Mayor of Calgary he has always had a soft spot for 'Eastern Bastards', which should make his trip east even a bigger suckcess.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Saturday morning Canadians were greeted with a funereal black box on the cover of the National Pest. Had a pope died, a Queen, or some other head of State?
Nope none of those, though a death was eminent.
The headline screamed out: IS CONSERVATISM DEAD
Well if it wasn't before it sure is now.
And ironically this particular issue of the Pest was unable to be printed on time so everyone can read it for free, yep, free on the web. And they have an eight page special on the opening of Parliment, hence the screaming headline about the politcal corpse of Conservativism in Canada.
And in this case you get to read why the vox deroit is declaring Harper another dud for the Reform/Alliance/Conservatives. Dead Man walking declares the
The rightwhingnuts love the three strikes policy, until it applies to them and in this case the Reform/Alliance/Conservatives have had three leaders from Alberta; Manning, Day, Harper, and all of them have failed to defeat the Natural Ruling Party, the Liberals.
When the Pest, the voice of the Reform/Alliance/Conservatives since it was founded (by arch criminal capitalist and neo-aristocrat, Lord Black) starts playing the funeral marche for the Conservatives, and the fall session of the House hasn't happened, then we know they are doomed. Doomed I say, bwahahaha, ( I say in my best mad scientist laugh)
And that shade of doom over the Conservatives is Harper. This was not just a horrible summer for the Harper, which it was, but it has been his Annus Horribilus since last summers election of a minority Liberal Government. A government that handed its head on a platter to Harper.
And with all the finesse of a court jester he tripped and let the head regain it's body. St. Paul de Baptiste, and his Liberals breathed a sigh of relief and the poor Harper can only enter the House this fall as the titular Leader of ' Her Majesty's Official Opposition', because the real, official, effective opposition is the NDP under Jack Layton, as Harper has admitted himself, in another amazing self defeating slip of the lip. "Whether we have an election this fall is a question for Jack Layton, not for me."
Normally we mourn the passing of someone by wearing black arm bands, perhaps the Left wing in the House, the NDP, Bloc, and Liberals should don them for the opening of parliament in memory of the once and future PM Stephen Harper.
And its not just the National
Harper Accuses Media of Getting the Story Wrong
And you can't blame the media for poor leadership, lack of a platform, and proving as the Conservatives have, in a twist on Maggie Thatchers phrase, that 'There is no Alternative (TINA) to the Liberals as government.
Eternal spotlight on the Conservative mind
By Kevin Werner
(Sep 23, 2005)
The turnout at the Hillcrest Restaurant on Concession Street said it all about where Hamilton's Conservative Party stood in the community's collective consciousness.
Local Conservative party officials had touted the fundraising dinner as a major event, attracting anywhere from 200 to 250 people.
By 6:30 p.m. there were a handful of people milling about the bar. By 7 p.m., the number of people who turned out to listen to Deputy Conservative Leader Peter MacKay was about 80 people, including staff and other political operatives, as chagrined party officials made the best of the situation.
It's not a surprise.
The argument was made that the public remains in summer mode and have tuned out politicians and politics in the aftermath of the political hysteria of the Gomery Commission's corruption revelations.
The excuse is lame.
As Marie Antoinette learned the hard way, don't piss off the Fourth Esate or they will demand your head.
“Any Conservative, anywhere, at any time, can, by criticizing other Conservatives, become an instant and enormous media star. That’s just the way it is, we’ll have to get used to it.”
— Conservative leader Stephen Harper, Sept. 22.
“Even f------ Hitler got better press.”
— former Progressive Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney, in the book The Secret Mulroney Tapes.
Harper repeats Mulroney's error
By: Curtis Brown, Brandon Sun
Can you tell the difference between these two complainers? They’re both conservatives, they both lead conservative parties, but Mulroney — unlike Harper — didn’t grumble about the media until after he became prime minister.
If Harper ever wants to reach 24 Sussex Drive, he’d do well to stop kvetching about the press and start doing his job.
In the past couple of weeks, reports have been surfacing that some Tories want Harper to step aside. These Tories are nobodies, really, but their rumblings have garnered a significant amount of media attention, especially in The Globe and Mail. Harper refused to comment on their comments, but decided instead to lay the blame at the feet of the reporters assembled for his speech for ignoring the hard work he’s done all summer flipping burgers, kissing babies and raising money for the party.
“Now of course you would not know any of this reading some of the press recently, (instead) there have been stories of various dissidents,” Canadian Press quoted him as saying during his speech.
Harper’s grouchy attack sounded an awful lot like the lines another prominent conservative once spouted about Canada’s fourth estate. Former prime minister Brian Mulroney, quoted in the controversial The Secret Mulroney Tapes book (which I rushed out and bought Monday), savages the reporters who made his life miserable for nine years.
The Tories aren’t 14 points behind the governing Liberals in the polls because the media is against them or delights in airing their petty battles. No, the Tories trail the Liberals because Stephen Harper and his caucus can’t get their you-know-what together and offer Canadians a viable alternative to the Liberals.
Harper and his party need to stop griping about the media. If they act like a real opposition instead of a pack of clowns who blame their woes on things beyond their control, Canadians will be more likely to vote for them.
Their alternative is to act like Mulroney did towards the fourth estate. Just look how that ended up for the man who has gone down as one of the most hated prime ministers in Canadian history.
Der Fuerher gets bad press
And it's not just the 'liberal left' media calling for Harpers Head. It's the right whingnut press as well!
by Rachel Marsden
Another week, another high-profile conservative meltdown over party leadership. This week’s came courtesy of Carol Jamieson—Vice Chair of the Conservative Party’s GTA Presidents Council. In an open letter to fellow conservatives headlined on Bourque Newswatch, Jamieson whacked Stephen Harper around like a bloated piñata on the summer yard party circuit, ultimately calling for him to step down.
Jamieson has the right idea about Harper. It’s the same idea I’ve had for years. A guy who can’t even dress himself properly probably shouldn’t be running a country. But until Canadian conservatives get their act together, Harper is exactly what they deserve. And it’s not like there’s a whole lot of talent riding the pine in that party, either. At least none that hasn’t already been thoroughly discredited by conservatives themselves.
Unfortunately even with his (pending) death declared by the Pest, the Harper will lumber on, his corpse stinking up the House, until the People of Canada officially bury him and his party in the Spring Election.
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Godel was the theoritical mathematician who at the ripe young age of 21 proved the mathmatical equivalent of the philosophical conundrum: Nothing is True everything is Permitted.
Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem
In 1931, the Czech-born mathematician Kurt Gödel demonstrated that within any given branch of mathematics, there would always be some propositions that couldn't be proven either true or false using the rules and axioms ... of that mathematical branch itself. You might be able to prove every conceivable statement about numbers within a system by going outside the system in order to come up with new rules and axioms, but by doing so you'll only create a larger system with its own unprovable statements. The implication is that all logical system of any complexity are, by definition, incomplete; each of them contains, at any given time, more true statements than it can possibly prove according to its own defining set of rules.
So I posted in this in his comments section:
Godels Theorm my gawd man what are you on.
And you explained it so well too, which means a). you are a math major b) a theoritical math major c) a physics major d) a theoritical physics major
e) Robert Anton Wilson
Didn't expcet that outta ya swine...Godel is as obscure as they get unless one is reading about Quantum physics and Dr. Schrodinger and his cat.....
