the things that are an error, in Laissez Faire Capitalism or Ayn Randian Objectivism or so-called Free Markets or whatever the current buzz words are, . . . the mistake of it all is that it isn't really necessarily the "fittest"/best that survive.
Their justification for ending Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Public Education, Peace, is that the challenges of living in that world will eliminate those who are not good enough to make it and what you will have left are those who are SUPPOSED to survive because they are the "best". Even if you accept a possibility of that principle as a worthy goal, it doesn't actually work that way, because what is selected out of such systems isn't necessarily the creative potential referred to in the axiom "necessity is the mother of invention." What is selected out of "survival of the fittest" isn't NECESSARILY what you need in order to survive, because the limitation of all values in such system introduces biases that enslave/limit what can develop out of them, that is, limit potential for development in ways that cause all systems to LOSE value that could be not only useful but also NEEDED.
The struggle for the fundamentals of survival, without any value standard other than to survive, selects the most ruthless and that exclusion of all other value standards results in the loss of practically infinite Real Value potentials for productivity, potential Real Value that COULD affect the ability to survive. Potentials that could meet as yet unrecognized and practically new needs, for which there are no existing resources, are not conserved in systems that are based on survival values and nothing else. You don't always know what you're going to need to survive, so if you limit potential you can lose values that you may need.
Even if such systems do develop secondary and other levels of emergent values, those standards will always be limited by, depend for their very existence upon, the primary, most fundamental value in the basic system, survival in the face of no-holds barred, dog-eat-dog competition for survival.
And that limitation on secondary and other more extrapolated values and standards in the systems, once again, can result in the loss of still other values that don't appear to meet the criteria of the fundamental value, survival. And no one knows what real values are lost until it becomes apparent that there is a need that cannot be met. And that need can't be met, because no one knew what they didn't know, since everything that they did know was defined by the single most fundamental value in all systems, survival in an otherwise value-less system, survival in the face of no-holds barred competition for survival. Without other values to motivate knowledge, no one knows that they don't know until some third thing makes it apparent that they don't know, AFTER the fact.
It's a mono-culture; it does not work. Needs are assumed to be of one type, therefore value is of a single fundamental type and the whole thing breaks when challenged by anything that does not fit those predetermined types. What Republicans are proposing to do is to dispose of more value in the face of challenge. This limitation/exclusion of the development of knowledge and resources IS NOT CONSERVATIVE.
This is just one of the reasons that I am deeply happy to hear our President talk about investing in, protecting, and maintaining BASIC RESEARCH.
indirectly have tolerated his activities? What would have happened if Graham had acted against Reed and his network? What has Reed's network been doing ever since its inception under Bush I?
For example: Look at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington's FOIA research on White House Visitor Logs in the year prior to March 19, 2003:
Would Evangelical End Timers have had as much influence over the Bush administration as they apparently had if it had not been for Ralph Reed and his acolytes? Check this video out for pressure produced by End Timers upon Bush when he made even mild criticism of Israel and think about that threat to Bush political capital relative to his objectives for war profiteering --> to privatize Social Security:
These are the people who are the political CAUSE of the War on Iraq that took almost 5K American lives and maimed 50K more with LIES, killed about 100K INNOCENT Iraqis, about 1/3 of whom were children and women, and orphaned maybe 3 million more.
Well, I disagree strongly that they are the same, all of them. You can make a case for it's the same
system, more or less, ever since 1787. We interact with different characteristics, Democratic or Republican, of the same system, like you can interact with what a person makes with his/her hands differently from how you might interact with words they speak, same person, different functions; same socio-cultural-political system, different functions known as Democratic and Republican.
Since it is the same system, there is an aspect of that system that may have more direct bearing on what happens than secondary traits of that system like political parties and the systemic trait that has more bearing on what happens is the people themselves and what the people do or don't do.
With the creation of our constitutional republic in 1787, what the people do or don't do in their own governance includes representation. In the case of the American Constitution that would be more or less democratically selected representation, which, in the selection thereof and the effects of that selection is an important instance of doing, that is, what the people of the republic do.
Since it is that doing that makes the system what it is, doing is more important than this or that political party, more fundamental than candidates of whatever stripe, and therein "lies the rub". If the candidates/parties dis-satisfy, it would be more fundamental to address those problems in their root causes, what the people are or are not doing: educating themselves and others on the issues? working to know their communities for their own sake and not as some means to some other ends? finding, vetting, and working for appropriate candidates? communicating with elected, other office holders, and community leaders honestly, assiduously, consistently, and continuously? voting in primaries and general elections? assisting others in the vote? . . . just a few responsibilities of what the American people should be doing. What is your estimation of how well these responsible behaviors have been/are being met?
