Some answers to common conservative questions, usually addressed to what they consider to be complaining liberals:Well ren starts off with a big task to answer all those questions, so let us see how that progresses (My comments in bold.)...
- tell me what is really wrong with the country
- tell my why it is wrong
- tell me what your ideas are
- tell me why those ideas are better than the present
Let's start with point #1Already covered that issue at: 737 U.S. Military Bases = Global Empire and The Sorrows of Empire.
I assume he means "what is really wrong with the country".
When George Bush decides to tell Syria to get out of Lebanon and half a million Lebanese show up with banners like: "America is the source of terrorism", and "All our disasters come from America", there's a clue.
Yes that is a clue, that they are brainwashed and are misplacing their aggression. But for an analysis of what Syria did in Lebanon this article entitled Lebanese Farmers and the Syrian Occupation is a good start and The Return of Hizbullah gives a real look at who the imperialists and terrorists are in the ME.
What is America doing there telling people how to run their lives?
They have been doing such a splendid job so far, why mess with a good thing, right? Well when it affects us then I guess we should be concerned. Like if they grow and train terrorists to fly into buildings then it becomes our business. Are we not our brothers keeper as the left has been saying since Kennedy? If their government is conflicting with us like Germany and Japan were doing during WWII then it became our business. And as usual ren acts like Marie Antoinette in "let them eat cake". What if they do want to live their lives differently and the police state like in Burma is preventing such freedoms?
Why do American's have to have a military that costs as much as the next twenty one countries on the list combined?Yes we can see that the USA in measurement of US dollars is much greater than other economies based on 2002-2003 period Military budget. But at least on one level that really only signifies that the USA is clearly a bigger economy as in List of countries by GDP. What is a better scale to evaluate this is Rank Order - Military expenditures - percent of GDP. This does seem to miss North Korea that I have read is close to 25% of GDP! There is also a very strong case that many of the nations are guilty of moral hazards and relying on the USA a little too much for their defense. Notice that the USA military budget was slightly over 4% GDP and historically is closer to 3.5% and that China is actually a fast growing economy with 4.3%.
Why do American's have to have more than 725 military bases around the planet?
Ever been in the military?Notice how ren makes it personal? I believe the President is the President of all US citizens even if not voted for him/her. I just wonder what "real democracies" would do with regard to other nations. Would they not help out other nation states that may be facing hostile ideologies or forces? I think it is kind of strange the reference to a "socialist dictatorship" and not the usual fascist state references diatribes. Maybe ren realizes that Socialism also failed. Even if the military was to become a democracy then why would it be assumed to become a participatory democracy?
While your chicken hawk preppie president was getting drunk, snorting coke and playing hooky from his service requirements so he could practice politics and get to be president someday, a bunch of us were getting our asses shot off in another war that a decent, real democracy would never have been in. While he was unaccounted for as far as any records can show, one of my good friends from high school was being shot to pieces in a rice paddy in Vietnam.
In the military, you practice how to behave in a socialist dictatorship 24 hours a day, not how to be in a participatory democracy.
So why is America becoming the world's dominant, bullying empire? Why is a democracy doing such a thing? Well, maybe we should ask, are we a really a democracy? Is this how free and brave people behave or is this how frightened bullies behave?
To answers to the questions: That is how nihilists view it but if the USA actually became isolationist the world would actually not like this. Because other forces are bullying then free people need to fight for freedoms of others. Yes free and brave people to risk much for the gain of little but solely for the freedoms of others. Frightened bullies is what the remaining socialist states seem to be doing. Just look at Iran, Syria, North Korea, as well as these actions on their own people like Sudan, Zimbabwe etc...
When you walk in the doors of a corporation and grovel for that job, and then gratefully get it, you begin licking bootstraps from that point on until you become the one at the top, which doesn't happen for 99.9% of the population, but even then you are not practicing democracy, you are practicing the other part of autocracy, giving orders; so for most people in this country, participatory democracy isn't even a considered possibility during most of their waking hours of existence.As I talked about in the last post, ren somehow thinks that being an independent contractor makes him above all that. But in reality I see him as licking more boots. Independent sales people are always having to lick someone's boots to get the next job. While I believe that ren has been skilled at his selling abilities of his skills, I wonder if he realizes that not everyone wishes to take on risks that not a steady job provides. I know that ren married but no children so in essence a bachelor nearly all his life and thus no need to have the security of a 'job'. But it is ironic that he so longs for some fantasy participatory democracy in the work place but has never done anything to promote that or to create a business based on those principles. He just does not work well with others. The last paragraph sums up how he views the masses as all zombies that live their lives in quiet desperation while he thinks he is above that. This is one of the reasons for his fascination with the film Century of the Self.
So we have a sham of democracy, not the real thing. We have a plutocracy, which is also better known here as fascism. The wealthy and their corporate management structures command the political scene. They inform Americans with information they have long since learned how to distort and filter in an infotainment corporate owned media, the information that Americans need to vote in that twenty minute session with democracy they get to have every couple of years or so when they vote, and now the question arises as to whether the corporately owned machines that tally the votes are rigged. That's basically what democracy has come to be in America. American's accept that concept at home now, it's the way it's always been hasn't it? how else could it be? So when their carefully pre selected political managers they've had the privilege of voting in tell them that sort of thing is "democracy" somewhere else, like Iraq, or Afghanistan, they don't even question it.Well he can not even tell the difference between Plutocracy and Fascism. Like usual a jumble of polysyllable words strung together without tying them together in logical ways. While he is good at asking questions (some like these appear out of nowhere) he seldom likes to answer questions directly. I know that it is some basis with trying to be above the issues in a like macro view that no one else sees, but honestly it only glosses over his own inabilities to explain himself without a thousand word essays on issues like what is "is".