While you are at it for math theorms that disprove the proof of math/physics
(which I maybe mistaken in my usage of the term) see The Mystery of the Aleph- Mathematics, the Kabbalh and the search for infinity. by Amir D. Aczel, Pocketbooks 2000.
Its about mathmetician George Cantor, and like Godel he went mad too. Mad I say Mad, bwahhhahaha
Georg Cantor's achievement in mathematics was outstanding. He revolutionized the foundation of mathematics with set theory. Set theory is now considered so fundamental that it seems to border on the obvious but at its introduction it was controversial and revolutionary. The controversial element centered around the problem of whether infinity was a potentiality or could be achieved. Before Cantor it was generally felt that infinity as an actuality did not make sense; one could only speak of a variable increasing without bound as that variable going to infinity. That is to say, it was felt that n -> ∞ makes sense but n = ∞ does not. Cantor not only found a way to make sense out an actual, as opposed to a potential, infinity but showed that there are different orders of infinity.
Biographies of Mathematicians-Georg Ferdinand Ludwig Philipp Cantor
GEORG CANTOR (1845-1918) AND THE "DEGREES OF THE INFINITE"
Opps Godel didn't go mad he went to Princeton.
Kurt Godel (1906-1978), elected to Academy membership in 1955, was noted for his contributions to the foundations of logic and mathematics. In a celebrated paper published in 1931, Godel first put forward what came to be known simply as "Godel's Theorem": In certain formal systems, there exist propositions that cannot be proved or disproved using the axioms of that system. With this theorem, Godel had effectively demonstrated that some mathematical propositions are undecidable. Godel's Theorem made a deep impact in the fields of mathematics and logic, and has been called the most significant mathematical truth of the 20th century. Godel was born in Brunn (now Brno), in what is now the Czech Republic. He studied physics in Vienna, and emigrated to the US in 1939, where he took a position at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study. In addition to other honors, in 1975 he was awarded the National Medal of Science, the US government's highest scientific honor.
GODEL'S THEOREMS AND TRUTH
To better understand the impact which Godel's findings must have had on his peers, we should first describe the mathematical climate of the time.
In the nineteenth century it had been discovered, through the work of Riemann, Lobachevsky and others, that coherent models of geometry could be constructed in which Euclid's parallel postulate (that, given a line L and a point P in the plane, exactly one line exists which contains P and is parallel to L) did not hold. This, in itself, was a shock to many mathematicians: for millenia it had been assumed that Euclid's description of geometry, founded as it was on a "self-evident" and minimal set of axioms, was one of the firmest, most trustworthy branches of mathematical knowledge. The existence of non-Euclidean geometries not only challenged mathematicians' geometrical intuition, but also the Platonist view that mathematics consisted of discoveries about eternal, pure forms whose existence was objective and unquestionable. More "monstrosities" such as continuous functions which were nowhere differentiable soon appeared, further fueling the general loss of faith in geometry.
Kurt Gödel (1961)
Now it is a familiar fact, even a platitude, that the development of philosophy since the Renaissance has by and large gone from right to left - not in a straight line, but with reverses, yet still, on the whole. Particularly in physics, this development has reached a peak in our own time, in that, to a large extent, the possibility of knowledge of the objectivisable states of affairs is denied, and it is asserted that we must be content to predict results of observations. This is really the end of all theoretical science in the usual sense (although this predicting can be completely sufficient for practical purposes such as making television sets or atom bombs).
It would truly be a miracle if this (I would like to say rabid) development had not also begun to make itself felt in the conception of mathematics. Actually, mathematics, by its nature as an a priori science, always has, in and of itself, an inclination toward the right, and, for this reason, has long withstood the spirit of the time [Zeitgeist] that has ruled since the Renaissance; i.e., the empiricist theory of mathematics, such as the one set forth by Mill, did not find much support. Indeed, mathematics has evolved into ever higher abstractions, away from matter and to ever greater clarity in its foundations (e.g., by giving an exact foundation of the infinitesimal calculus and the complex numbers) - thus, away from scepticism.
And to think I actually understand this stuff, when I hated math in school. Thats because mathematics and physics are an integral part of philosophy. And what we learned in school was NOT. That's because they taught New Math that incomprehensible clap trap of the sixties that made understanding math as easy as reading Egyptian Hieroglyphics.
Then I read Euclid and Pythagoras, and viola, or was it Eureka, and I understood math as philosophical constructs not just numbers. That the key to understanding the universe was the Golden Section or Golden Ratio, that its construct is the Pentagram, the most ancient symbol of man in the universe, as illustrated by Leonardo Da Vinci's famous drawing of Man, and the funadmental principle underlying both Magick and Science, since they are related. (and you just knew I would get around to mentioning magick)
The first mathematical occurrence of the golden section and it's associated figures is found in the school of thinkers founded by Pythagoras. The Pythagoreans, as they are known, adopted the pentagram as the symbol of health in their brotherhood, and it eventually came to be the distinguishing badge of their school. Unfortunately, little of their actual mathematics survives, but it is highly likely that they were the ones who derived the construction of the pentagon and decagon from the golden section.
Euclid, in The Elements, says that the line AB is divided in extreme and mean ratio by C if AB:AC = AC:CB. Although Euclid does not use the term, we shall call this the golden ratio. The definition appears in Book VI but there is a construction given in Book II, Theorem 11, concerning areas which is solved by dividing a line in the golden ratio. As well as constructions to divide a line in the golden ratio, Euclid gives applications such as the construction of a regular pentagon, an icosahedron and a dodecahedron. Here is how the golden ratio comes into the construction of a pentagon.
Children need to read and be taught mathematics based on these and other original texts, not New Math interpretations of the theorms. Had I, or any of us, been taught properly we would begin with studying Pythagoras, move to Euclid etc. Any Grade Five or Six student can understand these authors, after all they write clearly and explain their ideas without artithmical obfustication. Then we would understand that math is not just some set of numbers but is the rational description of the phyical world, including art, music,biology, etc.
Oh by the way the reason you can read this is because of Godel's Theorm of chance as it applies to computers.
"Thus chance has been admitted, not merely as a mathematical tool for physics, but as part of its warp and weft" Norbert Wiener
And because of Norbert Wiener's classic founding work cybernetics: Cybernetics or control and communication in the animal and the machine, MIT Press 1996
Weiner's work on cybernetics influenced the workers councils in Allende's Chile,to use computers to develop worker self management of industry, they were crucial to the rationalization of inputs and outputs!
Weiner stated the following in the 1950's and it still applies today
Our papers have been making a great deal of American "know-how" ever since we had the misfortune to discover the atomic bomb. There is one quality more important than "know-how" and we cannot accuse the United States of any undue amount of it. This is "know-what" by which we determine not only how to accomplish our purposes, but what our purposes are to be.
Norbert Wiener's personality was generous: "I want to be the master of nobody"
You knew I would get some sort of libertarian perspective into this article.
Since Leibniz there has perhaps been no man who has had a full command of all the intellectual activity of his day. Since that time, science has been increasingly the task of specialists, in fields which show a tendency to grow progressively narrower. A century ago there may have been no Leibniz, but there was a Gauss, a Faraday, and a Darwin. Today there are few scholars who can call themselves mathematicians or physicists or biologists without restriction.
