Sunday, October 01, 2006

Alas Babylon

_________________________________________

William Rivers Pitt sums up what is rapidly becoming the worst (and perhaps last) moment in the history of this nation.

Once again I have not blogged about this in any sufficient length, or really at all. Much like the continuing occupations and slaughters in the Middle East, what more can I say?

What is more horrifying than the truth right in front of us?

Many personal setbacks and some new heartbreaks have been distracting me from almost all but a cursory following of the news. It's an indication of just how bad the situation is that I'm somewhat grateful for the personal pain. I don't know how closely I want to view the national and international stages in the coming years.

(sigh)


And when the Second American Revolution comes, and make no mistake, it is coming, we will see.

We will see what we as Americans are truly made of.

30 Comments:

Anonymous Nemo said...

Robert: So sorry to hear of your further troubles. And I know all too well that intense aversion you speak of -- I took a "day off" from the perpetual bad news for my birthday, only to discover afterwards that this vile, Third Reich re-tread was our Quisling Congress's "present" to me. ==== From Pitt's commentary: '... the definition of "enemy combatant" that has been established by this legislation. An "enemy combatant" is now no longer just someone captured "during an armed conflict" against our forces. Thanks to this legislation, George W. Bush is now able to designate as an "enemy combatant" anyone who has "purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States." ' ==== That being the case, the gauntlet has *truly* been thrown down! This despicable Fascist imitation of a US government leaves me no alternative -- either I can choose to live a lie, or I can "purposefully and materially support hostilities" against it; either I am with the [NeoConNazi] terrorists, or I am against them. And I refuse to live a lie! ==== "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ John F. Kennedy, 1962

Sun Oct 01, 01:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

An appropriately outraged response to what American "justice" has now been officially reduced to via Congressional subservience: This Time, Congress Has No Excuse, by Andrew Cohen [Washington Post] ==== Of all the stupid, lazy, short-sighted, hasty, ill-conceived, partisan-inspired, damage-inflicting, dangerous and offensive things this Congress has done (or not done) in its past few recent miserable terms, the looming passage of the terror detainee bill takes the cake. At least when Congress voted to authorize the Iraq War legislators can point to the fact that they were deceived by Administration officials. But what's Congress' excuse now for agreeing to sign off on a law that would give the executive branch even more unfettered power over the rest of us than it already has? ==== It just keeps getting worse. This morning, esteemed Yale Law professor Bruce Ackerman published this fine essay in the Los Angeles Times. His lead? "Buried in the complex Senate compromise on detainee treatment is a real shocker, reaching far beyond the legal struggles about foreign terrorist suspects in the Guantanamo Bay fortress. The compromise legislation, which is racing toward the White House, authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights. ...

Sun Oct 01, 01:48:00 PM  
Anonymous UT said...

Check this out:
Mark Foley instant message chats with Congressional page

What a sick fuck.

Sun Oct 01, 01:56:00 PM  
Anonymous 'UEC' Nemo said...

I stand partially corrected -- given this junta's characteristically fast and loose "standards" of interpretation, it's even WORSE!: Imagine Giving Donald Rumsfeld Unbounded Discretion to Detain You Indefinitely, by Marty Lederman [Balkinization] ==== ... Most of the attention in the press has focused on subsection (i) of the definition, which would designate as an UEC any "person who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents who is not a lawful enemy combatant (including a person who is part of the Taliban, al Qaeda, or associated forces)." And that subsection is, indeed, broad, and fairly indeterminate, depending on how "materially supported hostilities" is interpreted (something that the Administration apparently could do without much or any judicial review). ==== But the really breathtaking subsection is subsection (ii), which would provide that UEC is defined to include any person "who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the President or the Secretary of Defense." ==== Read literally, this means that if the Pentagon says you're an unlawful enemy combatant -- using whatever criteria they wish -- then as far as Congress, and U.S. law, is concerned, you are one, whether or not you have had any connection to "hostilities" at all. ...

Sun Oct 01, 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Thanks Nemo. My boy is well and all other loved ones are healthy.

My luck in love on the other hand......

Sun Oct 01, 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

How are you feeling UT?

Sun Oct 01, 03:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

My luck in love on the other hand...... Robert: Ouch! Been there too; not at all fun. Hang in there, chum. :-)

Sun Oct 01, 08:58:00 PM  
Anonymous UT said...

I am feeling okay I would say, not 100% though but I am getting there with baby steps. I exercise 3 times a day, 7 days a week: walk, stretching, swimming pool, no heavy lifting and no jogging yet. I was going to send you this message earlier but my internet connection dropped.

Have you guys noticed the symptoms of a recession in your States? Here most of the appartments are empty, people are losing their jobs left and right, others moved to other States. I am not sure if this phenomenom is only inherent to Vegas. Usually people from California moved to Vegas, and this year it seems the trend is reversed: people are moving out from Vegas to other States (CO, CA, AZ).
In Vegas we are the champions in foreclosures rates: +255% from August 2006 compared to 2005; it is 4 times the national average. Lots of people tried to make big bucks very fast in housing but the homeowners are losing their home since the market is not really stable here, after all it is just a casino city with the mob in power. Next year will be worse as the 1st ARMs, these balloon mortages are going to be shot up by 20 to 30%; it is going to bankrupt people in Las Vegas and bringing inflation to new records.

Sun Oct 01, 11:50:00 PM  
Blogger Again said...

nemo
So sorry to hear of your further troubles

me, too, Robert...

sorry to be so late, but (you know) troubles - just some financial ones, nothing serious, but time- and money-wasting. And as you know, for the most (all???) decent people in our times money-finding is not that easy. It seems that money hates decency - at least it hates me, doesn't want to stay with me ;-)

but a better story to tell is, that the bad example of Bush seems to have some "positive" side-effects - Austria votes left in the last elections. When you see how false promises work you don't fall prey to them as easily as the unaware

Robert
We will see what we as Americans are truly made of.

of the same stuff than anybody else - including us "previous-monsters"....

sorry to say that, but as i've read that America is now openly fascistic, i couldn't help myself - maybe one of the reasons why i couldn't write in the last time...

but again - another story - in the last week, i managed to visit Bonn - 150 years Neandertal. I looked at the bones of the man with the actually so "normal" face and i was fascinated by knee joints - just some bones "between" apes and humans, fascinated by the fact, that humans, as we know them, are "just" about 150,000 years old, not really older. And while Homo Sapiens flooded the whole world, (s)he has to meet the Neandertal people, has to go to Europe, to the ice on the small continent with the most turbulent history ever of all continents of Earth. How true, hmmm? Not only "swam" that continent over the whole Earth through every climate zone, but is also the turntable of human history. Do you know that Homo Sapiens is found everywhere on Earth? But it took Europe/South Russia to create symbols as precondition for writing - and 40,000 years after Europe sent the cancer of fascism over the whole wide world. What a decline...