Do you ? Do you question it?
Corporations and their political cronies give Americans the choices of how their economy is going to work and what kind of jobs they need to train for, the roads in America are designed primarily for their economic system, the one they've developed for themselves over the past hundred and fifty years or so, once they had sufficiently chipped away at the democratic legal structure in the various states that were originally designed to keep them in line, not a participatory democratic economy that might have evolved if corporations had been kept in their place as planned. Public roads get the goods shipped all over the place and allow corporate workers to get to their jobs, making sure, of course, that they are always just a little inadequate at the conveniently timed period that everyone seems to have to conform to, of getting to and from their corporate jobs, so that everyone can be terrified about being late to work, thereby potentially fired and have to send out another two or three hundred resumes complete with carefully crafted cover letters, most of which go in the respective personnel officers' trash cans.Yes the frustration of living in a modern world. Wouldn't it be nicer if corporations understood that the roads they should build because of good will and provide employees with limousine rides. That is his fantasy world where there is no problems. Dare I say nihilism again.
Corporations and the economy they create for themselves and operate for themselves, since it is their profits that set all the standards in society, therefore sets the stage for how people need to be trained to fit in the specialized niches in their now extremely well designed management hierarchies which have been refined for maximum efficiency; that's today's educational system instead of system designed for giving young Americans training in how to make a democracy work. What would be the point of that? We don't need democracy in the work place, it's a privately owned and well accepted management autocracy, a dominator system, not an egalitarian, you own your own work participatory environment.Corporations do not create economies only markets can they create. Government and people (workers, voters, unions...) create economies and with some help of the total business sector. Ren keeps talking about how there needs to be more training in democracy but how much resources does a school devote to such endeavors. Is there not civic classes and history and sociology and etc... Why should workers necessarily own the means of production unless they risked the investments to start with. There is forum member named Jason that joined a cooperative and seems to enjoy it.
Basically if labor wanted to own the means of production they already have the tools to do so. Most work in a corporation and as such they could easily invest in the common stocks and if enough workers invested and risked their capital then they could own the corporation and change management. Simple as that. Much of the things that Marx didn't analyze was risk between the different segments of the economy.
If you've never given that much thought and assumed otherwise, then ask yourself: Why make children learn to sit in rows hour upon hour, passively, subserviently, as an authority figure speaks, telling them what is what and grading them on their ability to conform to what is what? Why not put them in a situation where they could explore what interests them and open themselves up? Why the competition for grades? This isn't fantasy on my part, we actually took my niece out of this harmful educational environment and home schooled her at eleven. She didn't even bother with a high school diploma. She went into UC Davis at 17 and graduated at 20, top of her class. Not that being top of her class is important, just that one doesn't need the programming of the existing system to do well. Doing well is actually pretty easy, doing different is what's a bit tougher. Discovering what different is after massive programming is tougher yet.Of course I think most people realize that our present educational system may have symbolism of factory work places. And even I agree that should change but on the extreme of home schooling I do not see our society paying for that expenses. But maybe technology combined with different teaching methods may reduce the burden our schools are inflicting on our economy without producing the results that we should be getting. So I think I can agree with ren on many of his points that the new work force may need a new paradigm in learning. Since most jobs will require computer skills then it seems that teaching should be done more with computers that with teachers giving boring lectures in front of rowed students. But grades are important for a yard stick to check progress. Think of a track star that never timed himself, how would he know that he is improving or even has the ability to compete. If ren thinks that we will no longer have competition in our society or our economy then he is dreaming and should immediately leave for Cuba.
You need to ask all those kinds of questions. You seem to have all the answers for yourself right now, but I haven't heard you ask any relevant questions yet. That's where you really need to explore if you think everything's so great. You say you work every day out of creative discontent? No you don't.Well, I for one answered his silly questions and fired some back. I came across the phrase "This is so, is it not?" that best describes how I see ren's analysis. He creates the scenario and then answers his own questions. Well if this is as deep as he looks at the issues then I would say I have surpassed him in leaps and bounds.
You see, it looks to me like you've already been programmed, because I don't see that your answers have come from ever exploring these deeper issues.
Let me ask you something. Do you like being told what to do?This part almost shouts out PARANOID LOGIC. Of course we all do not like being told what to do and that is why I think we have so many homeless people. But if you want security without risk then you make choices in life. His fantasy world where no one tells others what to do is only on the island of Robinson Caruso. Since once you have more than one person then one person's rights overlaps another. Someone in the end will be telling the other what to do. Does ren have a sample in the animal kingdom that could enlighten us. I mean if nature has not solved that problem then why does he think that mankind can. Again nihilism in practice.
I don't. I want an America where I'm not told what to do. Not ever. I want to participate in every part of my life, free of choice. If you don't, then you can't possibly know why that would be better than what we have at present.
I don't know if that's what you wanted to hear when you said "this is exactly why you people aren't getting the message across", since I don't consider myself a liberal, or a libertarian (well, an American libertarian, European libertarians are different), or a conservative, or whatever else there is. I don't know if I'm one of "you people" you refered to. After all, I’m just a citizen.That may be the case that he can not identify with a specific party or ideology, same with me in certain ways. But he sure hangs around one end of the pool and it is not the conservative end.
- tell me what is really wrong with the country
- tell my why it is wrong
- tell me what your ideas are
- tell me why those ideas are better than the present
Well we are at the end of this post and as far as the above questions, I think only point one was covered. Maybe if ren wrote another dozen pages we could have had answers for the other points.