A man may be a topologist or an acoustician or a coleopterist. He will be filled with the jargon of his field, and will know all its literature and all its ramifications, but, more frequently than not, he will regard the next subject as something belonging to his colleague three doors down the corridor, and will consider any interest in it on his own part as an unwarrantable breach of privacy.
- Wiener, Norbert; Cybernetics; 1948.
The Human Use of Human Beings- Norbert Wiener's Ideas at the Dawn of the Age of Computing
I have spoken of machines, but not only of machines having brains of brass and thews of iron. When human atoms are knit into an organization in which they are used, not in their full right as responsible human beings, but as cogs and levers and rods, it matters little that their raw material is flesh and blood. What is used as an element in a machine, is in fact an element in the machine. Whether we entrust our decisions to machines of metal, or to those machines of flesh and blood which are bureaus and vast laboratories and armies and corporations, we shall never receive the right answers to our questions unless we ask the right questions.
Friday, September 23, 2005
This is another of those hyphenated anarchist ponderings like Christian Anarchism, so I added my Gnostic Heretical reply to his site and also to its mirror at an Indonesian Anarchist blog; AnrchiOi.
Read it and see what you think.
And like Christian Anarchism, or the Catholic Workers Movement, isn't being a Muslim Anarchist a contradiction in terms, since anarchism avows No God! No Masters!
The anarchists split from Sheffield Socialist Society (formed in 1886), and unfurled their ‘No God, No Master’ banner for the first time at the Monolith at the top of Fargate on 1st May 1891.The first issue of their paper came out in June 1891, the last in October the same year. In those four months, 8 issues were produced, of which only 3 were found for reproduction in 1991.
‘No Gods, No Masters’: an episode in Sheffield Freethought
Dan J Bye
Why I Do Not Believe In God-Annie Besant (1847-1933)
An undefined “God” might be a limited being on the far side of Sirius, and I have no knowledge which justifies me in denying such an existence; but an infinite God, i.e., a God who is everywhere, who has no limits, and yet who is not I and who is therefore limited by my personality, is a being who is self-contradictory, both limited and not-limited, and such a being cannot exist. No perfect knowledge is needed here. “God is an infinite being” is disproved by one being who is not God. “God is everywhere” is disproved by the finding of one spot where God is not. The universal affirmative is disproved by a single exception.
And for those of you who still don't get it here is a little Zen for ya
After one of the Dharma Teachers was finished with his introductory remarks, he asked those congregated to direct their questions to Zen Master Seung Sahn, Soen Sa Nim. One of the visitors asked if there was a God.
Holding up the Zen stick, Soen Sa said "This is a stick, but it is not a stick. Originally, there is no stick. It is the same with God for originally there is no God. God is only name. The same is true of all things in the universe."
"Then is there no God?"
"The philosopher Descartes said, 'I think therefore I am.' If you do not think, you are not, and so the universe and you are one. This is your substance, the universe's substance, and God's substance. It has no name and no form. You are God, God is you. This is the 'big I,' this is the path, this is the truth. Do you now understand God?"
"Yes, I think that there is no God, and I have no God."
"If you say that you have no God, I will hit you thirty times. If you say that you do, I will still hit you thirty times."
"Why will you hit me? I don't understand. Please explain."
"I do not give acupuncture to a dead cow. Today is Tuesday." replied Soen Sa.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Storm News Tracker
Katrina Disaster May Stir US Awareness on Climate Change: Green Groups
We can only hope so unfortunately President Bush doesn't really believe in Global Warming.
On June 11, 2001, he stated from the White House, "Yet, the Academy's report tells us that we do not know how much effect natural fluctuations in climate may have had on warming. We do not know how much our climate could, or will change in the future. We do not know how fast change will occur, or even how some of our actions could impact it."
Nor does Pat Robertson, the Man whom God talks too. His Science News section on the Christian Broadcasting Network posts that Global Warming is Junk Science, tell that to Rita and Katrina.
Environmentalists are not only working to keep America from developing new sources of oil, they are also blaming this unusually active hurricane season on global warming. They say humans have caused climate changes leading to severe weather that is threatening the planet. But is there any truth behind their claims, or are they merely based on junk science? "Few people dispute that the Earth has warmed. But what is disputed is why it is warming, whether man is responsible, and if we should even care."
Gee, Pat and friends I think you should start 'caring'. Cause the science shows that
Global Warming Making Hurricanes Stronger
Climatologist Peter Webster provided these facts: "The total number of storms that are reaching Category 4 and 5, and the number of days that they are staying at Category 4 and 5 is increasing substantially."Thirty-five years ago, major hurricanes made up about one-sixth of all tropical storms. In recent years, that percentage has risen to one-third. During that same time, water surface temperatures around the world have also grown warmer. The warmer water evaporates at a quicker rate, and once it rises into the atmosphere, the condensation releases energy that forms the storm.
Gerald Meeh, a lead scientist on the definitive Intergovernmental Panel on Climatic Change, observes that “many people don’t realise that we are committed right now to a significant amount of global warming and sea level rise because of the greenhouse gases we have already put into the atmosphere”. The main source of carbon dioxide is the burning of fossils such as coal, oil and gas in power stations and in internal combustion engines. The country that is responsible for the largest amount of carbon dioxide emissions is America. It causes a quarter of all global emissions and yet it refuses to sign the Kyoto Agreement.
And what is ironic in a cosmic sort of way is that both these hurricanes are hitting America's main source of oil extraction and refining. The Gulf region.And Georgie Porgie refused to sign Kyoto cause it would have an impact on Americas gas and oil companies. Almost like mother nature planned to give George II a slap up the side of the head. Maybe he will declare her a terrorist now. Cause she is crippling America worse than anything Bin Laden could do.
Hurricane Rita vs. oil rigs ... here we go again
Oil rigs in the path of Hurricane Rita (map: RigZone.com)
We now depend upon the Gulf of Mexico for much of our domestic production of oil. Texas has 26 oil refineries, which produce nearly a quarter of all the gasoline used in the United States. But even if OPEC were to pour millions of barrels of extra crude into the United States to alleviate the impact of the hurricanes, we would still have a hard time getting more gasoline to the gas pumps.
Rita, More Intense Than Katrina, Bears Down on Texas (Update2)
Category 5 Storms
Hurricane center records show that three Category 5 storms have hit the U.S.: an unnamed one that swept the Florida Keys in 1935; Hurricane Camille, which slammed Mississippi in 1969; and Andrew, which devastated southern Florida in 1992. Hurricane Gilbert in 1992 and the 1935 storm were more intense in terms of pressure, the center said on its Web site. The lower the atmospheric pressure in the center, the stronger the hurricane, with a drop in pressure preceding an increase in wind speed, Roberts said. Gilbert's pressure was as low as 888 millibars (26.2 inches), and the 1935 hurricane was measured at 892 millibars. Rita's latest pressure was 897 millibars, compared with 923 millibars for Katrina when it made landfall. Rita has added to disruptions to oil supply caused by Katrina in the Gulf, home to 44 percent of U.S. refining capacity and 30 percent of U.S. oil production. The threat Rita poses to rigs, refineries and platforms in the Gulf pushed the price of crude oil and gasoline higher. Crude oil for November delivery rose as much as 98 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $67.95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. About 52 percent of 134 rigs and 57 percent of 819 manned platforms in the Gulf were evacuated, the Minerals Management Service said on its Web site.