remember Warblogging? As i heard, that Bush has got his "Enabling Act" i thought that the worst thing about Americans is their belief in their uniqueness - forgive me, please, Robert and Nemo and all the others here, because YOU don't belong to them, but actually most Americans, even the liberal ones, don't care about anything foreigners say. Foreigners don't know enough about America, they don't understand the American soul, they are (mostly) "too stupid and uneducated" and last not least, they don't have the right to judge an American - typical Herrenmensch-thinking, and because of that, the American Aristocracy could fool the American people as Aristocracy fooled people on and on and on and on - if only one single next generation would accept that they are NOT unique, that they EASILY can avoid being fooled by watching how their predecessors failed how easy it is for the "ruling, intelligent" class to rob and enslave the "working" class - since 5,000 years the same pattern. So easy to detect, so easy to describe, so easy to teach - if only the pupils would be able to learn...

you know, nemo, how scaringly similar the history of our both countries now is - and actually, at the moment, watching Bush win and win and win - the uber-loser, the proof of aristocratic inbreeding, the obviously incompetent avatar of the Holy Free Market and how it truly works (surely not depending on innovation, creativity and merits, as the Heritage Foundation wants to tell the whole world, but simply on the ancient Pre-Homo-Erectus-Strategy "Alpha Male on the Banana Heap") - i can't believe in the American Grassroots any more, sorry, they seem to have not understand, that times changed awfully, that Americans are mostly "just humans" and humans mostly tend to prefer slavery if it is sold as "protection", Americans as well as Russians and Chinese and "Towelheads" - the same sort, the same species, the same deficiencies. If America doesn't accept this she will not be able to find a working strategy against the Alpha males, because there isn't "an american way", there is only a human way - the Neandertal taught you so: it was not the strong hunter who survived, but the feminine Homo Sapiens - prefering intelligence and writing and storytelling and medicine to care for mothers, children and the wounded hunters (sorry to say "feminine", but i looked at the old bones, learned, that the brain of the strong Neandertal-people actually was bigger than ours and simply hate the current behavior of American Democrats to accept genocide and torture just because "not to look like a weakling" - we ARE weaklings! And we should be proud of that, because it is a gift of Mother Nature, the price for the highest intelligence!)

INDICTMENT-*
INTERNATIONAL MILITARY TRIBUNAL
Part III


"For the purposes set out above, the defendants adopted a policy of persecution, repression, and extermination of all civilians [] who were, or who were believed to be, or who were believed likely to become, hostile to the [] Government and the common plan or conspiracy described in Count One. They imprisoned such persons without judicial process, holding them in “protective custody” and concentration camps, and subjected. them to persecution, degradation, despoilment, enslavement, torture, and murder."

Mon Oct 02, 12:15:00 AM  
Blogger Again said...

ut
but I am getting there with baby steps

good to hear that

people are losing their jobs left and right

even in Las Vegas, the fastest-growing city of USA? The city based on nothing else than hopes, the fairy tale of the success even for the poor, based on promises without foundation, build on recycled stuff and stories of Hollywood? (Sorry, i don't like Vegas - i adore the Grand Canyon, i love San Francisco - but watching the plastic beauty of Vegas and the human wrecks in the backyards or the Indian Reservation not even allowed to access the water - i couldn't help myself but not like it)

the system crashes, huh?

and America knows it very well - watched the animated movie "Robots" some times ago, clearly telling the story of how big business robs and kills the poor people just to make money. Colorful, obviously fictional - but true

Mon Oct 02, 12:35:00 AM  
Blogger Again said...

i need some help, please, sorry if i missed something...

i guess the original text of the "Enabling Act" is S. 3930: Military Commissions Act of 2006

Sec. 948a. Definitions
`In this chapter:
`(1) UNLAWFUL ENEMY COMBATANT- (A) The term `unlawful enemy combatant' means--
`(i) a person who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents who is not a lawful enemy combatant (including a person who is part of the Taliban, al Qaeda, or associated forces); or
`(ii) a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the President or the Secretary of Defense.

SEC. 7. HABEAS CORPUS MATTERS.
inserting the following new subsection (e):
`(e)(1) No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the United States who has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination.
`(2) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 1005(e) of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 (10 U.S.C. 801 note), no court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider any other action against the United States or its agents relating to any aspect of the detention, transfer, treatment, trial, or conditions of confinement of an alien who is or was detained by the United States and has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination.'."

Mon Oct 02, 08:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

Again: S.3930 is indeed the final *Senate* version. (The House approved it own version.) What was (or will be) modified between the two to derive the "compromise" Bill -- determined by a committee -- is beyond me, thus far. But what was it you were questioning? (If it's the seeming nullification of habeas corpus, ONLY for aliens, the prevailing legal opinion seems to be that the wording of the legislation renders HC equally moot for citizens -- if ANY "tribunal" established by the Bush Reich can determine the "validity" of a UEC detention, the courts theoretically would be bound by that determination in any appeal -- Catch 22!) ==== It's indeed disheartening to see how well the Nuremberg indictment you cited fits *exactly* this current Amerikan Reich. Our two nations -- or their installed "leaders", more accurately -- have indeed followed nearly identical paths, separated only by time, quite conceivably by *design* in the case of the US. (In one of the very first outraged comments I encountered regarding this remarkable betrayal, the poster expressed the belief that Bush & Co. had followed precisely in the Nazis' footsteps intentionally, deliberately adopting their methods. Naturally, that wouldn't surprise me in the least, due to the many deja vu gut reactions I've had to recent US history.) As you very likely know, this country has long featured a nasty Fascist undercurrent -- US Establishment reactions, at the time, to Third Reich "policies" were hardly "universally appalled". Now, however, it's right out in the open, set forth as "law", thanks to our "lovely" Congress.

Mon Oct 02, 04:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

And STILL there's more! It may be largely "thoretical" in scope, but considering this rogue Regime's extreme penchant for loosely interpreting and radically "stretching" its authority, it's not even remotely "out of the question": Fatal Vision: The Deeper Evil Behind the Detainee Bill, By Chris Floyd ==== "There is no week nor day nor hour when tyranny may not enter upon this country - if the people lose their confidence in themselves - and lose their roughness and spirit of defiance." - Walt Whitman ==== It was a dark hour indeed on Thursday when the United States Senate voted to end the constitutional republic and transform the country into a "Leader-State," giving the president and his agents the power to capture, torture and imprison forever anyone - American citizens included - whom they arbitrarily decide is an "enemy combatant." This also includes those who merely give "terrorism" some kind of "support," defined so vaguely that many experts say it could encompass legal advice, innocent gifts to charities or even political opposition to US government policy within its draconian strictures. ==== All of this is bad enough - a sickening and cowardly surrender of liberty not seen in a major Western democracy since the Enabling Act passed by the German Reichstag in March 1933. But it is by no means the full extent of our degradation. In reality, the darkness is deeper, and more foul, than most people imagine. For in addition to the dictatorial powers of seizure and torment given by Congress on Thursday to George W. Bush - powers he had already seized and exercised for five years anyway, even without this fig leaf of sham legality - there is a far more sinister imperial right that Bush has claimed - and used - openly, without any demur or debate from Congress at all: ordering the "extrajudicial killing" of anyone on earth that he and his deputies decide - arbitrarily, without charges, court hearing, formal evidence, or appeal - is an "enemy combatant." ... ==== [The full piece is highly recommended.]

