[Marxism-Thaxis] So what

2009-08-06 Thread Charles Brown

O STREET PIMP MY BLOG CHALLENGE
I'm an atheist, so what?
FINALIST
By PETER JURICH • O STREET GUEST BLOGGER • August 3, 2009 




I was at work when someone brought up that I am an atheist.


A nearby coworker nearly had a heart attack.


You are? she asked. But ... you're such a ... good person!


 
In the words of Oneita: Oh, my.

I'd like to set the record straight on atheism. Being an atheist opens up my 
world to the different possibilities I may have otherwise missed. It makes me 
an accepting individual because it is an exercise in questioning that allows me 
to explore any and all walks of life.


Atheism breaks down the barriers put up by racism, sexism, xenophobia and other 
discrimination because I have an understanding that there is nothing more 
important (i.e. an invitation into heaven) than the feelings I share with 
others.


I explained this to my coworker.


Well, I'm older than you, she said. I understand more.


I didn't tell her that I attended a strict, private Catholic school for eight 
years, that I had questions my teachers nervously refused to answer, and that 
I've since answered those questions myself. I did, however, tell her my views 
were not without research. Yes, she is older, but that doesn't mean anything. 


I am capable of empathy, optimism, sadness, patriotism, guilt and love.


I told her I'm more confident because I'm not ashamed of any thoughts. I 
neglected to stress that I still differentiate between right and wrong, but I 
assumed she knew that.


I don't do drugs, have sex with strangers, drive insanely fast or bust caps in 
asses.


Her response? Someday, you'll get it.


In respect to the warm and fuzzy feeling one gets (and I've tried very hard to 
get) from organized religion, I can get that same feeling by going to a 
concert. All we are feeling is the energy of a group of people coming together 
enthusiastically for a common interest. The difference is the context: 
Believers feel God brought them together; fans think it was Ticketmaster.


I ended the conversation out of respect for the workplace -- a public school. 
Begrudgingly, I let my coworker have the final word.


Don't give up, she said. Just try keeping a more open mind.

PETER JURICH, 23, of Dearborn is a Wayne State University student who wrote 
Typing With One Hand. 


Oneita the Editor's Note: I met Peter in February when he interviewed me for a 
homework assignment. That was flattering, but it didn't curry any favor: I 
rejected the first blog entry he submitted for this challenge because it was 
lame. I chose this one because of Peter's honesty and his perspective, and 
because I knew it would produce a good conversation.




___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE AN ATHEIST IN THE BIBLE BELT

2009-08-06 Thread Charles Brown

WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE AN ATHEIST IN THE BIBLE BELT
By Susan McCarthy, Comment Is Free
Even in the South's big cities, many atheists feel they have
to stay closeted. 
http://www.alternet.org/belief/141801/what_it%27s_like_to_be_an_atheist_in_the_bible_belt/
 

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] An anti-imperialist perspective

2009-06-25 Thread Charles Brown

Date: Tues, Jun 23 2009 12:45 pm 
by Julio 


The passages below are from an old (mid 1970s) document.  Some list
members will recognize the author.  If you don't and are interested in
locating the source, please e-mail me off-list.  (Between * designates
Italics from the author.  Between _ designates my emphasis.
Unbracketed ellipsis ... indicating quote discontinuity are the
author's while bracketed ones [...] are mine.)

IMHO, this is one of the most thought-provoking works in the classical
Marxist tradition ever written.  In the best intellectual tradition of
Marx and Engels, the author grappled deeply and seriously with the
existing conditions and ideologies, acknowledging their rationales,
following their logic to the point where they forced him to a deeper
and broader understanding of the issues.  Like Marx's best works, it
shows readers how a an engaged mind, committed to the struggle, sorts
things out.

I read it fresh in 1979, almost as soon as its Spanish version became
available in Mexico.  The first few chapters were divulged first in a
short-lived Marxist journal named Teoría y Política published by a
group of South American exiles.  The entire work followed under
Alfaguara.  I re-read it a few times as an undergrad student in Cuba
and discussed it at length with friends from -- I believe -- at least
four continents, although I can now see how one-sided my concerns
were.  While some friends got really agitated about some of the -- IMO
rather subsidiary -- propositions advanced in the work, some rendered
irrelevant by subsequent developments (the bulk of the work is devoted
to a critique of the Soviet socialist formation), the passages below
taken on their own have maintained a large measure of relevance (not
necessarily validity) all along.

The tension at the center of the quoted section below has been
splitting Marxists since Marx  Engels's times (e.g. the Irish and
Slavic question).  On a formal level, the issue reappeared in the late
19th century/early 20th century chasm between the early
social-democrats (Lenin, Plekhanov, etc.) and the narodniki.  (As
shown below, on this matter, Lenin himself experienced a 180 degree
turn over his political life.  Just keep in mind the early concerns
Lenin had about proving the political relevance of the social
democracy in Russia in the light of Russia's backwardness.  The young
Lenin wasn't emphasizing the lack of capitalist development in Russia,
but precisely the opposite.  Naturally, with his responsibilities as
head of the Soviet state, in the middle of a civil war, after a
devastating world war, things looked quite differently.)  At a deeper
level, though, the controversy had intrinsic intellectual roots in
Russian history (and other backward places), dating back to the
conflict between the liberal modernizers and the ancestors of the
populists.  In their historical essays, E.H. Carr and Isaac Deutscher
discussed the matter in some detail.  Rosa Luxemburg clashed with the
Polish, Galician, and Baltic nationalists on this very issue.  Etc.

My decision to post these passages in extenso is, of course, prompted
by the current debate re. the Mousavi-Ahmedinajad conflict.

IMO, the ideological cloak of the anti-imperialist struggle is
secondary.  The key thing is the social character of the movement and
its *objective logic* (if I'm allowed to use that old Hegelian
formula).  It is of course twisted, ironic and shameful, historically
speaking, that the global discredit of Marxism and -- more tragically
and decisively -- the mechanical suppression of Marxists and
socialists in central Asia and the Middle East (including here
repression conducted by the very forces that now appear to lead the
anti-imperialist resistance, blemishes and all) have limited its role
in the local anti-imperialist struggles, which have turned instead to
the ideological straight-jacketed form of political Islam.

However, secondary doesn't mean unimportant.  If the strictures of the
religious integument have dulled beyond a point the anti-imperialism
it portends, all bets are off.  In that case, the triumph of the
popular movement excited by Mir Hossein Mousavi or the aftermath may
turn out to be the necessary precondition for a better political
framework for the anti-imperialist struggle in Iran.  I'd think that
the risk has diminished with time, but history shows (including the
history of Iran!) that even a large nation has difficulty escaping
subordination to imperialism.  It's not clear to me from my distance
and ignorance whether this is already the case in Iran.  It does
disturb me to see the excited support that the Mousavi movement has
elicited among the always suspect Western establishment.  But that's
not decisive.

I have no answer to the vexing question.  The matter is complex.  No
kidding.  The left in, say, the West doesn't need to settle it as a
precondition to unite in the local struggles ahead.  Nothing human
should be alien to us, but too much rancor in 

[Marxism-Thaxis] Why Oprah Deserves to Be Rich and the Wall Street moguls notRalph

2009-04-05 Thread Charles Brown

Dumain 
Why Oprah Deserves to Be Rich and the Wall Street Moguls Deserve...
by Jed Diamond
Posted March 14, 2009
http://www.thirdage.com/today/giving-back/why-oprah-deserves-to-be-rich-the-wall-street-moguls-dont?utm_medium=emailutm_source=nl_community-connections_20090319utm_campaign=thirdage

Kinda typical stupidity, no?

Speaking of hype and BS, I saw Obama on Jay Leno last night. He's 
charming and slick, but he's basically covering up how the capitalism 
system operates, perpetuating universally accepted illusions.

^^
CB: I don't think too many people are fooled, illusions
not very universally accepted.
 Kinda hard to coverup how the capitalist system operates
nowadays.


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Babel's dawn

2009-03-30 Thread Charles Brown

Email this

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Administration unveils financial system overhaul

2009-03-26 Thread Charles Brown

Administration unveils financial system overhaul
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger, Ap Economics 
Writer 
 
WASHINGTON – The Obama administration on
 Thursday unveiled a sweeping overhaul of the 
financial system designed to impose greater
 regulation on major players like hedge funds.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told lawmakers 
that the changes are needed to fix the flaws exposed by
 the current financial crisis, the worst to hit the country
 in seven decades.
The goal is to repair a system that has proven
 too unstable and fragile, he said.
Over the past 18 months, we have faced the most
 severe global financial crisis in generations, Geithner 
said in testimony to the House Financial Services Committee. 
To address this will require comprehensive reform. Not 
modest repairs at the margin, but new rules of the game.
The administration's proposal, which will require congressional 
approval, would represent a major expansion of federal 
authority over the financial system. It would impose tougher 
standards on financial institutions judged to be so big that their
 failure would represent a risk to the entire system.
It also would extend federal regulations for the first time to
 all trading in financial derivatives, exotic financial instruments
 such as credit default swaps that were blamed for much of the
 damage in the meltdown.
The administration also wants larger hedge funds to be required 
to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In addition, the administration proposed the creation of a systemic
 risk regulator to monitor the biggest institutions. Geithner did not 
designate where such authority should reside, but the administration
 is expected to support awarding this power to the Federal Reserve.
The plan also includes a measure that Geithner and Fed Chairman 
Ben Bernanke discussed before the committee on Tuesday to give the 
administration expanded powers to take over major nonbank financial
 institutions, such as insurance companies and hedge funds that were 
teetering on the brink of collapse.
That power was aimed at preventing a repeat of the problems surrounding
 insurance giant American International Group Inc., which sparked a furor
 last week when it was revealed the company had distributed $165 million 
in bonuses to employees of its financial products group. The unit specialized 
in trading credit default swaps, the instruments that drove the company to 
near-collapse last fall.
Let me be clear, Geithner told the committee. The days when a major 
insurance company could bet the house on credit default swaps with no 
one watching and no credible backing to protect the company or taxpayers must 
end.
The administration, pushing for quick action on its reform agenda, sent 
Congress a 61-page bill dealing with the expanded powers to seize control 
of nonbank institutions late Wednesday.
The House committee, chaired by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., has
 indicated it could move on the measure as early as next week.
However, it was unclear how fast the rest of the financial reform agenda
 might move through Congress. Geithner on Thursday provided only a
 broad outline of the other proposals. Many thorny details will need to 
be worked out.
Administration officials promised that the remaining issues would be 
hammered out in consultation with Congress with the goal of getting 
legislation approved as quickly as possible.
The administration wants hedge funds and other private pools of capital,
 including private equity funds and venture capital funds, to be required 
to register with the SEC if their assets exceed a certain size. The 
threshold amount has yet to be determined.
The proposal on credit default swaps and other derivatives would require
 the markets on which they are traded to be regulated for the first time,
 and for the buying and selling of these instruments to be conducted in 
ways that will foster greater oversight.
Credit default swaps, which trade in a $60 trillion global market 
without government oversight, are contracts to insure against the 
default of financial instruments like bonds and corporate debt. They
 played a prominent role in the credit crisis that brought the downfall
 of investment banking giant Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. last fall 
and nearly unraveled AIG, forcing the government to provide more than 
$180 billion in support. 
Hedge funds, vast pools of capital holding an estimated $1.5 trillion in 
assets, operate mostly outside of government supervision. As the market 
crisis deepened last fall, hedge fund selling was widely cited as one of the 
reasons for increased volatility that pounded stocks and bonds. Hedge 
funds also suffered huge losses last year, notably from investments in 
securities tied to subprime mortgages. 
The outline of the regulatory reform was unveiled a week before President
 Barack Obama is scheduled to meet for discussions among the Group 
of 20 major industrialized and developing 