And lets not forget that while Amerika navel gazes about its weather, around the world more nasty storms have also been just as destructive.
Tropical Storm Saola Approaches Iwo Jima as It Heads for Japan
Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Tropical Storm Saola, which is forecast to strengthen into a typhoon today, is approaching Iwo Jima on a path that will take it to southern Japan, where 20 people died when Typhoon Nabi passed through earlier this month.
Typhoon Nabi earlier this month caused landslides and floods after battering southwest Japan with rain and wind as high as 162 kilometers per hour. At least 20 people died and seven were missing, Kyodo News said, citing authorities.
Typhoon Mawar last month left one person dead in Japan, caused flight cancellations, power outages and halted sea shipments of oil products as it swept across Tokyo and areas around the capital.
A record 10 typhoons and tropical storms hit Japan last year, leaving scores dead and causing billions of dollars of damage. Typhoon Tokage, the strongest in more than a decade, left at least 61 people dead in October.
HAIKOU, Sept. 21 (Xinhuanet) -- Rescue operation is continuing in South China Sea to search for a fishing boat with a nine-member crew, which missed in Typhoon Vicente last Saturday.
The Marine and Fishery Bureau of Hainan Province, in southernmost China, said that the fishing boat missed in the tropical storm last Saturday, when it was fishing together with another seven fishing vessels some 45 nautical miles from the coast. The other seven vessels managed to return to Sanya Port.
All crew members, with age ranging from 32 to 58, are residents of Maihua Township in east China's Fujian Province. Enditem
Typhoon Labuyo to hit Cagayan, Phillipines
Typhoon Labuyo has accelerated as it heads north toward Cagayan province, weather bureau PAGASA reported Wednesday.
As of 4 a.m., satellite and surface data tracked the eye of the storm at 180 km east southeast of Tuguegarao, Cagayan with maximum sustained winds of 55 kph near the center. PAGASA forecasts Labuyo would be nearer Aparri on Thursday morning and heading toward Basco, Batanes the following day.
Public Storm Warning Signal No. 1 is still hoisted over the provinces of Aurora, Quirino, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Ifugao, Benguet, Mt. Province, Kalinga Apayao, Cagayan, Calayan Group of Islands, Batanes Group of Islands, Abra, and the Ilocos provinces.
PAGASA said residents in low-lying and coastal areas and those residing near mountain slopes of the provinces with warning signal are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides.
The storm's wake left two people dead in Albay province on Tuesday while disrupting ferry traffic in the ports of Virac, Catanduanes and Matnog in Sorgoson.
Scores missing after storms in Bay of Bengal
September 21 2005 at 08:17AM
At least 27 people were killed in India's southern state of Andhra Pradesh, which bore the brunt of the storms on Monday and Tuesday, while six people died in neighbouring Orissa state, they said.
The torrent submerged roads and rail tracks as buffeting winds flattened trees and power poles, witnesses said. An official of the state disaster management cell said the blinding rains had left 50 000 people displaced or homeless in Andhra Pradesh.
Relatives of the dead in Andhra Pradesh will get compensation
3 500 fishermen missing
21/09/2005 13:55 - (SA)
Dhaka - Nearly 3 500 fishermen were missing in the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday as over 200 fishing trawlers capsized in turbulent waves after setting sail from the southern Bangladesh coast three days ago, officials said.
Fisheries ministry officials said the untraced fishermen were on board the trawlers which were badly battered by tropical gales stirring high waves in the Bay which have flooded at least seven coastal districts.
The June-August summer season was the tenth warmest on record for the contiguous U.S., while precipitation was above average. Global temperatures were second highest on record for the boreal summer, which runs from June 1 through August 31. Twelve named tropical systems formed in the Atlantic by the end of August, including Hurricane Katrina, which was among the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the U.S., according to scientists at the NOAA National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.
So Climate Change and global warming and its affects/effects are Junk Science hmmmmm, I think not.
Climatologist Pat Michaels of the CATO Institute stated, “Climate changes - yes, humans have something to do with this change, but climate has changed in the past without human beings having anything to do with it. There was an Ice Age not very long ago -- 5,000 feet of ice over Chicago, and look, here we are, thriving on a planet with an ever-changing climate.”
And while the Cato Institute, along with Pat Robertson, George Bush, the Conservative Party of Canada and other like minded morons, likes to claim that human influence has NOT had a major impact on global climate and weather well the facts say otherwise.
"According to McNeills (rough) calculations, humans in the twentieth century used TEN TIMES more energy than their forebears over the entire thousand years preceding 1900." Paul Kennedy, Forward to ' something new under the sun, an Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century" by J.R. McNeill. W.W. Norton Books 2000.
Ottawa to host 'climate change' summit
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases could raise global average temperatures by up to 5.8 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. They will also affect weather patterns, water resources, ecosystems and extreme climate events.Scientists have already detected many early signs of global warming, including the shrinking of mountain glaciers and Arctic sea-ice, longer summer growing seasons, changes in the arrival and departure dates of migratory birds and the spread of many insects and plants towards the poles
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
It is the ultimate reply to those who assert that when workers go on strike they are being 'greedy', while those who reap the profits from their labour are of course being 'reasonable'.
The whole text is well worth reading. I am reproducing the Introduction and section on Individualism and Collectivism as a way of introducing what Libertarian Communism really means.
Only when you and I really get fed up enough with the system that continues to steal our lives from us will we be willing to really consider taking our power back, and breaking the machine as our Luddite predecesors did.
As long we are happy as we are, then all our efforts will be to patchup the machine and make it work a little better while remaining cogs to be run down, ground up and spit out.
Theses On The Practical Necessity Of Demanding Everything
Council for Generalized Self-Management
Greed in its fullest sense is the only possible basis of communist society.
The present forms of greed lose out, in the end, because they turn out to be not greedy enough.
The repression of egoism can never totally succeed, except as the destruction of human subjectivity, the extinction of the human species itself, because egoism is an essential moment of human subjectivity. Its repression simply means that it returns in a hidden, duplicitous form. If it cannot show itself in the open market, it will find itself or create for itself a black market. If it is not tolerated in transparent n1 relations, the repressed self will split in two; into a represented self, a personal organization of appearances, a persona, and that which cringes and plots behind this character-armour n2. The repression of egoism, contrary to the dictates of every one of the so-called “Communists” (in opposition to Marx and Engels), from Lenin right down to Mao, can never be the basis of communist society.
The actual negation of narrow egoism is a matter of transcendance (“aufhebung” n3), of the transition from a narrow to a qualitatively expanded form of egoism. The original self-expansion of egoism was identically the demise of the primitive community. But its further self-expansion will resolve itself into a community once again. It is only when greed itself at last (or rather, once again) beckons in the direction of community that that direction will be taken. Here the ancient Christian truth that no earthly force can withstand human greed rejoins us on our side of the barricades.
We have no doubt that people are corruptible, but we know for ourselves that there are things more tempting, more seductive, than money, capital, and Power n1 - so much so that no genuinely greedy human being could possibly resist their allure - and it is upon this corruptibility of man that we found our hopes for revolution. Revolution is nothing other than the self-accelerating spread throughout society of this more profound corruption, of this deeper seduction. Currently, greed is always pursued and associated with isolation and privatism simply because everyone under the reign of capital is condemned to pursue greed in this narrow way. Greed doesn’t yet know its own potentiality.