Mon Oct 02, 04:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

Meanwhile, in the so-called "Third World"... No wonder these US NeoConNazis so hate Chavez! He indisputably demonstrates what a government *could* (and should) be. While our own Fascists line their pockets and squanders BILLIONS on mindless carnage, Venezuela thrives: Venezuela's Oil Wealth Funds Gusher of Anti-Poverty Projects [San Francisco Chronicle] ==== ... Public works projects are everywhere, ranging from subway lines in Caracas and Valencia to bridges over the Orinoco River. New medical clinics -- mostly staffed by Cuban doctors provided under Chavez's oil aid program to Fidel Castro -- are within reach of almost everyone in this nation of 25 million people. Illiteracy, formerly at 10 percent of the population, has been completely eliminated, and infant mortality has been cut from 21 deaths per 1,000 births to 16 per 1,000. ...

Mon Oct 02, 04:57:00 PM  
Anonymous UT said...

Sorry, i don't like Vegas It is a crooked city. Around 13% of the population from Vegas have had problems with justice. Vegas is a temporary city for nomad people who don't know where to go and what to do with their life. It was also a senior citizens pole until the 90s. Vegas was last year the 2nd fast growing city, but it grew too fast and now Vegas is number one in everything: crime rates, rapes, auto-thefts ... etc And people lose their jobs and here in the US without a job we are nothing.

I used to like this city at the beginning but it just got boring in the long run. What is kewl though is the geographical proximity with 3 States such as AZ, CA and UT. During wintertime we go to UT to sky (with the mormons) and during summertime we can go all the way to San Diego or Santa Monica (with the Mexicans). I don't think I will lay down my ass for ever in this city. I don't have the choice right now, I have to stay because of the Immigration formalities, which finally contacted me (Thank you N. Sarkozy). Afterwards I may either move back to Texas or CA; my wife is from Texas and she is tired of Vegas too.

Well, the american system is completely different from Europe. It is good if you like changes, but I don't really like the fast-paced environment. Outside work and my physical exercises I have nothing else (besides blogging and reading) so it kind of scares me in terms of self-accomplishment. Here the culture for self-accomplishment is more in terms of work success, and in Europe people take into consideration other priorities than work or at least things as important as work. I think it makes life abstract to depend only on work. It is not only a cultural problem, it is the system that was made this way.

Mon Oct 02, 09:08:00 PM  
Anonymous UT said...

No wonder these US NeoConNazis so hate Chavez! At least Chavez helps the poor, here in the US they just give tax cuts to the rich.

On WNYC there was an interview with Greg Palast about Hugo Chavez, it was worth listening to it. Greg Palast blasted the radio host and guest and told them he was sick of the misinformation in the US "I've never seen such a horrendous disinformation campaign. This is a widely popular democratically elected President".
Hugo Chavez did not decide that the President Bush was the devil. Keep in mind that in 2002 Hugo Chavez was kidnapped by the CIA, and the United States.

I will try to write the whole transcript within this week :)

Mon Oct 02, 09:18:00 PM  
Anonymous UT said...

Has anyone read the work of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon? He was a french anarchist from the XIXth century. He wrote a book called "the philosophy of poverty" in 1848. He was in touch with Karl Marx for 6 years, then one day Karl Marx sent him a subject called "the poverty of philosophy", and this is how anarchists seperated themselves from communists.

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.

Mon Oct 02, 09:40:00 PM  
Anonymous UT said...

As long as man lives under the law of egoism, he accuses himself; as soon as he rises to the conception of a social law, he accuses society. In both cases humanity accuses humanity; and so far the clearest result of this double accusation is the strange faculty, which we have not yet pointed out, and which religion attributes to God as well as to man, of REPENTANCE.

Of what, then, does humanity repent? For what does God, who repents as well as ourselves, desire to punish us? Poenituit Deum quod hominem fecisset in terra, et tactus dolore cordis intrinsecus, delebo, inquit, hominem. . . . If I demonstrate that the offences charged upon humanity are not the consequence of its economic embarrassments, although the latter result from the constitution of its ideas; that man does evil gratuitously and when not under compulsion, just as he honors himself by acts of heroism which justice does not exact, -- it will follow that man, at the tribunal of his conscience, may be allowed to plead certain extenuating circumstances, but can never be entirely discharged of his guilt; that the struggle is in his heart as well as in his mind; that he deserves now praise, now blame, which is a confession, in either case, of his inharmonious state; finally, that the essence of his soul is a perpetual compromise between opposing attractions, his morality a system of seesaw, in a word, -- and this word tells the whole story, -- eclecticism.

My proof shall be soon made.

There exists a law, older than our liberty, promulgated from the beginning of the world, completed by Jesus Christ, preached and certified by apostles, martyrs, confessors, and virgins, graven on the heart of man, and superior to all metaphysics: it is LOVE. Love thy neighbor as thyself, Jesus Christ tells us, after Moses. That is the whole of it. Love thy neighbor as thyself, and society will be perfect; love thy neighbor as thyself, and all distinctions of prince and shepherd, of rich and poor, of learned and ignorant, disappear, all clashing of human interests ceases. Love thy neighbor as thyself, and happiness with industry, without care for the future, shall fill thy days. To fulfil this law and make himself happy man needs only to follow the inclination of his heart and listen to the voice of his sympathies. He resists; he does more: not content wtih {sic} preferring himself to his neighbor, he labors constantly to destroy his neighbor; after having betrayed love through egoism, he overturns it by injustice.

Man, I say, faithless to the law of charity, has, of himself and without any necessity, made the contradictions of society so many instruments of harm; through his egoism civilization has become a war of surprises and ambushes; he lies, he steals, he murders, when not compelled to do so, without provocation, without excuse. In short, he does evil with all the characteristics of a nature deliberately maleficent, and all the more wicked because, when it so wishes, it knows how to do good gratuitously also and is capable of self-sacrifice; wherefore it has been said of it, with as much reason as depth: Homo homini lupus, vel deus. Not to unduly extend the subject, and especially in order to avoid prejudging the questions that I shall have to consider, I limit myself to the economic facts already analyzed.

With the fact that the division of labor is by nature, pending the attainment of a synthetic organization, an irresistible cause of physical, moral, and mental inequality among men neither society nor conscience have anything to do. That is a fact of necessity, of which the rich man is as innocent as the parcellaire workman, consigned by his position to all sorts of poverty.

But how happens it that this inevitable inequality is converted into a title of nobility for some, of abjection for others? How happens it, if man is good, that he has not succeeded in levelling by his goodness this wholly metaphysical obstacle, and that, instead of strengthening the fraternal tie that binds men, pitiless necessity breaks it? Here man cannot be excused on the ground of his economic inexperience or legislative shortsightedness; it was enough that he had a heart. Since the martyrs of the division of labor should have been helped and honored by the rich, why have they been rejected as impure? Why is it an unheard-of thing for masters to occasionally relieve their slaves, for princes, magistrates, and priests to change places with mechanics, and for nobles to assume the task of the peasants on the land? What is the reason of this brutal pride of the powerful?