[Marxism-Thaxis] sarkozy-under-pressure-as-millions-take-to-streets-

2009-03-20 Thread Charles Brown

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/sarkozy-under-pressure-as-millions-take-to-streets-1648608.html

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Notes on an Orientation to the Obama Presidency

2009-03-17 Thread Charles Brown

Notes on an Orientation to the Obama Presidency

by Linda Burnham 

http://alainet.org/active/29144lang=es

The election of Obama, while enthusiastically embraced by 
most of the left, has also occasioned some disorientation and confusion.
 
Some have become so used to confronting the dismal
 electoral choice between the lesser of two evils that they
 couldn’t figure out how to relate to a political figure who 
held out the possibility of substantive change in a positive direction.
 
Others are so used to all-out, full-throated opposition to 
every administration that they wonder whether and 
how to alter their stance.
 
Still others sat out the election, for a variety of political 
and organizational reasons, and were taken by surprise 
at how wide and deep ran the current for change.
 
Now there’s an active conversation on the left about what 
can be expected of an Obama administration and what
 the orientation of the left should b e towards it. There are 
two conflicting views on this:
 
First, that Obama represents a substantial, principally
 positive political shift and that, while the left should
 criticize and resist policies that pull away from the
 interests of working people, its main orientation should 
be to actively engage with the political motion that’s underway.
 
Second, that Obama is, in essence, just another 
steward of capitalism, more attractive than most, 
but not an agent of fundamental change. He should 
be regarded with caution and is bound to disappoint. 
The basic orientation is to criticize every move the
 administration makes and to remain disengaged from 
mainstream politics. 
 
It is possible to grant that Obama is a steward of capitalism while also 
maintaining that his election has opened up the potential for substantive 
reform in the interests of working people and that his election to office is 
a democratic win worthy of being fiercely defended.
 
Obama is clear – and we should be too – about what he was elected to do.
 The bottom line of his job description has become increasingly evident as 
the economic crisis deepens. Obama’s job is to salvage and stabilize the
 U.S. capitalist system and to perform whatever triage is necessary to 
restore the core institutions of finance and industry to profitability.
 
Obama’s second bottom line is also clear to him – and should also
 be to us: to salvage the reputation of the U.S. in the world; repair the
 international ties shredded by eight years of cowboy unilateralism; and
 adjust U.S. positioning on the world stage on the basis of a rational
 assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the changed and 
changing centers of global political, economic and military power – 
rather than on the basis of a simple-minded ideological commitment 
to unchallenged world dominance.
 
Obama has been on the job for only a month but has not wasted a 
moment in going after his double bottom line with gusto, panache and 
high intelligence. In point of fact, the capitalists of the world – or at
 least the U.S. branch – ought to be building altars to the man and 
lighting candles. They have chosen an uncommonly steady hand to 
pull their sizzling fat from the fire.
 
For some on the left this is the beginning and the end of the story. 
Having established conclusively that Obama’s fundamental task 
is to govern in the interests of capital, there’s no point in adjusting 
one’s stance, regardless of how skillful and popular he may be. 
For the anti-capitalist left that is grounded in Trotskyism, 
anarcho-horizontalism, or various forms of 
third-party-as-a-point-of-principleism,
 the only change worthy of the name is change that hits directly 
at the kneecaps of capitalism and cripples it decisively. All else is
 trifling with minor reforms or, even worse, capitulating to the power elite. 
From this point of view the stance towards Obama is self-evident: 
criticize relentlessly, disabuse others of their presidential infatuation,
 and denounce anything that remotely smacks of mainstream politics. 
Though this may seem an extreme and marginal point of view, it has
a surprising degree of currency in many quarters.
 
The effective-steward-of-capitalism is only one part of the Obama story. 
Obama did what the center would not do and what a fragmented and 
debilitated left could not do. He broke the death grip of the reactionary
 right by inspiring and mobilizing millions as agents of change. 
If Obama doesn’t manage to do even one more progressive thing 
over the course of the next four years, he has already opened up far
 more promising political terrain. His campaign:

Revealed the contours, composition and potential of a broad 
democratic coalition, demographically grounded in the (overlapping)
 constituencies of African -Americans, Latinos, Asians, youth 
across the racial groups, LGBT voters, unionized workers, urban
 professionals, and women of color and single white women, and 
in the sectors of organized 

[Marxism-Thaxis] Babel's dawn note

2009-03-16 Thread Charles Brown

http://www.babelsdawn.com/babels_dawn/
 
The Group and the Individual are mutually dependent. Is there a way to 
talk about the whole as a unit, or must we choose between them whenever 
we talk about social change?
This blog’s long-time emphasis on the role of cooperation and community
 in human evolution got some extra attention this week. My alma mater,
Washington University in St. Louis,  sponsored a conference on
 “Man the Hunted” which presented evidence that human evolution 
owes much more to the lineage’s role as prey than as predator. I thought 
about covering the event, but did not because its focus was too far from 
speech. However, I have also read a provocative essay in the latest issue 
of Group Analysis by a psychotherapist, Claire S. Bacha, on “Becoming
 Conscious of the Human Group” (abstract here). The paper is much too 
speculative to be received as the solution to any puzzles, but it is still
 important. I don’t believe I have ever read a more radical understanding
 of the nature of the “Human Group.”
The paper’s most radical assertion comes from S.H. Foulkes, founder 
of group psychoanalytic therapy:
individual grow from groups; groups do not grow out of individuals. [65] 

Having just lived through thirty years of Republicanism and its 
counter-assertion that the individual creates society, I sat up. 
Bacha immediately interprets the statement in terms of interest to 
group therapists, but the remark is provocative enough to offer food for
 thought on this blog’s subject as well. After all, language too emerges
 from a group and the great mystery of language origins is that our 
ancestral group never spoke, but now all people do. How do you get from a 
silent group  to a speaking one?
The conservative temptation is to think of the transition from 
non-linguistic to linguistic groups entirely in terms of individuals.
 There was a mutation that led to mutant individuals who were selected 
and became a mutant group. Even with the introduction of multi-level 
selection (see: A Vote for Group Selection) the reason for the selection
 tends to be the benefit the individual brings to the group rather than 
what the group brings to the individual; e.g., the law-abiding individual 
benefits the group and therefore group survival favors law-abiding individuals.
But after all those years of Republican catastrophe, the radical reversal 
doesn’t seem so ridiculous: the law-giving group makes the law-abiding 
individual possible. When groups don’t form laws, it is impossible for group 
members to follow them or benefit from them. Similarly it is the
 language-speaking group that makes the individual poet or story-teller 
possible.
Both the conservative and the radical propositions seem to make sense.
 Bacha sums up  this relationship between group and individual nicely. 
She reports that according to Foulkes individuals and groups 

exist in a Gestalt where they are both always present but 
difficult to see at the same time. Sometimes the group is in 
the foreground and sometimes the individual [65] 

The speaker and the language, for example, are always together, but 
we can only pay attention to on one or the other at a time. Since language
 echoes perception (see: What I’ve Learned About Language) it is very 
hard to understand the two as a unit. It is like like the yin and the yang. 
We can visualize their mutual dependence and yet we look at one part 
or the other. Yet both are there. Thus, we may always have intellectual 
reversals in which we go from attending to the evolution of the speaker to 
focusing on the evolution of the speaking group without ever grasping the 
whole, the nut and its shell together.
Bacha approvingly quotes Ralph Stacey who says in his book 
Complexity and Group Process: A Radically Social Understanding of Individuals 
who  refers to 

… the paradox of individual minds forming and being formed 
by the social at the same time. [Stacey p. 327] 

Bacha refers several times to this paradox as “irresolvable,” which is alright
 for her because she is a clinician and can work with a paradox, even an 
irresolvable one, but is alarming for this blog whose ultimate hope is to 
understand how we came to be speakers. If the explanation rests on an 
irresolvable paradox, that ambition is foredoomed. The best we can hope 
for is the mess physics has gotten into, where we have a series of extremely 
accurate equations that people can use, but not understand. 
Fortunately, I don’t have to despair because the paradox may not be 
irresolvable. 
First, a sentence like, “At church the individual and the group sing hymns,” 
draws attention to the whole gestalt and its effect. It sounds a little funny 
and we may have to work out the meaning, but that may be because 
simultaneous attention to individual and group is novel. With practice we 
might work it out and find it easy to think this way.
Second, contrary to Chomsky’s suggestion, the ultimate form of language
 is not the sentence. 