Narrow greed will turn against itself. No more powerful weapon against greed could possibly be found than greed itself. There could be no more formidable tool for transforming narrow selfishness than this selfishness itself. In its own process, through its own development, it must discover a fuller form of greed, and a richer form of wealth. It must discover its own narrowness.
Our reversal of perspective on egoism n1, our detournement n2 of "greed," and the scandalous effect which this produces and is intended to produce in the prevailing consciousness, is no mere formal trick, and no arbitrary play on words. Words, and precisely because of their meanings, are a real part of history, of the "historical material," and of the historical process. To abandon them to their usurpers, to invent new words, or to use other words because of the difficulty of winning back the true, historic words, is to abandon the field to the enemy. It is a theoretical concession, and a practical concession, which we cannot afford. To do so would only add to the confusion, a confusion which, in part, forms the basis of the established order n3.
Our reversal of perspective, on the contrary, is clarifying within the very terms of the confusion. It is already a revolutionary act at the level of the subjective conditions of revolution: the reversed perspective - the revolved perspective - is the perspective of revolution itself. Ideology is the sublime hustle. The use-value of ideology is as a tool for exploitation - the ideologue uses ideology to con you into letting him put his egoism above yours, in the name of altruism, morality, and the "general interest." Our winning back in a positive connotation of a word like "greed" or "selfishness" - the central, universal, and mutually agreed upon prejoratives of the two extreme representations of modern capitalism, private capitalist and state capitalist ideology, which try to confine the totality of possible opposition within the universe bounded by their polar pseudo-opposition - is such an act because it locates precisely the point of their essential unity, the exact point of departure for a revolutionary movement which, by breaking away there, simultaneously, identically, and singularly breaks with both.
We use the words "communist society" to mean the direct opposite of that which masquerades as such in the present world namely, bureaucratic state-capitalism n1. That the classical private capitalist societies of the "West" - themselves maturing toward a form of state-capitalism - collude with "Eastern" powers in the propagation of this lie, is hardly an accident, and should come as no surprise. It is, rather, one facet among myriads of an "antagonistic cooperation" n2 which reveals the hidden essential unity binding together these pseudo-opposites.
The activity of simultaneous appropriation by each individual of all the rest, or of the appropriation of society by all at once inter-appropriation (realized inter-subjectivity, or co-property) - itself constitutes the totality of social production. This appropriation by all at once of all is none other than the resonance n1 state of egoism:
"Communism is the positive abolition of private property, of human self-alienation, and [is] thus the real appropriation of human nature through and for man. c3
The positive conception of egoism, the perspective of communist egoism, is the very heart and unity of our theoretical and practical coherence. This perspective is the essence of what separates us from both the left and the right. We cannot allow its fundamental importance to be obscured, or ourselves to be mistaken for either the right or the left. We cannot allow any Leninist organization to get away with claiming that it is only 'a little bit pregnant' with state capitalism.
"To be avoided above all is establishing 'society' once again as an abstraction over against the individual. The individual is the social being." n1 The expression of his life - even if it does not appear immediately in the form of communal expression carried out together with others - is therefore a manifestation and affirmation of social life. The individual and generic life of man are not distinct, however much - and necessarily so - the mode of existence of individual life is either a more particular or a more general mode of generic or generic life a more particular or universal mode of individual life.
The ideologies of anti-socialism are based on the misery of association (collective boredom, inauthentic association, etc.) a1 under contemporary conditions, that is, on the misery of association-as-alienation and as-estrangement. They are expressions of the poverty of social life - its virtual nonexistence as such - in the world of strangers, the bellum omnium contra omnes, which is capitalist society.
Communist individualism or individualist communism is the name for the solution to the riddle of pre-history, which, while it has momentarily, at times and places in this century, existed, as yet knows not its own name.
"Nothing is more to me than myself." c17
Thus, in a sense, all history has (in the long run and if only implicitly) been a process of individualization. This individualization reaches its highest point of advertisement in the epoch of corporate capitalism. But private property's "individualism" is naught but its most cherished illusion. The predominant characteristic of private property is a materialized reification where the egoism of its subjects (capitalists and workers alike) is suppressed and subordinated to the pseudo-subjectivity of the "economy for itself." n1 The truth of the capitalist society and its private property is not individual property, but dispossession - viz., the proletariat. The truth of private property is nothing other than the production, reproduction, and growth of a dispossessed and propertyless class, i.e., the class of wage-labour. Private property is thus the very negation of individualism and of individual property. For the overwhelming majority of its subjects, i.e. the proletariat, private property is by no means individual property, but rather it is loss (i.e. sale - alienation) of self, being-for-another. Even the capitalists are at best mere agents of capital - managers of their own (and of the general) dispossession. The mythical "individualism" of capitalist society can only be realized in its own negation and in the negation of the society from which it sprang. Thus the Paris Commune of 1871, the first realized "Dictatorship of the Proletariat," n2, c27 attempted to abolish private property in order "to make individual property a truth." c28 "The capitalist mode of appropriation, the result of the capitalist mode of production, produces capitalist private property. This is the first negation of individual private property, as founded on the labor of the proprietor. But capitalist production begets, with the inexorability of the law of Nature, its own negation. It is the negation of the negation. This does not reestablish private property for the producer, but gives him individual property [!] based on the acquisitions of the capitalist era: i.e., on cooperation and the possession in common of the land and of the means of production." c29 The revolution of generalized self-management is the movement from narrow to full egoism, egoism's own self-enrichment. It is egoism's ascent from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom.
Preamble To The Founding Agreements of
Council for Generalized Self-Management
We have woken up to discover that our lives are becoming unlivable. From boring, meaningless jobs to the humiliation of waiting endlessly in lines, at desks and counters to receive our share of survival, from prison-like schools to repetitious, mindless "entertainment," from desolate and crime-ridden streets to the stifling isolation of home, our days are a treadmill on which we run faster and faster just to keep the same pace.
Like the immense majority of the population, we have no control over the use to which our lives are put: we are people who have nothing to sell but our capacity to work. We have come together because we can no longer tolerate the way we are forced to exist, we can no longer tolerate being squeezed dry of our energies, being used up and thrown away, only to create a world that grows more alien and ugly every day.
The system of Capital, whether in its "Western" private corporate or "Eastern" state-bureaucratic form, was brutal and exploitative even during its ascent: now, where it is in decay, it poisons air and water, produces goods and services of deteriorating quality, and is less and less able to employ us even to its own advantage. Its logic of accumulation and competition leads inexorably toward its own collapse. Even as it links all the people of the world together in one vast network of production and consumption, it isolates us from each other; even as it stimulates greater and greater advances in technology and productive power, it finds itself incapable of putting them to use: even as it multiplies the possibilities for human self-realization, we find ourselves strangled in layers of guilt, fear and self-contempt.
But it is we ourselves - our strength, our intelligence, our creativity, our passions -that are the greatest productive power of all. It is we who produce and reproduce the world as it is, in the image of Capital; it is we who reinforce in each other the conditioning of family, school, church and media, the conditioning that keeps us slaves. When we decide together to end our misery, to take our lives into our own hands, we can recreate the world the way we want it. The technical resources and worldwide productive network developed under the old system give us the means: the crisis and continuing collapse of that system give us the chance and the urgent need.