And note that such conduct on their part would have been not only charitable and fraternal, but in accord with the sternest justice. By virtue of the principle of collective force, laborers are the equals and associates of their leaders; so that in the system of monopoly itself, community of action restoring the equilibrium which parcellaire individualism has disturbed, justice and charity blend. On the hypothesis of the essential goodness of man, how then is to be explained the monstrous attempt to change the authority of some into nobility and the obedience of others into plebeianism? Labor, between the serf and the free man, like color between the black and the white, has always drawn an impassable line; and we ourselves, who glory so in our philanthropy, at the bottom of our hearts are of the same opinion as our predecessors. The sympathy which we feel for the proletaire is like that with which animals inspire us; delicacy of organs, dread of misery, pride in separating ourselves from all suffering, -- it is these shifts of egoism that prompt our charity.

For in fact -- and I desire only this fact to confound us -- is it not true that spontaneous benevolence, so pure in its primitive conception (eleemosyna, sympathy, tenderness), alms, in fine, has become for the unfortunate a sign of degradation, a public stigma? And socialists, rebuking Christianity, dare to talk to us of love! The Christian thought, the conscience of humanity, hit the mark precisely, when it founded so many institutions for the relief of misfortune. To grasp the evangelical precept in its depth and render legal charity as honorable to those who had been its objects as to those who had exercised it, there was needed -- what? Less pride, less greed, less egoism. If man is good, will any one tell me how the right to alms has become the first link in the long chain of infractions, misdemeanors, and crimes? Will any one still dare to blame the misdeeds of man upon the antagonisms of social economy, when these antagonisms offered him so beautiful an opportunity of manifesting the charity of his heart, I do not say by self-sacrifice, but by the simple doing of justice?

I know -- and this objection is the only one that can be offered against my position -- that charity is covered with shame and dishonor because the individual who asks it is too often, alas! suspected of misconduct and rarely to be recommended on the score of dignity of morals and of labor. And statistics prove that those who are poor through cowardice and negligence outnumber ten times those who are poor through accident or mischance.

Far be it from me to challenge this observation, the truth of which is demonstrated by too many facts, and which, moreover, has received the sanction of the people. The people are the first to accuse the poor of laziness; and there is nothing more common than to meet in the lower classes men who boast, as if it were a title of nobility, that they have never been in the hospital and in their greatest distress have never been recipients of public charity. Thus, just as opulence avows its robberies, misery confesses its shame. Man is a tyrant or a slave by will before becoming so by fortune; the heart of the proletaire is like that of the rich man, -- a sewer of boiling sensuality, the home of crapulence and imposture.

Upon this unexpected revelation I ask how it happens, if man is good and charitable, that the rich calumniate charity while the poor defile it? It is perversion of judgment on the part of the rich, say some; it is degradation of faculties on the part of the poor, say others. But how is it that judgment is perverted on the one hand, and on the other that faculties are degraded? How comes it that a true and cordial fraternity has not arrested on the one side and on the other the effects of pride and labor? Let my questions be answered by reasons, not by phrases.

Labor, in inventing processes and machines which infinitely multiply its power, and then in stimulating industrial genius by rivalry and assuring its conquests by means of the profits of capital and privileges of exploitation, has rendered the hierarchical constitution of society more profound and more inevitable; I repeat that no blame attaches to any one for this. But I call the holy law of the Gospel to witness that it was within our power to draw wholly different consequences from this subordination of man to man, or, better, of laborer to laborer.

The traditions of feudal life and of that of the patriarchs set the example for the manufacturers. The division of labor and the other accidents of production were only calls to the great family life, indications of the preparatory system in accordance with which fraternity was to appear and be developed. Masterships, corporations, and rights of primogeniture were conceived under the influence of this idea; many communists even are not hostile to this form of association; is it surprising that the ideal is so tenacious among those who, conquered but not converted, still appear as its representatives? What, then, prevented charity, union, sacrifice from maintaining themselves in the hierarchy, when the hierarchy might have been only a condition of labor? To this end it would have sufficed if men having machines, valiant knights fighting with equal weapons, had not made a mystery of their secrets or withheld them from others; if barons had set to work, not to monopolize their products, but to cheapen them; and if vassals, assured that war would result only in increasing their wealth, had always shown themselves enterprising, industrious, and faithful. The chief of the workshop would then have been simply a captain putting his men through manoeuvres in their interest as well as in his own, and maintaining them, not with his perquisites, but with their own services.

Instead of these fraternal relations, we have had pride, jealousy, and perjury; the employer, like the vampire of the fable, exploiting the degraded wage-worker, and the wage-worker conspiring against the employer; the idler devouring the substance of the laborer, and the serf, squatting in filth, having no strength left but for hatred.

Called on to furnish for the work of production, these tools, those labor, capitalists and laborers are today in a struggle: why? Because absolutism presides over all their relations; because the capitalist speculates on the need which the laborer feels of procuring tools, while the laborer, in turn, seeks to derive advantage from the need which the capitalist feels of fertilizing his capital. -- L. Blanc: Organization of Labor.

And why this absolutism in the relations of capitalist and laborer? Why this hostility of interests? Why this reciprocal enmity? Instead of eternally explaining the fact by the fact itself, go to the bottom, and you will find everywhere, as original motive, a passion for enjoyment which neither law nor justice nor charity restrain; you will see egoism continually discounting the future, and sacrificing to its monstrous caprices labor, capital, life, and the security of all.

The theologians have given the name concupiscence or concupiscible appetite to the passionate greed for sensual things, the effect, according to them, of original sin. I trouble myself little, for the present, as to the nature of the original sin; I simply observe that the concupiscible appetite of the theologians is no other than that need of luxury pointed out by the Academy of Moral Sciences as the ruling motive of our epoch. Now, the theory of proportionality of values demonstrates that luxury is naturally measured by production; that every consumption in advance is recovered by an equivalent later privation; and that the exaggeration of luxury in a society necessarily has an increase of misery as its correlative. Now, were man to sacrifice his personal welfare for luxurious and advance enjoyments, perhaps I should accuse him only of imprudence; but, when he injures the welfare of his neighbor, -- a welfare which he should regard as inviolable, both from charity and on the ground of justice, -- I say then that man is wicked, inexcusably wicked.

When God, according to Bossuet, formed the bowels of man, he originally placed goodness there. Thus love is our first law; the prescriptions of pure reason, as well as the promptings of the senses, take second and third rank only. Such is the hierarchy of our faculties, -- a principle of love forming the foundation of our conscience and served by an intelligence and organs. Hence of two things one: either the man who violates charity to obey his cupidity is guilty; or else, if this psychology is false, and the need of luxury in man must hold a place beside charity and reason, man is a disorderly animal, utterly wicked, and the most execrable of beings.