My estimation of that, my estimation of the people doing what is needed for candidates and system to become what we need, is very, very, very low. So, I ask you to consider that fact when you attack this or that candidate and make generalized statements intended to compare political parties. Let us consider the root causes, fundamentals of the system, and assess those for their effects upon other traits, like parties and candidates. Let's assess them honestly and admit the fact that if anywhere near even 1/3 of Americans were more fully active at all times, aware, and responsible at all times in their civic responsibilities to do the tasks of citizenship and authentic engagement in the people and issues of our lives, the parties, the candidates, and self-government itself would be much more authentic. Things are screwed up in all of this, because waaaaaaaaaaay too many of us are screwed up in our behaviors and lying about it, thus making not much more than perpetual victims of one sort or another out of ourselves and others, no matter what party/candidate, wearing whatever label, we are supposed to believe is the cause of it all, when it is indeed us who are, or are not, the ones we have been waiting for.
and ends unfortunately, in temperament, which in some of its more extreme types can have the most absolutely obdurate vindictive traits imaginable. These are the people about whom it is said, TTE, "S/he will cut his/her own nose off to spite YOUR face" and they really really are a small, very small, but because they are intractable a very powerful, minority and, unfortunately, I think they know this and are of the type who see this trait as proof of their personal worth, unlike most others who would regard such a trait in themselves as a flaw known as bullying.
Extremes in temperament are the minority, most people's temperaments are more combinations of factors, so their responses to being "bent over and violated" vary more in terms of what's in it for them at any given moment. Another unfortunate fact about that is that intermittent reinforcers/rewards are much more powerful than regular, predictable, rewards, so these more moderate temperaments will keep on running the rat race against socialism and for aristocracy as long as there is some expectation of gratification of one type or another.
Personally, I think it is also true that these less extreme minds, in response to "being bent over and violated", cannot be characterized in a monolithic way, even if they are characterized as moderate. That means for every trait we posit, such as the expectation of a reward, there's also a reciprocal of that trait that is inhibited in favor of the dominant trait, i.e. resentment vs. gratification. Those inhibited responses are not 0. They ARE there in those individual "systems" that we call an individual's personality; they may go un-recognized, un-validated, but that does not mean that the effects of the frustration, the effects of "being bent over and violated" are not there. And it also does pose the very real possibility that those effects can be triggered in uncontrollable ways, ways that historically have resulted in things like lynchings or beating certain kinds of young men to death and leaving them "crucified" in city gutters or on remote fences in the dead of winter.
So people are getting SOME (intermittent) rewards for bending over and being violated, while, at the same time, they have responses to that bargain that they either actively suppress, ignore, deny, or lie about. What motivates, what triggers these inhibited negative reactions to the deal?
Obviously, those suppressed and oppressed frustrations can include a nearly infinite number of triggers individually, and we also should consider them in terms of the aggregate valence too, not just as individual instances of this or that pain or anger or sadness or vulnerability or disappointment or . . . . , but also as entire systems of those sorts of things that we are not allowed to validate except in socially acceptable ways that don't address root causes.
IMHO, that sum-total of being bent over and violated, for any given person let alone for whole societies, can be so big, so saturated and hence un-satisfied with more, and More, and MORE from acceptable outlets/substitutions/rewards, that it is a threat to one's/the group's very existence to even recognize that it exists, let alone DO anything about it, besides, perhaps drink or take drugs. So much of a threat also because, incidentally, recognition of that pain and frustration negates EVERYTHING THAT HAS BEEN SACRIFICED TO CONTROLLING IT for the sake of (intermittent - and thus anxiety provoking) "food pellets"/rewards.
We have to think what it feels like, mistaken or otherwise, to look at one's life and say, TTE, "I sacrificed ___________________________ in order to _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ and now I no longer want _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ and whatever ___________________________ was it is so lost to me that I'm not even sure what it was, nor how to go about discovering that, let alone what to do about it."
IMO, the answers to these very organic very real problems can be found in opportunities for self-chosen, self-guided entirely/fundamentally new ways of living and, because, we are talking about LIVING here, and not just another re-manifestation of the survival of the fittest rat race under different labels, again, because this must be about LIVING, those opportunities to construct new, more authentically satisfying ways of getting along in the world and with other people, should very definitely include guarantees of some basic relationships in the group in which all of that will occur and those guarantees should be for REAL VALUES (in the sense in which Adam Smith meant that in The Wealth of Nations), i.e. Real Values, such as: Universal, comprehensive, appropriate, authentic, cradle-to-grave Health Care, Education, and Social Security and Valid & Reliable local and national security.
As far as the economic assumptions that keep people "bent over and violated", my family experiences have lead me to wonder if it wouldn't be effective to authentically examine the assumptions that exclude the possibility that there are a whole LOT of people who would very likely exchange some of that FALSE VALUE, known as money, which they are bending over and being violated for, for Real Values of the sort that I sketch above. Answers to this question could provide some very practical problem solving and even set many more people free to participate in those solutions in ways that make them and others more happy.