The ruling ideologies of the world superpowers, with their interlocking sets of lies, offer us only the false choice of "Communism" versus "Capitalism." But in the history of revolution during this century (Russia, 1905; Germany, 191920; Spain, 1936-37; Hungary, 1956) we have discovered the general form through which we can take back power over our own lives: workers' councils. At their highest moments, these councils were popular assemblies in workplaces and communities, joined together by means of strictly mandated delegates who carried out decisions already made by their assemblies and who could be recalled by them at any time. The councils organized their own defense and restarted production under their own management. By now, through a system of councils at the local, regional, and global level, using modern telecommunications and data processing, we can coordinate and plan world production as well as be free to shape our own immediate environment. Any compromise with bureaucracy and official hierarchy, anything short of the total power of workers' councils, can only reproduce misery and alienation in a new form, as a good look at the so-called "Communist" countries will show. For this reason, no political party can represent the revolutionary movement or seize power "on its behalf," since this would be simply a change of ruling classes, not their abolition. The plan of the freely associated producers is in absolute opposition to the dictatorial Plan of state and corporate production. Only all of us together can decide what is best for us.
In setting down this minimum program, we are not trying to impose an ideal on reality, nor are we alone in wanting what we want. Our ideas are already in everyone's minds, consciously or unconsciously, because they are nothing but an expression of the real movement that exists all over the planet. But in order to win, this movement must know itself, its aims, and its enemies, as never before.
We do not speak for this movement, but for ourselves as of it. We recognize no Cause over and above ourselves. But our selves are already social: the whole human race produces the life of each one of its members, now more than ever before. Our aim is simply to make this process conscious for the first time, to give to the production of human life the imaginative intensity of a work of art.
It is in this spirit that we call upon you to organize, as we are doing, where you work and where you live, to begin planning the way we can run society together, to defend yourselves against the deepening misery that is being imposed on all of us. We call upon you to assault actively the lies, the selfdeceptions born of fear, that keep everyone frozen in place while the world is falling apart around us. We call upon you to link up with us and with others who are doing the same thing. Above all, we call upon you to take yourselves and your desires seriously, to realize your own power to master your own lives.
It is now or never. If we are to have a future, we ourselves must be that future.
February 16, 1974
n1 By "transparent" relations we mean relations beyond duplicity; relations in which the essential is also visible, i.e., in which the essence appears. "Transparency" is when you can see from the surface of social phenomena through into their core; when their truth is apparent on the surface. On the contrary, the social relations of capitalist society are opaque; shot through with a contradiction between appearance and essence; things are, more often than not the exact opposite of what they appear to be. For example, in capital, the apparent social imperative of the production of maximal use-value - "we're here to serve you"; "to produce a quality product", etc. - conceals their ulterior motive of the production of maximal exchange-value (profit), and this hidden, essential imperative reveals itself only where the two imperatives come into conflict, in which case the use-value is sacrificed to exchange-value (planned obsolescence, production of worthless products, fad products, destruction of crops and other products to keep prices up, and in general, the tendency of all products produced as commodity-capital to deteriorate in quality over time; the "tendency of use-value to fall." Marx envisioned the emergence of transparency in social relations as an aspect of the emergence of communist society, in the following words:
"Let us now picture ourselves, by way of change, a community of free individuals, carrying on their work with the means of production in common, in which the labour-power of all the different individuals is consciously applied as the combined labour-power of the community .... The social relations of the individual producers, with regard both to their labour and to its products, are in this case perfectly simple and intelligible, and that with regard not only to production but also to distribution .... (mystification] can, in any case, only then finally vanish, when the practical relations of everyday life offer to man none but perfectly intelligible and reasonable relations with regard to his fellowmen and to Nature....”
- Karl Marx, Capital, A Critique of Political Economy, book I, International Publishers, (New York, 1967). pp. 78-79, in Chapter 1, Section 4: "The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof".
Character Armour: The sum total of typical character attitudes, which an individual develops as a blocking against his emotional excitations, resulting in rigidity of the body, lack of emotional contact, "deadness." Functionally identical with the muscular armor.
- Wilhelm Reich, The Function of the Orgasm, Meridian (New York. 1971), Glossary, pp. 359-360.
The involuntary modes of behavior that characterize armor are generally "learned" during childhood as a "rational" response to an irrational, oppressive world. Thus, armor is essentially not a thing located in each individual, but a social relation, a layer of callous, deadened to the self and other, built up in the wear and tear of (anti-)social interactions; in the agony and constant danger of alienated association. This is demonstrated in the following observation: change a person's social relations and his armouring, his character adjustment, will also begin to change to re-adapt, to become congruent again with his social life, his new relationships. Thus, it is erroneous to locate armour simply in the individual taken separately, although it is true that his social relations, his way of relating and surviving socially, may be “reflected” - mapped onto his body - in the form of muscular armouring; of a pattern of chronic contraction in the various muscular segments.
Character-armour is thus (1) the personal aspect of the spectacle. It is the personal organization of false appearances: self-representation; the self-spectacle. It is the self-image one seeks to project to others; the "front" one puts up; the role one plays: the "reputation" one accumulates. The projected, surface motives belonging to character are at the same time a surface denial and repression of certain forbidden, impermissible motives, which persist beneath the surface of character as ulterior motives, conscious or not. In their more conscious part, these ulterior motives express themselves as character in the form of lying, cheating, trickery, the con, hypocrisy, etc. - all the familiar backstage of the spectacle of "good character." Character is the very locus of interpersonal duplicity - precisely the "duplication" of the self (cf. Karl Marx, "Theses on Feuerbach", thesis IV, in The German Ideology, Progress Publishers (Moscow, 1968). p. 666, see also Marx's remark in his Preface to A Contribution To The Critique of Political Economy; "Just as our opinion of an individual is not based on what he thinks of himself, so we can not judge of such a period of transformation by its own consciousness." in Lewis Feuer, op. cit., p. 44.)
The production-process of character must thus be comprehended within the critique of political economy, as an aspect of the reproduction-process of capital, of capitalist society, as a whole. This process, the production process of proletarians, a special form of commodity production carried out in special factories known as "schools", "churches", "prisons", "families", etc., is usually referred to, in general, as "child-rearing", "education", or "socialization". It consists in (a) the destruction of subjectivity in its direct form, and (b) the development of a narrow form of subjectivity, in an indirect (perverted) form, mediated by authoritarian permission. It is the totality of the processes of "adaptation" necessary to make the proletarian "fit" to endure the "life" of a worker. When the process miscarries, as it often does these days, the product is said to be "unemployable" -useless to capital. In the "finished" product, the adult, character-armour is the repository, the objectification of this process, the location of all the stored programs, habits, practices, roles, and behavior patterns necessary to the proletarian survival kit - submissiveness, slavishness, self-contempt, passivity, obedience, irresponsibility, guilt, fear of freedom, and so on. Character-armour is the layer of frozen subjectivity that makes the worker functional as a worker in capitalist society, i.e., manipulatable as a pseudo-object. It is what makes the worker suitable for authoritarian management. It is what makes him (presently) incapable of self-management. The way through the problem is to have people not armored but “armed” - physically, psychologically, and theoretically - to bring what is involuntary more under conscious control.
n3 “To transcend (aufheben) has this double meaning, that it signifies to keep or preserve and also to make cease, to finish. To preserve includes this negative element, that something is removed from its immediacy and therefore from a Determinate Being exposed to external influences, in order that it may be preserved. - Thus what is transcended is also preserved; it has lost its immediacy and is not on that account annihilated. - In the dictionary the two determinations of transcending may be cited as two meanings of this word. But it should appear as remarkable that a language should have come to use one and the same word for two opposite determinations. It is a joy for speculative thought to find words which in themselves have a speculative meaning....”