Thus the organic contradictions of society cannot cover the responsibility of man; viewed in themselves, moreover, these contradictions are only the theory of the hierarchical regime, the first form and consequently an irreproachable form of society. By the antinomy of their development labor and capital have been continually led back to equality at the same time as to subordination, to solidarity as well as to dependence; one was the agent, the other the stimulator and guardian of the common wealth. This indication has been indistinctly seen by the theorists of the feudal system; Christianity came in time to cement the compact; and it is still the sentiment of this misunderstood and broken, but in itself innocent and legitimate, organization which causes regrets among us and sustains the hope of a party. As this system was written in the book of destiny, it cannot be said to be bad in itself, just as the embryonic state cannot be called bad because it precedes adult age in physiological development.

I insist, therefore, on my accusation:

Under the regime abolished by Luther and the French Revolution man could be happy in proportion to the progress of his industry; he did not choose to be; on the contrary, he forbade himself to be.

Labor has been regarded as dishonorable; the clergy and the nobility have made themselves the devourers of the poor; to satisfy their animal passions, they have extinguished charity in their hearts; they have ruined, oppressed, assassinated the laborer. And thus it is that we see capital still hunting the proletariat. Instead of tempering the subversive tendency of economic principles by association and mutuality, the capitalist exaggerates it unnecessarily and with evil design; he abuses the senses and the conscience of the workman; he makes him a valet in his intrigues, a purveyor of his debaucheries, an accomplice in his robberies; he makes him in all respects like himself, and then it is that he can defy the justice of revolutions to touch him. Monstrous thing! the man who lives in misery, and whose soul therefore seems a nearer neighbor of charity and honor, shares his master's corruption; like him, he gives everything to pride and luxury, and if he sometimes cries out against the inequality from which he suffers, it is still less from zeal for justice than from rivalry in desire. The greatest obstacle which equality has to overcome is not the aristocratic pride of the rich man, but the ungovernable egoism of the poor man. And you rely on his native goodness to reform at once both the spontaneity and the premeditation of his malice!

"As the false and anti-social education given to the present generation," says Louis Blanc, "permits no search for any other motive for emulation and encouragement than an increase of reward, the difference of wages should be graduated according to the hierarchy of functions, an entirely new education having to change ideas and morals in this matter."

Dismissing the hierarchy of functions and the inequality of wages for what they are worth, let us consider here only the motive assigned by the author. Is it not strange to see M. Blanc affirm the goodness of our nature, and at the same time address himself to the most ignoble of our propensities, -- avarice? Truly, evil must seem to you very deeply rooted, if you deem it necessary to begin the restoration of charity by a violation of charity. Jesus Christ broke openly with pride and greed; apparently the libertines whom he catechised were holy personages compared with the herd infected with socialism. But tell us then, in short, how our ideas have been warped, why our education is anti-social, since it is now demonstrated that society has followed the route traced by destiny and can no longer be charged with the crimes of man.

Really, the logic of socialism is marvellous.

Man is good, they say; but it is necessary to detach his interests from evil to secure his abstinence from it. Man is good; but he must be interested in the good, else he will not do it. For, if the interest of his passions leads him to evil, he will do evil; and, if this same interest leaves him indifferent to good, he will not do good. And society will have no right to reproach him for having listened to his passions, because it was for society to conduct him by his passions. What a rich and precious nature was that of Nero, who killed his mother because she wearied him, and who caused Rome to be burned in order to have a representation of the pillage of Troy! What an artist's soul was that of Heliogabalus, who organized prostitution! What a potent character was Tiberius! But what an abominable society was that which perverted those divine souls, and produced, moreover, Tacitus and Marcus Aurelius!

This, then, is what is called the harmlessness of man, -- the holiness of his passions! An aged Sappho, abandoned by her lovers, goes back under the conjugal law; her interest detached from love, she returns to marriage, and is holy. What a pity that this word holy (saint) has not in French the double meaning which it possesses in the Hebrew language! All would be in accord regarding the holiness of Sappho.

I read in a report upon the railways of Belgium that, the Belgian administration having allowed its engineers a premium of two and one-half cents for every bushel of coke saved out of an average consumption of two hundred and ten pounds for a given distance traversed, this premium bore such fruits that the consumption fell from two hundred and ten pounds to one hundred and six. This fact sums up the whole socialistic philosophy: to gradually train the workingman to justice, encourage him to labor, lift him to the sublimity of devotion, by increase of wages, profit-sharing, distinctions, and rewards. Certainly I do not mean to blame this method, which is as old as the world: whatever way you take to tame serpents and tigers and render them useful, I applaud it. But do not say that your beasts are doves; for then, as sole reply, I shall point you to their claws and teeth. Before the Belgian engineers became interested in the economy of fuel, they burned double the quantity. Therefore on their part there was carelessness, negligence, prodigality, waste, perhaps theft, although they were bound to the administration by a contract which obliged them to practise all the contrasted virtues. It is good, you say, to interest the laborer. I say further that it is just. But I maintain that this interest, more powerful over man than voluntarily accepted obligation, more powerful, in a word, than DUTY, accuses man. Socialism goes backward in morality, and it turns up its nose at Christianity. It does not understand charity, and yet, to hear it, one would suppose that it invented charity.

See, moreover, observe the socialists, what fortunate fruits the perfecting of our social order has already borne! The present generation is undeniably better than its predecessors: are we wrong in concluding that a perfect society will produce perfect citizens? Say rather, reply the conservative believers in the dogma of the fall, that, religion having purified hearts, it is not astonishing that institutions have felt the effects. Now let religion finish its work, and have no fears about society.

So speak and retort in an endless wandering from the question the theorists of the two schools. Neither understand that humanity, to use a Biblical expression, is one and constant in its generations, -- that is, that everything in it, at every period of its development, in the individual as in the mass, proceeds from the same principle, which is, not being, but becoming. They do not see, on the one hand, that progress in morality is a continual conquest of mind over animality, just as progress in wealth is the fruit of the war waged by labor upon the parsimony of nature; consequently that the idea of native goodness lost through society is as absurd as the idea of native wealth lost through labor, and that a compromise with the passions should be viewed in the same light as a compromise with rest. On the other hand, they refuse to understand that, if there is progress in humanity, whether through religion or from some other cause, the hypothesis of constitutional corruption is nonsense, a contradiction.

But I anticipate the conclusions at which I must arrive:

let us, for the present, establish simply that the moral perfection of humanity, like material welfare, is realized by a series of oscillations between vice and virtue, merit and demerit.

Yes, humanity grows in justice, but this growth of our liberty, due entirely to the growth of our intelligence, surely gives no proof of the goodness of our nature; and, far from authorizing us to glorify our passions, it really destroys their sway. The fashion and style of our malice change with time: the barons of the middle ages plundered the traveller on the highway, and then offered him hospitality in their castles; mercantile feudality, less brutal, exploits the proletaire and builds hospitals for him: who would dare to say which of the two has deserved the palm of virtue?