[Marxism-Thaxis] Babel's dawn

2009-03-16 Thread Charles Brown

http://www.babelsdawn.com/babels_dawn/

A Tale Without Episodes

Radio transmitters provide a misleading metaphor for speech.
 They encourage the notion of a signal that must be encoded 
and then decoded rather than an active tool whose meaning 
comes from where it directs one's attention.
The pieces have fallen together in a position I did not anticipate 
when I began this blog. None the less, last week’s post has left
 me feeling that I now understand the basic outline of the story 
of speech origins. “Basic outline” means I don’t have dates, but 
I do know the outline of what evolved and even how it happened. 
What Evolved
When I began this blog, I thought of language as a means of
 expressing ideas and emotions, but I now see that definition 
as too abstract to help think clearly about how speech works 
or how it evolved. Talk about ideas and emotions encourages
 mystical thinking in which words somehow contain a “meaning”
 that carry an idea from speaker to listener. The technical analogy
 is a radio that transmits a signal to specific receivers. The evolution
 of a linguistic species requires the appearance of individuals able to
 pack meaning into words, transmit them as sentences, and then 
retrieve the meaning from the received signal. A great deal of
 philosophical and critical confusion has come from taking
 these abstractions literally.
Put more mundanely, but concretely, speech is a tool for 
directing attention. Instead of transmitting meanings it directs 
the joint attention of speaker and listener. In this view, understanding
 speech requires a perceiving, aware listener capable of joining 
in on the attention of another. The story of the evolution of 
language is not a tale of increasingly complex capacity to 
transmit and deconstruct meanings; it tells instead of an 
increasingly rich ability to share perceptions and to know 
what is on each other’s minds.
Last week’s post focused on episodic thinking (see Episodes 
on the Highway of Life) and suggested complex syntax might 
have evolved to describe episodes. The description of an 
episode can require more than one sentence. So you see 
the use of full paragraphs in speech. It is a very late development
 in the story of speech origins.

How it Evolved
Episodic thinking can lead to mistakes, For one thing, 
it makes us expect a story to occur in episodes instead of
 along a continuum. The story of speech evolution is a handy 
example. Episodic thinking encourages people to expect a 
series of episodes, or milestones, that went something like:
 first came words, then phrases, then simple sentences, and then
 rich sentences. Trust Noam Chomsky to show the logical limitations 
of that approach without finding the solution. Words alone, phrases
 alone, get you no closer to syntactically rich sentences, so why 
suppose there were such stages? But instead of getting rid of episodes
 this argument just reduces the number of milestones to one: thinking
 in syntactically rich (recursive) sentences.
Episodic thinking encourages before-and-after thinking. Before 
the episode things were one way and after they were another way. 
Thus we expect genes to introduce novelties so that we can say 
before the episode of the mutant gene our lineage talked this way; 
after the episode it talked this other way. We also expect a series 
of milestone to produce a series of distinct differences. Thus, it is 
not enough for speech itself to be unique to humans. It must have
 resulted from a series of distinct milestones, each of which introduced
 a novelty, such as recursive syntax, into the picture.
I am very much an episodic thinker myself, but the evidence does 
not support a story of evolution via milestones. For example, the one
 gene found so far that seems assuredly part of our tale, FOXP2, is not
 at all like one would expect as milestone.FOXP2 is indirect, it controls
 other genes, and its effects are not limited to speech. Speech does 
break down in cases without a normal FOXP2 gene, although cognitively
 there seems to be little damage. In FOXP2 mutants, the ability to
 coordinate muscular movements for proper speech seems deficient 
and there are problems in comprehension as well. Finding the gene
 has tangled the story instead of bringing the clarity you should expect
 from finding a milestone.
Also contrary to expectations is the issue of differences. It is clear that 
we talk and apes do not, but that very great difference seems to rest on 
a series of small similarities. Apes in some small degree have many 
of the traits that humans find useful for speech, and yet they don’t speak at 
all. 
It is difficult to account for this tangle of similarity and difference by 
referring to
 episodes that introduce unprecedented novelties. The chief solution has been
 to attempt to keep the episodes to a minimum.
Instead, I believe the story is very different. It is one of co-evolutions, the 
increasing dependence of traits on one another so that something 

[Marxism-Thaxis] Man the hunted

2009-03-16 Thread Charles Brown

Non-profit Charity Promotes Altruism as Key to Man's 
Evolution and Well-Being
ST. LOUIS, March 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 
Anthropedia Foundation has teamed with the National
 Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for 
Anthropological Research, and Washington University 
Center for the Study of Ethics and Human Values to present 
the conference Man The Hunted: Sociality, Altruism, and 
Well-Being. Spanning Thursday, March 12 to Saturday,
 March 14, Man The Hunted includes panels and presentations 
by leaders in anthropology, psychiatry, ethnography, philosophy,
 education, biology, and healthcare. The conference highlights
 man's historical role as prey rather than predator, and human 
reliance on cooperation, altruism, and sociality for survival and
 healthy development. The conference will tackle many related 
questions: How is the negative paradigm of man as predator 
reflected in current research and institutions? What are the 
scientific and societal implications of the positive paradigm that
 man is altruistic? How can we translate theory into practice 
and have an impact on the community?
The event is co-chaired by Robert Sussman, Ph.D., Professor 
of Anthropology at Washington University, and Robert Cloninger, 
M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Genetics, Director of the 
Center for the Psychobiology of Personality, and the Center for 
Well-Being at Washington University. Dr. Cloninger is also the
 Director for the Anthropedia Institute, the research body of the
 Anthropedia Foundation. 
Dr. Cloninger will co-present Neurobiology of Human Temperament 
and Character with Dr. Sita Kedia, Vice-President of the Anthropedia 
Foundation. Dr. Kedia received her M.D. from the University of Colorado.
 Dr. Cloninger will also deliver another presentation, The Direction 
of Evolution: Growth toward Self-awareness, Altruism,  Well-Being. 
Addressing a bio-psycho-social approach to health promotion, Dr. 
Helen Herrman and Dr. Lauren Munsch will present Promotion of 
Well-Being in Healthcare. Dr. Herrman is Director of the World 
Health Organization Collaborating Centre in Mental Health and 
Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne. Dr. Munsch
 earned her M.D. from St. Louis University and is founder, Chairman 
and CEO of the Anthropedia Foundation. 
Former President of the World Psychiatric Association, Dr. Juan Mezzich 
will introduce Friday's second session, Human Altruism and Cooperation:
 
 Needs and the Promotion of Well-Being in Modern Life. Dr. Mezzich 
is Professor of Psychiatry and Director at the Division of Psychiatric 
Epidemiology and International Center for Mental Health at the Mount 
Sinai School of Medicine. The president of the Anthropedia Foundation,
 Dr. Kevin Cloninger, will present Hope Rekindled: Well-Being, Humanism, and 
Education. Dr. Cloninger received his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at 
the 
University of Denver. 
Dr. Dan German Blazer, II will speak on Moving Beyond the Nature/Nurture
 Distinction: Promotion of Transdisciplinary Research. A Geriatric Psychiatry 
expert, Dr. Blazer is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and 
Community and Family Medicine at Duke University. The conference 
ends by discussing current assumptions of man as predator, and the 
positive effects of re-examining man's development. Members of the 
Anthropedia Institute will discuss implications for education, healthcare, and 
quality of life. 
About Anthropedia 
As the rates of lifestyle and stress-related illness, depression, and 
anxiety rapidly increase, the Anthropedia Foundation recognizes the
 need for concrete strategies for improving mental, physical, and social 
health. Anthropedia is an educational foundation led by a council of 
experts in medicine, public health, psychiatry, and education who 
integrate the most effective practices from their fields into a comprehensive
 approach to health and happiness. 
Anthropedia creates personal development resources and health 
education programs that are simple, practical, and powerful. To learn
 more about Anthropedia, please visit www.anthropedia.org.
SOURCE Anthropedia Foundation
-0-

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Read the big four to know capital ’s fate

2009-03-16 Thread Charles Brown

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5e61e20c-0f44-11de-ba10-779fd2ac,dwp_uuid=ae1104cc-f82e-11dd-aae8-77b07658.html

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] As capitalism stares into the abyss, was Marx right all along? ( Yes)

2009-03-13 Thread Charles Brown

Does a bear s___ in the woods ?

^^

Stephen King: As capitalism stares into the abyss, was Marx right all along? 
We may avoid a 1930s Depression but the best we can hope for may be a 1990s 
Japan
Monday, 2 March 2009
 
http://us.mg204.mail.yahoo.com/dc/launch?.partner=sbc.rand=c27i56kobk3ja

Modern bourgeois society ... a society that has conjured up
 such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the 
sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether
 world whom he has called up by his spells.