- G.W.F. Hegel, Science of Logic, volume I, "Objective Logic", translated by W.H. Johnston and L.G. Struthers. Humanities Press, (New York, 1966), pp. 119-120; "Transcendence of Becoming." Observation: the Expression "to transcend"
n1 "All previous forms of society foundered on the development of wealth - or, which amounts to the same thing, on the development of social productive forces. Therefore ancient philosophers who were aware of this bluntly denounced wealth as destructive of community."
- Karl Marx, Grundrisse der Kritik der Politischen Oekonomie. Quoted in, Karl Marx, The Grundrisse, translated and edited by David McLellan, Harper & Row, (San Francisco, 1971, p. 120).
n1 By "Power" with a capital "P", we mean separate power; alienated power, whose major modern examples are state power and that social power known as "capital'. In state-capitalism, the highest form of capitalism, these two, always interpenetrate essentially, become one visibly. In pre-modern times, in Medieval Europe, the Church would be another example of separate social power.
We have no quarrel with "power' as such, that is, with self-power - the power of social self-determination and self-production; creative, productive faculties and power over one's own life. On the contrary; this is the very development and enrichment of individuality itself. On the contrary; The re-appropriation of ourselves, the repossession of ourselves from capital, the re-owning of alienated self-powers, is the essential purpose of our revolution, the communist revolution; and is our purpose in it. It should be obvious, then, from what has been said, that Power is the opposite of power. The greater the Power of the State and Capital, the more powerless, the more impotent are we, the proletariat, for that Power is nothing other than our lost, our alienated power; the labour power we sell to capital and the political power we give up to our "representatives".
It was necessary to say this because of the legions of moralistic masochists and worshippers of impotence presently traipsing through the spectacle, for whom we might otherwise have been mistaken. These self-castrated passivists believe that not just Power, but power also, corrupts, absolutely, and desperately “fear to touch it”, along with money and capital, out of dread of being instantly corrupted by it. They have never let themselves grasp that the only way to be safe from this pathetic “corruption” is to be - not beneath it, but beyond it.
For an account, unsurpassed in its brilliance, of the dialectic of self-powers and their alienation, see Lorraine and Fredy Perlman's book-length detournement of revolutionary ideology, Manual For Revolutionary Leaders, "by Michael Velli" (BLACK AND RED, P.O. Box 9546, Detroit, Michigan, 48202; pp. 11-49). (Unfortunately for all of us, the Perlmans decided to truncate their theory just at the threshold of its practice, by abstractly negating revolutionary organization - to the effect that all organization is hierarchical organization and all revolutionary organization is necessarily Leninist organization - and so end up embracing impotence for themselves as revolutionaries).
n2 Immanent critique is critique which bases itself in the same foundation, logical, etc., which forms the core or essence of the object of the critique; critique which locates itself inside its object. It thus locates the internal contradictions of its object - the self-contradictions - becoming a critique which is essential to the object of critique itself. Thus immanent critique is an intimate, internal critique, in fact, a self-critique of the object, a critique based on the internal standards of the object of the critique itself, and not an external or alien critique - a judgment from a standpoint outside that which is judged.
n1 By "total appropriation" we mean, in general, all-sided appropriation - that is, social relations not restricted to a specialized and compartmentalized interchange of "things" or of parts of people as "things" (money, commodities, images, etc.) -as in the present organization of social interaction according to roles, which enforces a strict separation of the various aspects and interests of life, "Total appropriation" is, among other things, where you are no longer confined to "talking shop" even in the shop.
By "total" appropriation of another person we mean, in particular, an appropriation of them which included in itself their appropriation of you; i.e. it can occur only when it is reciprocal, when each person is both appropriator and appropriated. This is unlike either the case of the appropriation of an object, which can't "appropriate back," or the partial appropriation (exploitation) of a subject; the appropriation of a subject as if an object, excluding, disregarding his or her desires, needs, expectations, and reciprocal appropriation of the appropriator. That is, we would mean that you appropriate their appropriation of you as itself a necessary part of them; include in the "them" that you "totally" appropriate their desires, needs, attitudes, and expectations with regard to you in some way; appropriate their subjectivity as the essential part of them; relate to it. “Total appropriation” is thus the encounter by a subject of another subject as a subject. It would involve the appropriation of the other person’s response to you, including of their response to your responses to them. True infinity. Total appropriation exists when you can (actually and directly - not just vicariously) appropriate someone else’s joy as your own.
One might very well say that there is plenty about contemporary "subjects" that one not only doesn't want to appropriate 'totally', but in fact doesn't want any part of. And to this we could only agree, with however the additional commentary that (1) most of what we don't want any part of is non-self, non-subjectivity (frozen subjectivity; armour) to begin with, and: (2) this negated subjectivity has to be dealt with in one way or another anyway: no matter what, it has to be faced, even in present-day society - perhaps 90% of the fuck-ups in present-day capitalist business-practice are due to such characterological "personality factors". And in the context of associated production, where sustained association is an egoistic necessity, the problem becomes a question of what is the best way of confronting these "factors", from an expanded-egoistic point of view. There is no doubt that "total appropriation" will be, among other things, a conflictual process, a fight. Direct "appropriation" - i.e., here-and-now contestation - of such "personality kinks" as they come up in the social (re)productive process, rather than in their avoidance or polite toleration which bespeaks an attitude of resignation to the person tolerated as a static being incapable of further self-development, and to the person tolerating as impotent to provoke change -can, where appropriate, render daily social interaction itself an accelerated "psychotherapeutic" growth process.
Expanded egoism, that is, total appropriation, is a process. Only as exploitation in social relations lives out its use-value will we begin to develop expanded egoism concretely. At the beginnings of communist society, radical subjectivity will not miraculously manifest itself in everyone, at the same time, to the same degree of intensity or sustainedness. The development will be an irregular process. To abstractly affirm an idyllic, non-conflictual image of total appropriation of another when in fact the other remains to varying degrees a frozen subject is to morally project and idealize total appropriation.
n1 By "egoism" we mean something which, in its full development, is quite different from, in fact, "infinitely" different from or opposite to "egotism". Egotism is personal practice in favor of one's self-spectacle, one's social image, one's persona. It is precisely, therefore, activity in the interest of one's non-self, truly selfless activity. Whereas, by egoism we mean, on the contrary, personal activity in the interest of one's authentic self, to the extent one recognizes and knows this self at any given time, however narrowly or expandedly. Egotism is spectacular, other-centered (alienated), the vicarious living of your own life; egoism is autonomous, founded on self-centration and on concrete, social self-knowledge. Egotism is thus one of the lowest forms of egoism. It is, like moralism, egoism by means of a projection, and turns into into its opposite.
n2 The term "detournement", employed especially as a technical term by Situationists, has been defined as the revolutionary practice "by which the spectacle is turned back on itself, turned inside out so that it reveals its own inner workings." See Loaded Words: A Rebel's Guide To Situationese, NEW MORNING, February, 1973, New Morning Collective (P.O. Box 531, Berkeley, California, 94701), p. 14 [also see: Loaded Words download in the at the Lust for Life website]
- Guy Debord, The Society Of The Spectacle, BLACK AND RED, (Detroit, 1973), thesis 111.“Until now, the most durable source of support for sustaining and enlarging the operation of the state-management has been the pattern of antagonistic cooperation between the U.S. state management and its Soviet counterpart."