Of all the economic contradictions value is that which, dominating the others and summing them up, holds in a sense the sceptre of society, I had almost said of the moral world. Until value, oscillating between its two poles, -- useful value and value in exchange, -- arrives at its constitution, thine and mine remain fixed arbitrarily; the conditions of fortune are the effect of chance; property rests on a precarious title; everything in social economy is provisional. What should social, intelligent, and free beings have learned from this uncertainty of value? To make amicable regulations that should protect labor and guarantee exchange and cheapness. What a happy opportunity for all to make up, by honesty, disinterestedness, and tenderness of heart, for the ignorance of the objective laws of the just and the unjust! Instead of that, commerce has everywhere become, by spontaneous effort and unanimous consent, an uncertain operation, a venturesome enterprise, a lottery, and often a deceitful and fraudulent speculation.

What obliges the holder of provisions, the storekeeper of society, to pretend that there is a scarcity, sound the alarm, and provoke a rise of prices? Public short-sightedness places the consumer at his mercy; some change of temperature furnishes him a pretext; the assured prospect of gain finally corrupts him, and fear, skilfully spread abroad, throws the population into his toils. Certainly the motive which actuates the swindler, the thief, the assassin, those natures warped, it is said, by the social order, is the same which animates the monopolist who is not in need. How, then, does this passion for gain, abandoned to itself, turn to the prejudice of society? Why has preventive, repressive, and coercive legislation always been necessary to set a limit to liberty? For that is the accusing fact, which it is impossible to deny: everywhere the law has grown out of abuse; everywhere the legislator has found himself forced to make man powerless to harm, which is synonymous with muzzling a lion or infibulating a boar. And socialism itself, ever imitating the past, makes no other pretence: what is, indeed, the organization which it claims, if not a stronger guarantee of justice, a more complete limitation of liberty?


The culpability of man. -- Exposition of the myth of the fall.

Mon Oct 02, 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger Again said...

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Tue Oct 03, 05:27:00 AM  
Blogger Again said...

first thanks to you all for not being offended

nemo
But what was it you were questioning?

ooops - seems to be "historically caused", as we say about weird elements in software ;-)

it's simply because i started to ask you for the original bill - then found it - then asked for the critical passages - then found something, i believed it to be (and a related article), but wanted your confirmation (as native speakers). Note the carefully chosen words: because i have problems to understand the legal texts in my own language i doubt i understand the full content of a legal text in English ;-)

the more so, as i have the feeling as if the American Bills are made to confuse not to be transparent - add here some other bill you have to look for (and use a "cool name for it", so that you have to have really staying power to search for it), delete something, change something and never be too precise...

you need a software to produce the final valid version - but who said it? Democracy needs transparency - the better you hush up your laws, the better you can fool the people...

e.g.

"Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 1005(e) of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 (10 U.S.C. 801 note)"

it's not only, that the "except as provided"-part is NOT precisely and clearly repeated to avoid mistakes (especially regarding the "versioning" of the bills) , no...

the Bill is actually "encrypted" - did you try to find "Detainee Treatment Act of 2005" on GovTrack.us? First attempt: 202, too many - second attempt with a promising "H.R. 2863" - but a missed "other titles", so i had to go on. I, as not that legally-well-educated person, had to use the internet to stumble across a text, precise enough to use it for...

further searches...

bad understanding of justice and laws, guys - please excuse me for being such harsh, but that's how they got you: they divide laws from justice and let the laws kill you in the name of justice (ancient "recipe" to create and stabilize aristocracy, btw - so please, that doesn't mean, that other nations are really much cleverer, at least not before they had fallen prey to the same trap this is an "amendment", i have to add to my deleted post above, to avoid the impression of a "typical american problem") ...

yes, i am not an American and i am not used to your not-written legality, but i am not only a physicist, i am also an ex-taxman, educated in the (as said) most complicated tax-system on Earth, so i have some experience in "decrypting" laws (in that case you learn to "love written laws", which you can store on a CD(collection) and look for precisely any mentioned point) - that's why i guess, i am maybe as capable of understanding American Bills as over 23% of adult Americans [who] read at a level which is equal to that of a third grader. Add to this "25% read at the level of a sixth grader and 37% at the level of a junior high/middle school student" and may doubt, if a middle school student is a really good "lawyer", than this would mean...

that about 85% of the Americans are maybe not able to understand their laws...

sorry, i digress, but i guess, that's why Aristocracy and Church hate science and never promote education - stupidity is too convenient if you want to "possess" the people...


ut
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

thanks for the link ;-)

actually, regarding the two quotes "anarchy is order" and anarchy is "the absence of a master, of a sovereign" - i am an anarchist, either - based on physics, btw

because to process much information you need "order", a structure including decision points, but that order is task-oriented, has to depend on the task and therefore has to change with the task - that aristocracy can evolve from tasks is only a question of the stability of environments. As long as you have not learning societies (or at least not fast-learning societies) you can "afford" aristocracy, the same person as decider all the time because the tasks and the skills do not change very much, allowing to cement a inherently temporary structure of decision-making to be able to abuse it

actually, if you put the intention of the "masters" to make their slaves stupid together with the "not fast learning societies" - than you see why Bush loves religion and secrecy, why he wants to get back the Middle Age. While the internet changed the world too fast for stable power-structures (creating and destroying even Superpowers, think of the decline of USA while China's comeback is truly staggering), the cute Middle Age took 200 years just to understand where the Black Death came from, killing hundreds of millions of people (but don't worry, mostly the stupid poor).

good times for kings...

Tue Oct 03, 05:55:00 AM  
Anonymous UT said...

Are You an 'Unlawful Combatant'?
Maybe so… (By Justin Raymondo)


There are tonns of interesting links.
Be back later, i am at work ;)

Tue Oct 03, 11:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

UT: Raimondo's take seems entirely on the mark. Of ALL the dubious "presidencies" to have ever been ceded such abusive authority, the George W. Bush Reich is assuredly the WORST example. These administration thugs previously proceeded in a totally unlawful manner for their entire tenure, *without* any such Congressional "blessing". Now they'll simply be even MORE emboldened in their outright abuse of power. (And it seems to me that the Supreme Court should be issuing numerous "contempt" citations at this point!) ==== Regarding Chavez, I think the man is absolutely fabulous! (And obviously, so do his people, at least the vast majority of them.) I also thought his "devil" remarks (among others) made at the UN and in Harlem were completely appropriate and highly commendable. His is the voice of truth in an [Amerikan] "era of universal deceit". And -- last but not least -- he's achieving a great deal of good for his people, unlike our own despicable "Reichsfuehrers".

Tue Oct 03, 11:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

Again: Why would we be "offended"?? As for your other comments., agreed -- this bill fully appears to have been rendered deliberately ambiguous in the "11th hour", specifically to give the Fuehrer precisely what he wanted all along -- the "authority" to freely designate "enemies of the state" at his own, arbitrary discretion. And the "creeping fascism" that has characterized his entire "presidency" surely indicates that the loose wording *will* be used to mutate the law beyond all reasonable intentions. I suspect that soon the word "terrorist" will have no meaning whatsoever -- it almost does already! -- beyond that of "political opponent". ==== But you know the "routine " from history -- it starts small, and inevitably reaches a pinnacle of Totalitarian repression and universal scrutiny. The chickens have indeed come home to roost!