Those of you with revolutionary zeal will immediately recognise 
these words. Penned by Karl Marx in 1848, they form part of the 
Communist Manifesto. Marx, like Adam Smith before him, had
 a historical view of society's development. Capitalism, with its 
bourgeoisie, had replaced feudalism, but capitalism, according 
to Marx, would be replaced by communism. Capitalism was inherently 
unstable, as Marx noted later in the same paragraph:
.the commercial crises... by their periodical return, 
put the existence of the entire bourgeois society on its trial, 
each time more threateningly. In these crises, a great part not 
only of the existing products, but also of the previously created 
productive forces, are periodically destroyed. In these crises,
 there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would 
have seemed an absurdity – the epidemic of over-production.
Whatever else one thinks of Marx, he certainly knew a thing
 or two about the business cycle. Were he alive now, he would
 surely claim his theories were being vindicated. We are, after all, 
witnessing the most remarkable collapse in economic activity 
around the world. Take Japan. In November, industrial production
 fell 8 per cent. That was bad enough. In December, production 
dropped another 9 per cent. That was even more remarkable. 
January's production figures, though, are simply eye-wateringly 
awful, showing a further 10 per cent decline. Production, then, 
is down almost 30 per cent in just three months, a pace of decline 
unprecedented in Japanese post-war economic history. 
Or how about the US, where we discovered last week that national 
income contracted in the final quarter of last year at an annual 
rate of more than 6 per cent, the biggest drop since the early 
1980s. Then there's Taiwan, where exports have been in freefall 
in recent months. Not to mention dear old Blighty, where the 
economy might end up shrinking by approaching 4 per cent this year.
The pace of decline in global economic output is extraordinary. 
On virtually any metric, we are seeing the worst global downturn
 in decades: worse than the aftermath of the first oil shock in the 
mid-1970s and worse than the early-1980s downswing, when the
 world economy had to cope with a doubling of the oil price, the
 tough love of monetarism and the onset of the Latin American 
debt crisis. Moreover, this time we cannot use the resurgence 
of inflation as an excuse for lost output: the credit crunch in all 
its many guises has seen to that. Instead, we have a world of 
collapsing output combined with falling prices: a world, then, of depression.
For many years, Marxist ideas appeared to be totally irrelevant.
 The collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989 brought to an end the era 
of Marxist-Leninist Communism, while China's decision to join the
 modern world at the beginning of the 1980s drew a line under its 
earlier Maoist ideology. In western economies, Marxist ideas were 
at their most potent after the First Word War when the likes of 
Rosa Luxemburg could smell revol-ution in the air and as the 
Roaring Twenties gave way to the Great Depression of the 1930s.
 I'm not suggesting we're entering revolutionary times. However, 
it seems increasingly likely that the economic landscape in 
the years ahead will be fundamentally different from the landscape
 that has dominated the working lives of people like me who entered 
the workforce in the 1980s. We've lived through decades of plenty, 
where incomes have risen rapidly, where credit has been all too 
easily available and where recessions have been mostly modest 
affairs. Suddenly, we're facing a collapse in activity on a truly 
Marxist scale. It's difficult to imagine the world's love affair with 
free markets being sustained under this onslaught. The extreme
 nature of this downswing will change our lives for decades to come.
The first change relates to the allocation of capital. Increasingly,
 policymakers are accepting that market forces, left to their own devices, 
will lead to a race to the bottom. The dangers are becoming greater 
by the day. Interest rates are close to zero while prices and wages
 are in danger of declining. If deflation takes hold, real interest rates
 on cash will start to rise, creating perverse incentives in capital 
markets. Why bother to buy equities or corporate bonds if you are 
nicely rewarded for hanging on to an entirely risk-free piece of paper?
The 

[Marxism-Thaxis] The US Financial System is Effectively Insolvent

2009-03-13 Thread Charles Brown

 Meaning , what ? Its firms can't pay their debts ?

depression = stag-deflation


CB

The US Financial System is Effectively Insolvent 
  
by Nouriel Roubini

Forbes.com (March 05 2009)


For those who argue that the rate of growth of 
economic activity is turning
positive - that economies are contracting but at
 a slower rate than in the
fourth quarter of 2008 - the latest data don't
 confirm this relative optimism.
In 2008's fourth quarter, gross domestic 
product fell by about six percent in
the US, six percent in the euro zone, eight
 percent in Germany, twelve percent
in Japan, sixteen percent in Singapore 
and twenty percent in South Korea. So
things are even more awful in Europe and 
Asia than in the US.

There is, in fact, a rising risk of a global
 L-shaped depression that would be
even worse than the current, painful U-shaped
 global recession. Here's why:

First, note that most indicators suggest that
 the second derivative of economic
activity is still sharply negative in Europe and 
Japan and close to negative in
the US and China. Some signals that the 

second derivative was turning positive
for the US and China turned out to be fake starts. 
For the US, the Empire State
and Philly Fed indexes of manufacturing are 
still in free fall; initial claims
for unemployment benefits are up to scary levels,
 suggesting accelerating job
losses; and January's sales increase is a 
fluke - more of a rebound from a very
depressed December, after aggressive 
post-holiday sales, than a sustainable
recovery.

For China, the growth of credit is only 
driven by firms borrowing cheap to
invest in higher-returning deposits, not 
to invest, and steel prices in China
have resumed their sharp fall. The 
more scary
 data are those for trade flows in
Asia, with exports falling by about forty
 to fifty percent in Japan, Taiwan and
Korea.

Even correcting for the effect of the Chinese 
New Year, exports and imports are
sharply down in China, with imports falling
 (minus forty percent) more than
exports. This is a scary signal, as Chinese 
imports are mostly raw materials and
intermediate inputs. So while Chinese exports
 have fallen so far less than in
the rest of Asia, they may fall much more 
sharply in the months ahead, as
signaled by the free fall in
imports.

With economic activity contracting in 2009's
 first quarter at the same rate as
in 2008's fourth quarter, a nasty U-shaped recession 
could turn into a more
severe L-shaped near-depression (or stag-deflation).
 The scale and speed of
synchronized global economic contraction is
 really unprecedented (at least since
the Great Depression), with a free fall of GDP, 
income, consumption, industrial
production, employment, exports, imports,
 residential investment and, more
ominously, capital expenditures around the world.
 And now many emerging-market
economies are on the verge of a fully
 fledged financial crisis, starting with
emerging Europe.

Fiscal and monetary stimulus is becoming 
more aggressive in the US and China,
and less so in the euro zone and Japan, 
where policymakers are frozen and behind
the curve. But such stimulus is unlikely 
to lead to a sustained economic
recovery. Monetary easing - even unorthodox - 
is like pushing on a string when
(1) the problems of the economy are of 
insolvency/credit rather than just
illiquidity; (2) there is a global glut of 
capacity (housing, autos and consumer
durables and massive excess capacity, 
because of years of overinvestment by
China, Asia and other emerging markets), 
while strapped firms and households
don't react to lower interest rates, as it
 takes years to work out this glut;
(3) deflation keeps real policy rates high and 
rising while nominal policy rates
are close to zero; and (4) high yield spreads
 are still 2,000 basis points
relative to safe Treasuries in spite of zero 
policy rates.

Fiscal policy in the US and China also 
has its limits. Of the $800 billion of
the US fiscal stimulus, only $200 billion will be 
spent in 2009, with most of it
being backloaded to 2010 and later.
 And of this $200 billion, half is tax cuts
that will be mostly saved rather than spent, 
as households are worried about
jobs and paying their credit card and 
mortgage bills. (Of last year's $100
billion tax cut, only thirty percent was spent 
and the rest saved.)

Thus, given the collapse of five out of six 
components of aggregate demand
(consumption, residential investment, capital
 expenditure in the corporate
sector, business inventories and exports),
 the stimulus from government spending
will be puny this year.

Chinese fiscal stimulus will also provide 
much less bang for the headline buck
($480 billion). For one thing, you have an 
economy radically dependent on trade:
a trade surplus of twelve percent of GDP, 
exports above forty percent of GDP,
and most investment (that is almost fifty percent of GDP) 
going to the
production of more capacity/machinery 
to produce more exportable goods. The rest
of 

[Marxism-Thaxis] Stirner, Feurbach, Marx and the Young Hegelians - David McLellan

2009-03-13 Thread Charles Brown


Stirner, Feurbach, Marx and the Young Hegelians - David McLellan
Submitted by Ret Marut on Feb 27 2009 

http://libcom.org/history/stirner-feurbach-marx-young-hegelians-david-mclellan

A summary of Stirner's ideas and their strong impact on his fellow Young 
Hegelians. McLellan asserts that Stirner's influence on Marx has been 
under-estimated and that he played a very important role in the development of 
Marx's thought by detaching him from the influence of Feuerbach, his static 
materialism and his abstract humanism. Stirner's critique of communism (which 
Marx considered a caricature) also obliged Marx to refine his own definition. 
Stirner's concept of the creative ego is also said to have influenced Marx's 
concept of praxis. 
Source; originally a chapter in The Young Hegelians and Karl Marx; David 
McLellan, MacMillan Press, UK, 1980.

^^
CB; Praxis is defined in the
First Thesis on Feuerbach
in which Marx activates
the subject -ego.


I
The chief defect of all hitherto existing materialism – that of 
Feuerbach included – is that the thing, reality, sensuousness,
 is conceived only in the form of the object or of contemplation, 
but not as sensuous human activity, practice, not subjectively.
 Hence, in contradistinction to materialism, the active side was 
developed abstractly by idealism – which, of course, does not
 know real, sensuous activity as such. 
Feuerbach wants sensuous objects, really distinct from the 
thought objects, but he does not conceive human activity itself 
as objective activity. Hence, in The Essence of Christianity, he 
regards the theoretical attitude as the only genuinely human attitude, 
while practice is conceived and fixed only in its dirty-judaical manifestation. 
Hence he does not grasp the significance of “revolutionary”, of 
“practical-critical”, activity. 

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Fictitious capital and the transition out of capitalism - Loren Goldner

2009-03-13 Thread Charles Brown




Subject: Fictitious capital and the transition out of capitalism - Loren Goldner


Fictitious capital and the transition out of capitalism - Loren Goldner
Submitted by libcom on Nov 17 2005 


An exploration of the growing fictitious dimension of the 
economy and its implications for class struggle.
This text is from theBreak Their Haughty Power web site
 at http://home.earthlink.net/~lrgoldner 
Fictitious Capital and the Transition Out of Capitalism
(Loren Goldner)
The following is a thought experiment which attempts 
to see fictitious capital in relation to the end of capitalism. 
By pursuing the concept of fictitious capital as far as we can,
 by illuminating the unbelievable distortions it has fomented in
 what is called economic development on a world scale, we 
can highlight the nature of contemporary struggles as well as 
explain why there are not more struggles. We can also address 
the reasons why a society beyond capitalism seems such a 
remote possibility at present.

In discussing fictitious capital, we must never forget that it is
 subordinate to, and derivative from, capital generally. It is
 important not to foment the illusion that the struggle is against 
fictitious capital, leaving real capital itself unexamined. But 
at the same time, it is indispensable to sort out the fictitious 
dimension of the contemporary economy, if only conceptually.
 Many people today, including people on the radical left, regard 
contemporary capitalism as functioning normally, more or less
 the way it always has. I could not disagree more. Perhaps, 
as contemporary ideologies assert, capitalism has reinvented 
or is reinventing itself, as it has done several times in the past.
 Be that as it may, the post-1973 period presents one of the strangest,
 if not the strangest phases in the history of capitalism. 

What, then, is fictitious capital?
Fictitious capital is, on first approach, paper claims on wealth
 (in the form of profit, interest and ground rent) in excess 
of the total available surplus value, plus available loot from primitive 
accumulation.