- cf. Seymour Melman, Pentagon Capitalism: The Political Economy Of War, McGraw-Hill, (San Francisco, 1971), Chapter 9, "1984 By 1974? Or, Can The State-Management Be Stopped?", p. 215:
n1 The root definition of "resonance" coming from physics, from the mechanics of oscillators, is revealing here. For example: "(a) an abnormally large response of a system having a natural frequency, to a periodic external stimulus of the same, or nearly the same, frequency. (b) the increase in intensity of sound by sympathetic vibration of other bodies."
- C.L. Barnhart & Jess Stein, The American College Dictionary, Random House, (New York, 1964), p. 1033, "resonance, n.".
That is, mechanical resonance occurs when the natural frequency of oscillation -the 'immanent', 'essential', or internal frequency - of the resonating object is identical to the frequency of externally "forced" oscillation, i.e., to the external frequency.
Social resonance occurs as inter-recognition; when social individuals recognize themselves in each other, the other in themselves, and themselves in the world they produce; when they recognize their concrete universality. It occurs when what "society" needs of them is also what they need of themselves: their own production; their own development; their own self-realization; when what "society" needs of them is not imposed as an external, alien force, coercively by the state or unconsciously, as the "law of value," by capital, but as their own, internally generated self-force, welling-up spontaneously within them. From each according to his desire, to each according to his desire. This is possible sustainedly only once the necessary social conditions for such a recognition and such a need have been produced historically, i.e., only once certain relations of humanity to itself, - namely, inter-production - grasped early in an alienated form as the “eternal truths” of religions, have become fact, that is, become historically materialized.
- Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle, BLACK AND RED, (Detroit, 1970), last thesis in Chapter IV, "The Proletariat As Subject And As Representation".
n1 The term "anti-state" was employed by the Situationists to designate the organization of social self-management, the power of the workers' councils which, although it would be an administration of society, would not be a "state", but, on the contrary, hostile to every form of "state".
A well-known authority on Marx' views described the anti-state character of the Paris Commune thusly: "This was, therefore, a revolution not against this or that, legitimate, constitutional, republican, or Imperialist form of State Power. It was a Revolution against the State itself, of this supernaturalist abortion of society, a resumption by the people for the people of its own social life. It was not a revolution to transfer it from one fraction of the ruling class to the other, but a Revolution to break down this horrid machinery of Class domination itself.
"The spectacle within society corresponds to a concrete manufacture of alienation. Economic expansion is mainly the expansion of precisely this industrial production. That which grows with the economy moving for itself can only be the alienation which was precisely at its origin."
- Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle, op. cit., respectively Theses 16 and 32.
n2 It is important above all here to note that this "dictatorship of the proletariat" can be nothing other than the international power of the workers' councils itself. It is a dictatorship of the still-proletarian class over the remnants of the bourgeoisie and the bureaucracy, because it acts coercively against their efforts to re-expropriate social power and, whenever it (that is, the general assemblies of the workers) deems necessary, by force of arms. But it is an anti-state dictatorship, especially with regard to the suppression of the state-capitalist bureaucracy, with respect to which, the suppression of the state and the suppression of the class are one in the same (it goes without saying that the "suppression" of a class as a class, its destruction as such, does not necessarily entail the "destruction" or "liquidation" of the individuals who composed it; it is the class determination which is to be determinately negated here, not biological individuals, and social relations can not be negated without "negating" individuals). On the concept of the "anti-state", see first note to Thesis 46.
In a letter to August Bebel (March 18-28, 1875) Engels (as a delegation of himself and Marx) gave a critique of the draft programme of the United Social-Democratic Workers' Party of Germany. His severe criticism, particularly of its muddledly statist aspects, is of much significance not only for this particular programme, but furthermore it sheds much light toward a correct interpretation of virtually all of his and Marx's works:
c1 "Along with the constantly diminishing number of magnates of capital, who usurp and monopolize all the advantages of this transformation, grows the mass of misery, oppression, slavery, degradation, exploitation; but with this too grows the revolt of the working class, a class always increasing in numbers, and disciplined, united, organized by the very mechanism of the process of capitalist reproduction itself. The monopoly of capital becomes a fetter upon the mode of production, which has sprung up and flourished along with, and under it. Centralization of the means of production and socialization of labor at last reach a point where they become incompatible with the capitalist integument. This integument is burst asunder. The knell of capitalist-private property sounds. The expropriators are expropriated."
- Karl Marx, Capital, A Critique of Political Economy, Vol. I, International Publishers, 1967, p. 763, emphasis ours.
c2 The phrases "the associated producers", "free and associated labor", or "the associated workers", occur again and again throughout Marx' works when he seeks to name or characterize the social relation of production of communist society: association itself. This is something that Leninists of every variety scrupulously avoid mentioning for, with all their talk of the "socialist state" and "workers' governments", etc. they would much rather all this be conveniently forgotten. No more apt phrase could be contrived to name and describe the management of society as a system of workers' councils than precisely "the associated producers". A few selected citations of representative passages where this description occurs, are listed below:
- Karl Marx, Capital, A Critique of Political Economy, Vol. 1, International Publishers, (New York, 1967). p. 80; vol. III, p. 437, p. 607, p. 447.
- David McLellan. The Grundrisse, (Harper and Row, 1971) pp.152.
- Karl Marx, Capital (Vol. IV): Theories of Surplus Value (Part III), Progress Publishers (Moscow, 1971) p. 273.
- Karl Marx, “Writings on the Paris Commune” in The Civil War in France (First Draft), Hal Draper, Editor, Monthly Review Press, 1971, p. 155.
- Karl Marx, "Instructions For The Delegates of The Provisional General Council: The Different Questions" #5: "Co-operative Labour". p. 81 in Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Works, Volume 2, Progress Publishers, (Moscow, 1969). Karl Marx, "The Nationalization of The Land." p. 290, ibid.
"Suppose we had produced things as human beings: in his production each of us would have twice affirmed himself and the other.... I would have been the mediator between you and the species and you would have experienced me as a reintegration of your own nature and a necessary part of your self....”
Citations 20-25 are found in annotation 1 of Thesis 46.
- See also: Karl Marx. The Civil War In France: The Paris Commune, International Publishers (New York, 1968), pp. 54-61, especially p. 58.
- See also: Guy Debord, Society Of The Spectacle, BLACK AND RED (P.O. Box 9546. Detroit, Michigan, 48202), (Detroit, 1970), thesis No. 179 in Chapter VII "The Organization of Territory".
- See also: “Situationist International No. 1”, Review of the American Section, June, 1969, p. 27.
- See also: Raoul Vaneigem, Notice To The Civilized Concerning Generalized Self-
c28 Karl Marx, The Civil War In France, op. cit., p. 61.
c29 Karl Marx, Capital, A Critique Of Political Economy, vol. I, op. cit., p. 763.