Tue Oct 03, 11:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

Something I hadn't even considered -- and I'm DAMN glad to hear it -- about this Republikan "boy banging" scandal, as right wing loudmouth "Jerome Corsi, PhD" might *realistically* (for once) label this outrage. Seems that, when you've cast your political lot with with the "Christian Right", they *especially* react extremely negatively to such Congressional pedophilic buggery and the tolerance granted to Foley's deviancy by his GOP colleagues! (And who could blame them, in this instance? "Family values", anyone??) The house has been divided, the wolves in sheeps' clothing are fully exposed!:After Foley, New Fears for the GOP [The Washington Post] ==== Some say party could lose House and Senate. ==== Republican strategists said yesterday that public revulsion over the sexually graphic online conversations between Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) and former House pages could compound the party's problems enough to tip the House to the Democrats in November - and could jeopardize the party's hold on the Senate as well. ==== As House GOP leaders defended their role in handling revelations that forced Foley on Friday to give up his House seat, party strategists said the scandal threatens to depress turnout among Christian conservatives and could hamper efforts to convince undecided and swing voters that Republicans deserve to remain in the majority. ==== There was intense anger among social conservative activists in Washington yesterday, and some called for House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) to resign. ==== Republican operatives closely following the battle for the House and Senate said that they are virtually ready to concede nearly a third of the 15 seats the Democrats need to recapture control of the House, and that they will spend the next five weeks trying to shelter other vulnerable incumbents from the fallout of the Foley scandal in hopes of salvaging a slender majority. ... ==== [And note: The GOP *won't* be undertaking any serious "houscleaning" as a result of this scandal (and others). It will merely attempt to "shield" other, potentially culpable, Republikans by its own admission!]

Wed Oct 04, 12:22:00 AM  
Blogger Again said...

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Thu Oct 05, 01:01:00 AM  
Blogger Again said...

nemo
Again: Why would we be "offended"??

because i myself am always when i hear foreigners judge about my nation - because truth can hurt deeply

you always belong to your nation as you belong to your city and your region, as you belong to your family - if someone attacks your nation (s)he attacks your home, your language, your mentality, your way of thinking - even when it's all true, even when history herself proves them right. My people fell prey to the worst in a human soul, to greed and envy and unjustice and carelessness - it's well documented, it's proven and "re-"producible, literally meaning that you can follow and understand the whole development from the very first beginning step by step by step by step to the bitter end

and in no single point of the development the good, the bright and the noble had won - always the mean, the undecent and the stupid won - and you know that if only one step, only one step would not have been lost to the subhumans, history would look totally different

so you have to accept the bitter truth about your own people - but it hurts all the time and you are offended when "strangers", not being involved, judge about you, because you always feel, they don't really understand what had been going on, how it had worked - and they themselves would maybe the worst if they would be pushed in a situation like that, hah!

that's how you feel - when you are a member of wrongdoers, even when you fight against the wrongdoing - i guess, that's plain and simple emotional group programming

and i know that very well - but first in my life i am "on the other side" - i am a "stranger", judging the wrongdoers without being part of them - that's new for me, but i am NOT a "foreigner as usual", i am not an outsider, who doesn't know what's going on - i haven't forgotten how it feels - and what i have learned about "wrongdoing" - all the steps from the beginning to the bitter end which i have analyzed on and on from so many different viewpoints i am now able to see from outside

NOW, from the distance, i do learn much about my own nation - i now understand how it could be that intelligent, even decent people can slide into a situation which they no longer can control by just carelessly looking away one or two times, by just ignoring this little thing or that, hey, they had their own problems to make ends meet!

by just believing that "it can't happen here", that "my village is so nice, people are so kind and friendly, no, don't worry, it can't be that bad"...

and i understand how the "outsiders" help the wrongdoers by exactly the same - "oh no, don't worry, this nation is civilized, look at the life of common people, look at the industry, look at the Olympic Games, look at the scientists, blablababla"...

AFAIK, the Nobel Prizes of Natural Science all did go to America in this year - the same science, which now has to ask for permission which results are "convenient enough" to the masters to be published...

yes, the foreigners are as guilty as the wrongdoers themselves - they also didn't do anything to stop the beast - and they now do nothing to stop it again, because they can't identify the evil in it's beginning, because humans don't WANT to see the evil as long as it doesn't bite them. Humans simply don't care - and they - and that's the most bitter truth about fascism - don't care about evil, don't care about the suffering of anybody else then themselves as long as they are not forced to (that's btw the reason, why Mother Nature programmed decency and justice in the human brain to "embank" the older programmings of the fishes and quadruped phases in the "storage" of the DNA, but alas "history caused" programming failures are mostly very, very abiding)

looking at my nation now - how they studiously ignore the signs on the wall, how they actually (!) defend Bush, saying that any "bad news" about America are just "Bush-Bashing" - as if you can bash a child-killer and torturer and violence-loving warmonger - no names are dire enough for such creatures...

problem is, the more you understand how it works - the more harsh and bitter the insight is, and the more offending...

but i fear, as long as we don't "think negative", as long as we believe, we can do it, as long as we "believe it can't happen here (again), because in the end we are (now) strong enough to stop the evil"

as long as we are not able accept the real probability of the worst case we will lose - always - and that's depressing and i guess, many people will not be able to fight without the religious myths of the "it will all be fine in the end"...

sometimes you have to fight even when you know you cannot win - even when the only thing you can do is "think negative" and the only thing you can win is maybe one single life which otherwise would end like millions of others, even when you have to be as "unimposing" as Miep Gies

but America isn't at that point until today, that's sad. Because if the Americans would understand that they are not the chosen people, that in so many situations "the hero" can't do anything but lose without glamour, without victory, without glory - and that exactly THAT is what makes a hero, to stand tall even without happy end, far beyond the John-Wayne-fairy-tales in the dark mood of Greek or Germanic myths, if the Americans would accept the bitter truth, that that a true hero looks like Miep and not like Superman, that it would be much better to avoid "times for heroes" than to long for the "glory", they maybe could win the next step of the development.

It would maybe be enough - just one step of the development not given away to the fascists could change the whole history, but the good times of America are too near so that people do not want to accept that they are gone, they want to "think positive" as long as possible...

they will believe in the Endsieg until May - again - and bury Anne Frank once more...