There is $33 trillion in outstanding debt (Federal, state, local, 
corporate, personal) in the U.S. economy, three times GDP. 
(No one knows how much is tied up in the international hedge
 funds and derivatives.) The state (including Federal, state and 
local levels) consumes 40% of GDP. The net U.S. debt abroad
 is $3 trillion ($11 trillion held by foreigners minus $8 trillion in U.S. 
assets abroad) That amount is growing by $500 billion a year 
at current rates. Foreigners hold an increasing percent of U.S. 
government debt; the four major Asian central banks (Japan, China,
 South Korea, Taiwan) alone hold over $1 trillion. It is the Federal 
government's debt which makes possible the reflationary actions 
of the Federal Reserve Bank. If Doug Noland's notion of financial 
arbitrage capitalism is right, the old conceptualization of the role 
of the banking system and the Fed's (apparent) ability to expand 
and contract credit availability through it, is
superceded; increasing amounts of virtual credit are created
 by securitized finance
independent of banks. One must also consider the government-linked 
entities (Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae), which backed the reflation of mortgages 
of the past 4 years, leading to an incredible housing bubble. This 
entire edifice depends on 1) low inflation in the U.S., as higher inflation 
would scare off foreign lenders; 2) the willingness of U.S, consumers 
to go more and more heavily into debt (with debt service now taking 14%
 of incomes, as opposed to 11% a few years ago) 3) the willingness and 
ability of foreigners to go on re-lending U.S. balance-of-payments deficits
 back to the U.S.
Let's shift to another level altogether: the extent of unproductive labor 
and unproductive consumption in the U.S. economy. Marx defines the 
state debt as fictitious; he defines labor performed for revenue 
(as opposed to capital) as unproductive. Many Marxists would agree 
that military expenditure performed for the revenue of the state is
 unproductive labor, even if it produces a profit for an individual capitalist.
 One can extend that paradigm, I think, much farther in terms of other 
goods and services commanded by state revenue, and/or the
 fictitious capital of the state debt. To be productively consumed, 
surplus-value that is concretely means of production (Dept. I) or 
means of consumption (Dept. II) must RETURN to C or V for 
further expanded reproduction; by that criterion, it would seem that 
unproductive consumption in the U.S. economy must be enormous.
Now perhaps for the most controversial point: what do individual 
reported corporate profits mean in such a situation? Do they really
 correspond to a proportional amount of surplus-value? The amount of profit 
from interest and ground rent relative to profit from manufacture grows 
every year. Even within profit of manufacture, what does this mean 
when companies like 

[Marxism-Thaxis] What is the Crisis About? Fictitious Capital or the Destruction of Wealth?

2009-03-11 Thread Charles Brown

What is the Crisis About? Fictitious Capital or the 
Destruction of Wealth?
michael perelman 

This short essay briefly describes the financial side 
of my interpretation that the crash reflected a disconnect 
between the underlying investment in the economy 
and its financial representation -- what Marx called 
fictitious capital. The stock market people call this 
realignment, destruction of wealth, even though what
 is destroyed is the illusion of wealth. The illusion may 
have been capable of purchasing valuable things so 
long as other people accept that illusion. 
Long ago people accepted the illusion as an illusion 
and went on with their business. Here is what a former
 governor of Illinois wrote: 
Ford, Thomas. 1854. History of Illinois (Chicago: S. C. Griggs and Co.). 
227: Our Whig friends contended that the continual 
and violent opposition of the democrats to the banks
 destroyed confidence; which, by-the-bye, could only 
exist when the bulk of the people were under a delusion.
 According to their views, if the banks owed five times
 as much as they were able to pay and yet if the whole
 people could be persuaded to believe this incredible 
falsehood that all were able to pay, this was 'confidence'. 
Ordinary people understood what was happening. Here
 is an incident from Chicago about the same time. 
More at: 
http://michaelperelman.wordpress.com/2009/03/11/what-is-the-crisis-about-fictitious-capital-or-the-destruction-of-wealth/
 

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] rah, rah team fight

2009-03-10 Thread Charles Brown

Comment

In what relation do the  Communists stand to the proletarians as a whole?

The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to the other  
working-class parties. 

They have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as  a 
whole. 

They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own, by which to shape  
and mould the proletarian movement. 
_http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch02.htm_ 
(http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch02.htm) 

^^^
CB: So, don't aim for a communist polarity.

^
 

The communist goal is first and above all victory to the workers in  their 
current struggle. That is the communist goal - Job 1, at all times. To  make 
the immediate and long term goal of communists the abolition of private  
property outside the field of victory to the workers in their current struggle  
is 
just silly thinking.

^
CB: To make it the immediate goal is silly.
To make it the long term goal is right
out of the manifesto you just quoted.



 Communists do not have separate demands from various  
segment of the working class. IN fact it is these real world demands that  
creates 
the line of march. Here is how Marx and Engels defined the task and role  of 
communists. 

^^^
CB: So, stop talking about a communist polarity

^^

In the various stages of development which the  struggle of the working 
class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they  always and everywhere 
represent the interests of the movement as a whole. 

^
CB: i.e. including the poorest
sections of the working class
but not only the poorest sections
of the working class


 
The Communists, therefore, are on the one hand, practically, the most  
advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country,  
that 
section which pushes forward all others; on the other hand, theoretically,  
they have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly  
understanding the line of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general  
results 
of the proletarian movement. (End quote) 

Here is where Marx deploy the communist concept of the line of  march.  

What is wrong with formulating the goal of communists as abolition of  
private property, is a failure to advance on the basis of the here and now.
^^
CB: Correct. Don't raise aboltion of 
private property now. That's the
ultimate goal,not the current
line of march

^^

 If  
comrades are involved in the struggle for unemployment, and they are, that is  
the 
goal. For instance, when communist are involved in a strike, the goal is not  
abolition of private property but to resolve the strike in favor of the 
workers  on strike. When the communist fought for Civil Rights and industrial 
unions the  goal was not to abolish private property but the realization of 
Civil 
Rights and  industrial unions. Why would this not be the case today? 

^^
CB: Correct : do not raise abolition
of private property today. Support
the trade union's aims, which are
united behind the O admin.

^^
 
The idea that establishing a communist polarity means fighting for the  
abolition of private property makes no sense and is hopelessly sectarian. As 
if  
communist have interest outside the proletariat. 


CB:  The idea of establishing a communist
polarity separate from the current struggles
of the working class is sectarian. Polarity means
separation from some other pole, like the social
democratic pole, or the DP pole. No polarity, unity.

^ 

The real issue is my refusal to praise winning a concession. I see no need  
for genuflecting. 


CB: It's not genuflecting. It's cheerleading.
 It's expressing
support, rallying the working class in
each of its little victories. Comrades and
workers , come rally. not genuflecting.
cheerleading for each first down, each 
basket.

^

There are far to many other concessions to be fought for and  
won, than to pause and praise the Obama administration for unemployment 
benefit  extensions.

^^^
CB: First of all this is not the
only one to cheer. There's
stem cell research. I don't know
why you never have anything to 
say about pay equity for working
women. There's  declaration of
out of Iraq, etc, etc. Part of winning
the future battles is rallying and
cheering for the wins we have already.
As Ravi on Pen-l said it's rah,rah !
rah rah we want a touchdown


^^

 Now that not taxing a portion of unemployment has been put 
into  effect, we might consider abolition of all taxes on unemployment, a 
policy  
change that begin under the Carter administration. We communists opposed  
taxing unemployment checks back when the Carter administration implemented 
this  
new taxation. We still oppose such. We have not changed our attitude in favor 
of  somehow fighting - detached from the mass of proletarians, a fight to 
abolish  private property. 

^
CB; Sure but, we aren't
there yet. The 

[Marxism-Thaxis] rah, rah team fight

2009-03-10 Thread Charles Brown




Waistline2
Communists do not have separate demands from various   
segment of the working class. IN fact it is these real world demands  that  
creates 
the line of march. Here is how Marx and Engels defined  the task and role  of 
communists. 

^^^
CB: So, stop talking about a communist polarity


Comment

Do you support the American invasion of Afghanistan? Do you support the  
demand of the antiwar movement to remove US troops from Afghanistan?

^^
CB: No, I'm for urging the O admin
to modify their position, and
move to withdrawing from Afghanistan.

^^^

To speak of unemployment and the fight against it as the cornerstone of the  
communist polarity and will always be talked about on a Marxist list serv.


CB: No. I didn't say anywhere cornerstone
I specifically said as one of many

Here's what I said, explicitly _not_
unemployment comp as a cornerstone:
First of all this is not the
only one to cheer. There's
stem cell research. I don't know
why you never have anything to 
say about pay equity for working
women. There's  declaration of
out of Iraq, etc, etc. Part of winning
the future battles is rallying and
cheering for the wins we have already.
As Ravi on Pen-l said it's rah,rah !
rah rah we want a touchdown

^^

the other hand I deeply respect those who are not communist and the  
non-communists have just as much of a right to put forth their views. I 
believe  the 
dividing line on a Marxist List serv is between communism and  anti-communism. 

The communist polarity in American society is objective. It is not a  
subjective disposition or ideology. Those sectors of the working class more 
than  
less shut out of the civic society of the bourgeoisie are an objective 
communist  
formation, because their spontaneous demands are for socially necessary means 
of  life. In a word welfare. The fight for welfare is the communist polarity 
in  American society with a huge section of the working class slowly warming 
to the  idea that government must provide for the people when the free market 
capitalist  fails and it is failing big time. That is the communist polarity 
and it is going  to be talked about on a Marxist List serv.

^
CB: Staking out a communist polarity in
only one sector of the working class
contradicts the sections of the Manifesto
that _you_ quoted.
 You are  setting up  sectarian principles of your own, by which to shape  
and mould the proletarian movement.
Exactly what you pointed out Marx and
Engels recommended against.

^^


 Communism is not to 
be understood as  an ideology but rather the historic movement of people - 
real human beings, that  emerged with the emergence of classes as a property 
expression, in human  history. As long as communism is understood as some kind 
of 
conspiracy on the  part of individuals  . . . the bourgeois point of view, the 
deepening  revolution in the mode of production makes no sense. 