Thu Oct 05, 04:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

"... because i myself am always when i hear foreigners judge about my nation ..." Again: And yet you see FAR beyond the paradigm of "nationalism", through the facades of "race". So do I. I do not view the US in any way as "the pinnacle of civilization", and never have -- like every culture, it has its heroes and villains, its high points and low times. (And in the America of today, this is surely the lowest of times.) ==== I don't find myself "dejected" by criticism of the US -- it is often amazingly warranted, and should always be explored with an open mind to seeking the truth. Ever since I first heard the *full* version of the often-spewed "My country right or wrong ..." [ " -- when right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be SET right"], I've found it indispensible to understanding the realities of "patriotism". It is not only my right, but my DUTY to speak out (and perhaps much more) when false leaders would corrupt the morality of the people in the name of nationalism , as our own have done. And which is worse -- a nation which falls into the abyss through shortsightedness, as Germany once did, or one which consciously pursues the *identical* pathway, in direct emulation thereof? (I no longer believe that the many parallels to the Nazis found in the US currently are mere "coincidence" They seem all too deliberate.) ==== To be a German (or an American, or a member of any nation) is to take pride from the achievments of one's people, and *lessons* from the failures. We are not culpable for the wrongs of others, nor the lemming-like instincts of their followers. And sometimes, the best we can do is ALL we can do when seeking to right the many wrongs we perceive. While I too seek justice, I do not pretend any omnipotence. I am only human. ==== "... Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho' === We are not now that strength which in the old days === Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are; === One equal-temper of heroic hearts, === Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will === To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." ~ Tennyson

Fri Oct 06, 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger Again said...

nemo
So do I. I do not view the US in any way as "the pinnacle of civilization", and never have -- like every culture, it has its heroes and villains, its high points and low times. (And in the America of today, this is surely the lowest of times.) ==== I don't find myself "dejected" by criticism of the US

i know - and i am thankful for that - and for Robert - and for all of the "Old Americans", which help me not to forget

because when i watch the current TV-news, the stupid, self-loving chimp-face of Bush, the pseudo-beauty Rice, both ridiculing all i believe in, freedom, democracy, human dignity, a future, where everyone has a chance, where children are not only cannon-fodder for rich warmongers or rich industry-kings...

then it's good to know that you all are here to stop the "we good humans"-"them bad Americans"-thinking which inevitably grows when you have to helplessly watch the richest country on Earth carelessly "donating" death and despair to innocent people, and not only to one or two, but to thousands and thousands, even risking the death of the whole humankind just because of stupid greed and selfishness - when you have to wait for Anne Frank's new diary and can't know if she already is in New-Bergen-Belsen...

it's hard to see it happen again - and to see your faith in future fail, this stubborn believing, that even mistakes can be used to learn, this "i just have to understand it, so that if it happens again, i will be able to see it and to stop it" - i AM able to see it but i can't help to stop it happen again - and regarding the speed of the progress of the fascist takeover, i can't help myself but think their money and prostitutes will be strong enough to take it all...

And which is worse -- a nation which falls into the abyss through shortsightedness, as Germany once did, or one which consciously pursues the *identical* pathway, in direct emulation thereof?

worse? I guess, you can't "scale" inhumanity - maybe that's the biggest mistake of the "next generations" of Hitler all around the world: Because at the moment they "scaled" him as the "worst" they simply lost their scale - forgot that each and every unjust behavior is always the first step on the Hitlerian Road - young Hitler was a nice guy, remember?

and because of the overwhelming dark shadow of the last step on that road - only the last - all the Americans fighting against Bush could be blinded NOT to learn from history - i will never forget George Paine. He actually compared America with Germany of 1933 (as far as i remember) but wasn't able to compare Bush with Hitler - as if Hitler of 1933 was the mass-murderer of 1945...

you, nemo, did see it coming, all the time...

some days ago i realized that actually it is hard to be a (convinced) decent member of a monster-nation...

a monster-nation, convicted of the worst human crimes, of creating unbelievable sufferings out of the basest motives...

but - a monster-nation, impeached, convicted, stopped, proving that justice will prevail - and decency - and human rights...

it is much, much harder to try to stop such a progress without knowing that it has a "happy end". It is much harder to be a German of 1941, the times, when nothing seemed to be able to stop the Nazis, than a German of 2000, when you know, that they are stopped and punished and how wimpy they behaved in the fuhrerbunker, the same people who joyously doomed others to die (reminds me of the laughing Bush when he can enjoy another death penalty) - when you know that Germany has paid compensation (at least to Israel and some other victims), has openly declared herself guilty and now tries to avoid it by NOT joining a killing-feast like Iraq just to satisfy money and powerlust of the American Aristocracy, then it is much easier to accept the crimes, because they are gone and past..

and i admit, that it is much harder to play your role, nemo, than just mine - actually, to be honest, i don't lose anything if i am decent and tell the truth about what has happened - my people can't really object and they know it. That doesn't mean that they didn't do it as long as they could! Even in the 1960s people really, really accused the Scholls of "betrayal", but after the stupidity died out, no one with a working neuron doubts the truth

your job is much harder - not only to accept that your people do horribly wrong, you have to fight a worst case which no one can believe to come while you actually risk important things like friends, money and in the end maybe even more...

and you don't give up - that's what i love about America...

thank you

Sat Oct 07, 07:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

Again: Thank YOU! Your unique perspective and input gives me continued hope that someday much of this evil may be transformed into just the sordid memory it deserves to be. I doubt that outcome will be easy to obtain or remotely "painless" -- I often fear that a new "Diary of Anne Frank" may read very much like the [post-nuclear] film saga, "Testament" -- but it may yet be effected, if only through dramatic means. (And considering the contempt displayed for the members of our armed forces -- would-be "disposable humans" -- by this undistinguished civilian leadership, a military coup is not entirely inconceivable to me. George W. Bush, after all, is NO decorated war hero, as Hitler definitely was, just a spoiled rich kid with an "attitude".)

Sat Oct 07, 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger Again said...

nemo
that someday much of this evil may be transformed into just the sordid memory it deserves to be. I doubt that outcome will be easy to obtain or remotely "painless"

someday - if humankind survives - it will be. And the American children will hunt for any single text of resistance and will be proud of people like "Nemo" or "the Thorn-Tree" - the time when American Children will NOT be left behind and just cannon-fodder for the Bush-Money-Making-Machine (you know "Bush’s Ignite! Inc. has sold 1,700 COWs since 2005, mainly in Texas, where Bush lives and his brother was once governor. In August, Houston’s school board authorized expenditures of up to $200,000 for COWs. The company expects 2006 revenue of $5 million."?), the time when women can walk through the cities - in the night - (mostly) without fear because the mighty Weapon-Industry is something like tamed and the Arabian-link "macho needs gun to be capable of reproduction" is removed from American brains

yes, the price is unbelievably high - but the future afterwards is something to fight for

btw: nemo, do you know H.R. 635 "Do-It-Yourself Impeachments"?

"The DIY Impeachment is legal, and has been used before (1830). It's part of the rules of the House of Representatives" (In addition to the State-by-State method, one of the ways to get impeachment going is for individual citizens to submit a memorial. ImpeachforPeace.org, part of the movement to impeach the president, has created a new memorial based on one which was successful in impeaching a federal official in the past)

Impeach Now: http://ImpeachForPeace.org/ImpeachNow.html
Evidence: http://ImpeachForPeace.org/evidence
Concerns: bottom of http://ImpeachForPeace.org

and:

"I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace."
Bush, June 18, 2002

"War is Peace"
Big Brother in George Orwell's 1984

Sun Oct 08, 12:57:00 AM  

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