We have entered an era of revolution. 

*

CB: Correct. Don't raise aboltion of private property now. That's the  
ultimate goal,not the current line of march

Comment

Don't raise abolition of private property now?  I have absolutely no  idea 
what you are talking about. 


^^
CB: 
The statement is quite clear.

^^

Abolition of private property is not a demand,  
reform or a concession to be sought from the bourgeoisie. . 

^^^
CB: It's a fundamental goal and aim of the
movement. Here it is in the Manifesto.

The distinguishing feature of Communism is not the
 abolition of property generally, but the abolition of 
bourgeois property. But modern bourgeois private property
 is the final and most complete expression of the 
system of producing and appropriating products,
 that is based on class antagonisms, on the exploitation 
of the many by the few. 
 
_In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be 
summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property. _
(emphasis added -CB)
 
We Communists have been reproached with the
 desire of abolishing the right of personally acquiring 
property as the fruit of a man’s own labour,
 which property is alleged to be the groundwork 
of all personal freedom, activity and independence. 
Hard-won, self-acquired, self-earned property! 
Do you mean the property of petty artisan and 
of the small peasant, a form of property that
 preceded the bourgeois form? There is no need
 to abolish that; the development of industry has 
to a great extent already destroyed it, and is still destroying it daily. 
Or do you mean the modern bourgeois private property? 
But does wage-labour create any property for the labourer? 
Not a bit. It creates capital, i.e., that kind of property 
which exploits wage-labour, and which cannot increase
 except upon condition of begetting a new supply
 of wage-labour for fresh exploitation. Property, in its 
present form, is based on the antagonism of capital
 and wage labour. Let us examine both sides of this antagonism. 
To be a capitalist, is 

[Marxism-Thaxis] Obama opens up stem cell work, science inquiries

2009-03-09 Thread Charles Brown

Obama opens up stem cell work, science inquiries
By SETH BORENSTEIN and BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writers Seth Borenstein And 
Ben Feller, 
AP – President Barack Obama signs an Executive Order on stem cells and a 
Presidential Memorandum on scientific … 
WASHINGTON – From tiny embryonic cells to the large-scale
 physics of global warming, President Barack Obama urged researchers on Monday 
to follow science and not ideology as he abolished contentious Bush-era 
restraints on stem-cell research. Our government has forced what I believe is 
a false choice between sound science and moral values, Obama declared as he 
signed documents changing U.S. science policy and removing 
what some researchers have said were shackles on their work.
It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to 
serve a political agenda — and that we make scientific decisions based on facts,
 not ideology, Obama said.
Researchers said the new president's message 
was clear: Science, which once propelled men to the moon, again matters in 
American life.
Opponents saw it differently: a defeat for 
morality in the most basic questions of life and death.
The action by the president today will, 
in effect, allow scientists to create their own guidelines without proper moral 
restraints, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said.
In a crowded ornate East Room, there were
 more scientists in the White House than Alan Leshner, CEO of the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science had seen in his 
30 years in Washington. More happy scientists than I've seen, he added.
The most immediate effect will allow federally
 funded researchers to use hundreds of new embryonic stem cell lines for 
promising, but still long-range research in hopes of creating better treatments,
 possibly even cures, for conditions ranging from diabetes to paralysis. Until 
now, those researchers had to limit themselves to just 21 stem cell lines
 created before August 2001, when 
President George W. Bush limited funding because of fundamental questions 
about the beginnings of life and the ends of science.
Science, politics and religion have long intertwined 
and conflicted with each other. In his actions Monday, especially with the stem 
cell decision, Obama is emphasizing more the science than the
 religion, when compared with his predecessor, science policy experts say. But 
they acknowledged politics is still involved.
Don't expect stem cell cures or treatments anytime soon. One company this 
summer will begin the world's first study of a treatment using
 human embryonic stem cells, in people
 who recently suffered spinal cord injuries. Research institutions on Monday 
were gearing up to ask for more freely flowing federal money, and
 the National Institutes of Health was creating guidelines on how to hand it 
out and include ethical constraints. It will be months before the
 stem cell money flows; the average NIH stem cell grant is $1.5 million spread 
out over four years.
Scientists focused on a new sense of freedom.
I think patients everywhere will be cheering us on,
 imploring us to work faster, harder and with all of our ability to find new 
treatments, said Harvard Stem Cell Institute co-director Doug Melton, father
 of two children with Type I diabetes who could possibly be treated with stem 
cells. On a personal level, it is an enormous relief and a time for 
celebration. ... Science thrives when there is an open and collaborative 
exchange, not when there are artificial barriers, silos, constructed by the 
government.
Opponents framed their opposition mostly, 
but not exclusively, on moral grounds and the scientifically contested claims 
that adult stem cells work just as well.
Said Wendy Wright, president of Concerned
 Women for America: President Obama's order places the worst kind of politics 
above ethics. Politics driven by hype makes overblown promises,
 fuels the desperation of the suffering and financially benefits those seeking 
to strip morality from science.
In Congress, Reps. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., 
and Mike Castle, R-Del., said they would seek a quick vote on legislation to 
codify Obama's order in federal law, after failing twice in the past to 
overturn Bush's restrictions. DeGette said she doesn't want stem cell research 
to become a pingpong ball going back and forth between administrations.
But Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., chairman of the
 Republican study committee, said the president's new policy would force 
taxpayers to subsidize research that will destroy human embryos. 
De Gette and Castle said their legislation tries to minimize destruction of 
embryos.
Stem cells are typically derived from fertility 
clinic surplus, destined for destruction.
Obama also said the stem cell policy is designed
 so that it never opens the door to the use of 
cloning for human reproduction. Such cloning, 
he said, is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society or 
any society.
In addition to 

[Marxism-Thaxis] A Backlash Against Obama's Budget ; which side are you on

2009-03-09 Thread Charles Brown

There's a big class battle brewing.
Which side are you on ?


http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_11/b4123016507664.htm 



BusinessWeek 
BusinessWeek Exchange 
Search all of BusinessWeek.com: 

NEWS MarBusinessWeek 
BusinessWeek Exchange 
Search all of BusinessWeek.com: 

NEWS March 5, 2009, 5:00PM EST 
A Backlash Against Obama's Budget 
Businesses from startups to global giants to drugmakers and farmers 
are gearing up to fight the President's spending plan with ad 
campaigns and public protests 
ch 5, 2009, 5:00PM EST 
A Backlash Against Obama's Budget 
Businesses from startups to global giants to drugmakers and farmers 
are gearing up to fight the President's spending plan with ad 
campaigns and public protests 


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Obama gets high marks in the latest NEWSWEEK poll,

2009-03-09 Thread Charles Brown

It's the People vs the Business class.
Which side are you on ?

CB

^^^

Newsweek 
Honeymoon In Hell 
Amid all the gloom, Obama gets high marks in the latest NEWSWEEK poll, 
with the GOP in the doghouse. 

Michael Hirsh 
Newsweek Web Exclusive 

Despite the tumbling economy,
 Barack Obama continues to enjoy a 
honeymoon with the American public 
in the face of the most trying 
crisis any newly inaugurated president
 has encountered since Franklin 
Delano Roosevelt. The GOP, 
meanwhile, is viewed by a majority of 
Americans as the party of no, 
without a plan of its own to fix the 
economy, and even rank-and-file
 Republicans are concerned about the 
party's direction, according to the
 first NEWSWEEK Poll taken since 
Obama assumed office. 

People give Obama credit for 
reaching out to Republicans, but they 
don't see Republicans reciprocating,
 says pollster Larry Hugick, 
whose firm conducted the survey. 
A surprising number said 
bipartisanship is more important
 than getting things done. 

Overall, 58 percent 
of Americans 
surveyed approve of the job Obama is 
doing, while 26 percent
 disapprove 
and one in six (16 percent) has no 
opinion. Although his approval ratings
 are down from levels seen a few 
weeks ago in other polls, 72 percent 
of Americans still say they have 
a favorable opinion of Obama—
a higher rating than he received in 
NEWSWEEK Polls during the
 presidential campaign last year. The 
president's rating in this poll is 
consistent with estimates provided 
by other national media polls in the last week. 

On the most important issue 
of the day, the NEWSWEEK Poll shows that 
close to two thirds (65 percent) 
of the public say they are very or 
somewhat confident that Obama
 will be successful in turning the 
economy around. That's down 
just a little from the 71 percent who felt 
that way before he took office.
 Still, overall perceptions of the 
economy remain solidly negative,
 with 84 percent saying the national 
economy is in poor shape and 
just 3 percent viewing things positively. 

The public is also dubious about 
some of the president's programs. 
Majorities of Americans think too 
much has been spent so far to help 
rescue large banks in danger of
 failing and domestic auto companies 
facing bankruptcy. A somewhat 
surprising majority (56 percent) 
supports nationalizing large banks
 at risk of failing—a policy the 
Obama administration has shied
 away from. And fewer than half of those 
polled (49 percent) say they support 
Obama's proposal to allow the 
expiration of tax cuts for those with
 incomes above $250,000 at the 
end of next year. (Forty-two percent 
say they oppose ending these 
cuts.) 

Even so, faith in Obama personally
 has apparently carried over into 
optimism about the future. More 
than a third (37 percent) of the 
public expect economic conditions 
to improve in the next 12 months, 
compared with 29 percent who 
think things will be worse. Another big 
plus for the president's policies 
is that a huge majority of Americans 
(73 percent) favor his plan to remove
 most U.S. troops from Iraq by 
the end of next year. 

The biggest problem for the GOP,
 according to the poll, may be that 58 
percent of Americans believe that Republicans
 who have opposed Obama's 
economic-rescue plans have no plan of their 
own for turning the 
economy around. With the Republicans
 having lost the White House and 
both houses of Congress, public
 identification with the party has 
dropped to a recent low point of 26 
percent, after running at or near 
30 percent for most of the last 15 years.
 That's the lowest level 
since the Watergate era and a
 striking loss of stature for the party, 
considering that self-described 
conservatives continue to outnumber 
liberals in the country by nearly two to 
one (39 percent vs. 20 
percent). 

Many Republicans express concern
 about where their party is headed and 
whether GOP leaders in Congress are
 in touch with their constituents. 
Asked about the direction of their party,
 45 percent of rank-and-file 
Republicans say it is moving in the 
right direction, while more than a 
third (35 percent) think it is going in
 the wrong direction. This is 
in sharp contrast to what a NEWSWEEK
 Poll found in 1999 after the 
Clinton impeachment hearings. 
At that time, 65 percent of Republicans 
said their party was headed in the right direction. 

Some of these results spring from 
discontent over Republican 
leadership; other survey respondents
 indicate the party is 
ideologically lost. More than half 
of Republicans today (52 percent) 
say they don't think GOP congressional 
leaders are in touch with what 
the average Republican thinks. While four 
in 10 Republicans (39 
percent) think the GOP is about right
 in terms of ideology, another 38 
percent believe it is not conservative 
enough, and only 20 percent 
think it is too conservative. 

Apart from Obama himself, however, 
the Democratic Party can hardly 
crow about these results. 

[Marxism-Thaxis] weather in Detroit

2009-03-07 Thread Charles Brown


Yea, its kind of nice down here in Florida . .  .76. 

WL. 

^^
CB : My bad. When you said you
hated the weather in Detroit,
I thought you were in it visiting.
(smile)



In a message dated 3/6/2009 3:23:39 P.M. Eastern  Standard Time, 
cdb1003 at prodigy.net writes:

Man, I hate the   
weather in Detroit. 

WL. 

^
CB: In the ex-motor  city,it's been a really cold
winter, with record snow,
but today it's like  spring !
Feels good


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Are you really a champion of the poorest sectors of the ...

2009-03-07 Thread Charles Brown

Waistline2 


The issue is always what is wrong rather than who is wrong. 

Labeling people haters . . . left haters, who do not support Obama the  
person and the Obama presidency in a country where the working class is so and  
devisive and sectarian that the majority refuse to vote at all, is what is 
wrong.

^^
CB: I was responding to you writing about
me ( who) was penning away about Obama's 
increasing unemployment benefits.
One good criticism of who deserves another (smile)

As far as left-haters, on these lists the issue of
motive in interpreting the events since O's
election is pertinent.  I regularly read posts
that interpret the glass as half empty
when it could be interpreted as half-full.



^

 I see no reason what so ever to praise (my exact word) Obama or his  
administration for extending unemployment benefits to the exact same degree 
and  the exact same way done under the Bush W. administration. 
^^^
CB: I do. It's what's going on on these
'left lists these days.  It's just another praise added to 
opening up stem cell research, pay equity
for women, the budget reversing Reaganism, announcement
of the withdrawal of the troops from Iraq, stimulus package.
That's the context. The unemployment thing is not isolated.
Also, O's admin did two things Bush didn't do. $25 more
per week, and no tax on first $2,500. Plus, they did it
right away. 

And it is very important to keep up popular support
for Obama, counter the propaganda from Kramer
and the Wall Street mouthpieces, Limbaugh.
We're in an ongoing struggle, campaign. It
didn't end with the election campaign.

The little things are like little pieces
of campaign literature handed out
at the polls or door to door. 

So, I'd say you're wrong on what is do be
done right now.



^^^

The issue I wrote about was not an addition $100 a month, but deals with a  
completely different realm: a measure of what took place under the Bush W.  
administration,


CB: So, why would you criticize the praise
of the $100 a month and the tax break , which
was more than what Bush did. Plus, I don't
think Bush did it at the beginning of his
presidency.  I have to check.
No reason to criticize the praise of Obama
for doing something good 'cause Bush did it.

^^^

 the precedence of the past and the art of the possible. It is  
imperative that communist always stay one step ahead along the path the 
working  
class must travel as its spontaneous movement and its self discovery of 
itself  as a class. The LENS to use in traveling this path is that if the 
lowest 
section  of the workers as their interest intersect and find expression in the 
political  sphere. 

^
CB: In this case. one step ahead along
that path is to rally the working class to
support Obama. In case you didn't notice
the bourgeoisie are rallying against his
first pro-working class moves.

The ultra-left is stumbling into
joining Kramer, Santelli and Limbaugh

^^

What is wrong is praising the Obama administration and the one hand; and  
condemnation of comrades - let haters,  whose opinion might disagree with  
someone's else opinion. 

^^
CB: See above. See discussion several
weeks ago posts on Lenin's polemics
against the ultra-left. We have the same
task today.  

^^

To begin with it is impossible to save capital without saving those  
workers connected to it as the unity of productive forces and 
production  relations. 
To preserve this unity it is necessary to increase demand and I shall  never 
approach or suggest negotiating from a standpoint that my enemies  are doing 
me or mine a favor,   . . with a concession, as  such. . 

^
CB:  You have a different attitude toward
the Obama event than I do. I think we should
rally the working class in support of him.
It's true it's because it's the best we
have right now, but , there you go.
It's sort of like supporting Coleman
Young as Mayor.

^ 

^
. 
The real issue is over concentrating on private sector jobs - as  
government spending or socially necessary means of life. The pouring 
of  trillions of 
dollars down the rabbit hole of modern speculative finance is  designed to 
starve the workers of these needed funds. 

^
CB: Well, yeah, that more later

The issue is not me or who I am, rather the issue is how are  comrades to 
frame the current struggle of the working class. Towards this end a  doctrine 
is being put forth as the strategy and tactics of using class  intersection 
as a measure of the complex fight unfolding. This is what is  missing in 
assessments of the Obama administration and the existing correlations  of 
forces 
in the Senate. 

Further comrades cannot be sectarian for fighting to establish a communist  
polarity in the political sphere. Which side are you on is not a conception of  
Democrats or Republicans but workers and capitalist. 

WL. 

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list

[Marxism-Thaxis] How Cash Starved States Can Create their Own Credit

2009-03-07 Thread Charles Brown

How Cash Starved States Can Create their Own Credit

by Ellen Brown

Global Research (March 03 2009)

He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils;
for time is the greatest innovator. --- Francis Bacon


On February 19 2009, California narrowly 
escaped bankruptcy, when
Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger put on
 his Terminator hat and held the
state senate in lockdown mode until they signed a very controversial
budget {1}. If the vote had failed, the state 
was going to be reduced to
paying its employees in IOUs. California avoided bankruptcy for the time
being, but 46 of fifty states are insolvent
 and could be filing Chapter
Nine bankruptcy proceedings in the next two years {2}.

One of the four states that is not 
insolvent is an unlikely candidate
for the distinction - North Dakota. As Michigan management consultant
Charles Fleetham observed last
 month in an article distributed to his
local media:

North Dakota is a sparsely
 populated state of less than 700,000, known
for cold weather, isolated farmers and a hit movie - Fargo. Yet, for
some reason it defies the 
real estate cliche of location, location,
location. Since 2000, the state's GNP has grown 56%, personal income has
grown 43%, and wages 
have grown 34%. This year the state has a budget
surplus of $1.2 billion!

What does the State of North Dakota
 have that other states don't? The
answer seems to be: its own bank.
 In fact, North Dakota has the only
state-owned bank in the nation. 
The state legislature established the
Bank of North Dakota in 1919. Fleetham writes that the bank was set up
to free farmers and small businessmen 
from the clutches of out-of-state
bankers and railroad men. By law, 
the state must deposit all its funds
in the bank, and the state guarantees its deposits. Three elected
officials oversee the bank: the governor,
 the attorney general, and the
commissioner of agriculture. The bank's stated mission is to deliver
sound financial services that promote 
agriculture, commerce and industry
in North Dakota. The bank operates as a bankers' bank, partnering with
private banks to loan money to farmers,
 real estate developers, schools
and small businesses. It loans money 
to students (over 184,000
outstanding loans), and it purchases 
municipal bonds from public
institutions.

Still, you may ask, how does that 
solve the solvency problem? Isn't the
state still limited to spending only
 the money it has? The answer is no.
Certified, card-carrying bankers are 
allowed to do something nobody else
can do: they can create credit with 
accounting entries on their books.

A License to Create Money

Under the fractional reserve lending system,
 banks are allowed to
extend credit (create money as loans)
 in a sum equal to many times their
deposit base. Congressman Jerry Voorhis,
 writing in 1973, explained it
like this:

[F]or every $1 or $1.50 which people - 
or the government - deposit in a
bank, the banking system can create 
out of thin air and by the stroke of
a pen some $10 of checkbook money 
or demand deposits. It can lend all
that $10 into circulation at interest just 
so long as it has the $1 or a
little more in reserve to back it up. {3}

That banks actually create money with
 accounting entries was confirmed
in a revealing booklet published by the
 Chicago Federal Reserve titled
Modern Money Mechanics {2}. The 
booklet was periodically revised until
1992, when it had reached fifty pages 
long. On page 49 of the 1992
edition, it states:

With a uniform ten percent reserve
 requirement, a $1 increase in
reserves would support $10 of additional
 transaction accounts [loans
created as deposits in borrowers' accounts] {4}.

The ten percent reserve requirement is
 now largely obsolete, in part
because banks have figured out how to
 get around it with such devices as
overnight sweeps. What chiefly limits 
bank lending today is the eight
percent capital requirement imposed 
by the Bank for International
Settlements, the head of the private global central banking system in
Basel, Switzerland. With an eight 
percent capital requirement, a state
with its own bank could fan its revenues
 into 12.5 times their face
value in loans (100 ÷ 8 = 12.5). And
 since the state would actually own
the bank, it would not have to worry about shareholders or profits. It
could lend to creditworthy borrowers 
at very low interest, perhaps
limited only to a service charge covering
 its costs; and it could lend
to itself or to its municipal governments 
at as low as zero percent
interest. If these loans were rolled over
 indefinitely, the effect would
be the same as creating new, debt-free money.

Dangerously inflationary? Not if the 
money were used to create new goods
and services. Price inflation results only 
when demand (money) exceeds
supply (goods and services). When they 
increase together, prices
remain stable.

Today we are in a dangerous deflationary 
spiral, as lending has dried up
and asset values have plummeted. The
 monopoly on 

[Marxism-Thaxis] Obama says US may reach out to Taliban

2009-03-07 Thread Charles Brown


Obama Says US May Reach Out to Taliban

http://news.aol.com/article/obama-afghanistan-taliban/373693

CB:If I was Obama , I'd say to the Taliban look bros, obviously, you are 
some bad motherfuckers  because even Alexander couldn't conquer y'all, 
or was it that Alexander was the only one who conquered y'all. Whatever. 
But look , don't you realize that chimpanzees have more 
sense than you do in that they know that you can't disrespect
 females like you are. You dig ? You are dumber than apes 
when it come to the girls. So why not drop the extraordinary anti-women 
total bullshit and peace out ?

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Are you really a champion of the poorest sectors of the

2009-03-07 Thread Charles Brown

 ...Ralph Dumain 
Charles lost his mind a long time ago. But he has gotten really bad 
in recent months. After you have partaken too much of what the CP is 
serving, you get the itis.

A lot of words are wasted wrangling in sectarian environments. 
^^^
CB: Ah Ralph has been caused to take up the
issue of sectarianism. Guess where his mind
got to that. (smile)



Perhaps some people feel the need to prove they're not being fooled, 
by denouncing bourgeois politicians.  Others, proving they are not 
sectarian, act as if self-deception and confusion is the way to act 
practically and make necessary compromises. But once one knows a 
bourgeois politician is a bourgeois politician, one can move on to 
delineate clearly and precisely the situation to be dealt with.

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Which side are you on ?

2009-03-07 Thread Charles Brown

The real issue is over concentrating on private sector jobs - as  
government spending or socially necessary means of life. The pouring 
of  trillions of 
dollars down the rabbit hole of modern speculative finance is  designed to 
starve the workers of these needed funds. 

^
CB: Well, yeah, that more later

WL: The issue is not me or who I am, rather the issue is how are  comrades 
to 
frame the current struggle of the working class.


^^
CB: Well, yeuuuh.  Is you is or is you ain't ain't
the issue.  I figured that out 30 years ago. 
And some comrades around here are not
framing the current struggles of the working 
class correctly.  when they fail to see
that Obama is the leader of the working 
class right now.  Stuff like O is the
CEO of the capitalists is bad framing.
Hisotric, maybe world historic erroneous 
framing.

^
 Towards this end a  doctrine 
is being put forth as the strategy and tactics of using class  intersection 
as a measure of the complex fight unfolding. This is what is  missing in 
assessments of the Obama administration and the existing correlations  of 
forces 
in the Senate. 

^
CB: Reiterate

^

Further comrades cannot be sectarian for fighting to establish a communist  
polarity in the political sphere. 

^^
CB:  Yes they can. A communist polarity
is premature and sectarian right now. We
need a popular front, all peoples front.

^^

Which side are you on is not a conception of  
Democrats or Republicans but workers and capitalist. 

WL. 

^^^
CB: Wrong. Right now the Democrats of Obama
is the side to be on. Which side are you on ?

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Are you really a champion of the poorest sectors of the

2009-03-07 Thread Charles Brown

 ...Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com 
Sat Mar 7 14:46:29 MST 2009 
* Previous message: [Marxism-Thaxis] Are you really a champion of the 
poorest sectors of the ... 
* Next message: [Marxism-Thaxis] Are you really a champion of the poorest 
sectors of the ... 
* Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ] 


 CB:  You have a different attitude toward the Obama  event than I do. I 
think we should rally the working class in support of him.  It's true it's 
because it's the best we have right now, but , there you go. It's  sort of like 
supporting Coleman Young as Mayor. 


Reply

What is the Marxist perspective of our current economic, social and  
political environment of which Barack Obama is a part?

^
CB: It's do what you can to help O.

^

 What correlation of class  
forces and intersection allowed for Obama to be elected president?

^^
CB: A significant anti-racist, White , Brown and Black,
 pro-working people ( working
class and middle class) coalition. An anti-war, anti-rightwing, 
anti-Bush, anti-Reaganite
coalition.


 What is the  
practice of the working class movement forming the framework by which Obama 
the  
person as President to be weighed, measured and assessed?

^^^
CB: Electoral practice, which must be converted
to People's lobbyist practice. Not so much
the person but the leader , the emblem can be
weighed as heavy, measured as breaking
through a quantitative barrier , and capable 
of breaking through more. Assessed as
high reformist potential.

^6

^^


 What are the  
spontaneous demands of that section of the working class in motion 
that  President 
Obama and the entire institutional political sphere responding to?

^
CB: Anti-war, anti-racist, the rational kernel
of American humanism.

^^


  What phase 
of the process of social revolution currently exists?

^
CB: Very early social rev,  moderate reformism
but potentially radical because of deep 
pentup contradictions for at least 30 years,
with few reformist resolutions in at least 30 years.

^




 What is the  role of 
communists in the social process? 

^
CB: In the concrete circumstance
join the Obama crowd and don't
stand out. Mingle and go with O-flow

^^

America is undergoing a profound political, economic and social collapse.  
Collapse does not mean no one is working or that the political system and  
social relations have been shattered and no longer operate. When a society  
undergoes collapse . . . . revolutionary collapse, this means the old ways of  
doing things and the old social relations of the previous period is undergoing  
transformation. Specifically the old platform or infrastructure relations 
that 
held society together is straining and collapsing as society attempts to 
leap to  a new infrastructure relations.  

^^
CB Uhhuh

^

This was the case with the Civil rights movement, which in the first and  
last instance, had as its impetus the tractor or the mechanization of  
agriculture and pushing 11 million sharecroppers off of the land and first 
into  
Southern small towns and cities and then to the North where these folks 
would  take 
their place in the industrial social order. The tractor was introduced by  
International Harvester in 1939. One can shift backwards through history and 
see  
- in retrospect, how every deepening quantitative boundary in the 
mechanization  of agriculture had its corresponding and intensifying advance in 
the 
political  struggle as the Civil Rights Movement.  The Civil Rights movement 
was a  
social movement for economic and social justice; for the expansion of 
political  liberty. The old society constituted on the basis of Jim Crow 
segregation  
collapsed. First this old society was breached, then shattered and finally 
swept  away by a cross section of American society (class intersection), but 
all 
of  this was dependent upon and corresponded with changes in the means of  
production. 

^^
CB: And executed in the last especially
by the Johnson Democratic Party.

^^

The Marxist conception of collapse and revolutionary collapse is not  the 
ideology of any damn thing can happen or one damn thing after another  
but transformation; the dialectic of the leap or the transition from one kind 
of 
society configuration to another. This Marxist understanding gives us the  
ideological conviction to wage the never ending struggle with the bourgeois  
power.  

^
CB: Well, at some point we aim to end it...
in the final conflict

^^

America is undergoing the early stages of revolutionary collapse. 



CB: Revolutions are not collapses.
Collapses hold potential for revolution
to be made out of them, if the ruling
class can't rule in the old way and
the ruled won't be ruled any longer in
the old way.  We aren't there yet.
But the masses are mulling over the 
situation in ways that are no reflected
much in the 

[Marxism-Thaxis] Work Ethic

2009-03-06 Thread Charles Brown
Marxism in the Realm of Necessity as negation of the attitudes toward work in 
the classical European period
I happened to read the below and it occurred to 
me that a lot of Marx's fundamental concepts on work and 
labor are almost simple negations of the attitudes toward 
them in the European classical periods. 
In standing Hegel off his head onto his feet 
they were doing the same to classical philosophy.

For Marxism , the Realm of Freedom, communism,
is a negation of this negation, as work
becomes a combination of the source of 
material wealth and the ancient notion of leisurely
on a different level at the same time. It is productive
of necessities , but not toil. 
  
CB 
  
http://www.coe.uga.edu/~rhill/workethic/hist.htm 
  
Attitudes Toward Work During the Classical Period 
One of the significant influences on the culture of the western 
world has been the Judeo-Christian belief system. Growing awareness of the 
multicultural dimensions of contemporary society has moved educators to 
consider 
alternative viewpoints and perspectives, but an understanding of western 
thought is an important element in the understanding of the history of the 
United States. 
Traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs state that sometime after the dawn 
 of creation, man was placed in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of 
it (NIV, 1973, Genesis 2:15). What was likely an ideal work situation was 
disrupted when 
 sin entered the world and humans were ejected from the Garden. Genesis 3:19 
described the human plight from that time on. By the sweat of your brow you 
will eat 
your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for 
dust you are and to dust you will return (NIV, 1973). Rose stated that the 
Hebrew belief 
system viewed work as a curse devised by God explicitly to punish the 
disobedience and ingratitude of Adam and Eve (1985, p. 28). Numerous 
scriptures from the 
Old Testament in fact supported work, not from the stance that there was any 
joy in it, but from the premise that it was necessary to prevent poverty and 
destitution (NIV; 1973; Proverbs 10:14, Proverbs 13:4, Proverbs 14:23, Proverbs 
20:13, Ecclesiastes 9:10). 
^^ 
CB: For Marx material labor is essential 
to human existence, of course 
  

Capital I: So far therefore as labour is a creator 
of use value, is useful labour, it is a 
necessary condition, independent of all forms of 
society, for the existence of the human race; 
it is an eternal nature-imposed necessity, 
without which there can be no material exchanges 
between man and Nature, and therefore no life. 

^^ 
  
The Greeks, like the Hebrews, also regarded work as a curse 
 (Maywood, 1982). According to Tilgher (1930), the 
Greek word for work was ponos, taken from the Latin poena, which meant sorrow. 
Manual labor was for slaves. The cultural norms allowed free men to pursue 
warfare, large-scale commerce, and the arts, especially architecture or 
sculpture (Rose, 1985). 
  
^^ 
CB: Contrast this with Marx's 
attitude to material or manual
labor above. 
  
^^ 
  
Mental labor was also considered to be work and 
was denounced by the Greeks. The mechanical arts 
were deplored because they required a person to use practical thinking, 
brutalizing the mind till it was unfit for thinking of truth (Tilgher, 1930, 
p. 4). 
  
^ 
CB: Consider Marx's Second Thesis 
on Feuerbach wherein he declares 
that the of the truth of theory is practice. 
Marx , in contrast with the above concept 
makes practical thinking essential 
to thinking the truth. 
  
^^ 
  
  
 Skilled crafts were accepted and recognized as having 
 some social value, but were not regarded as much better than work appropriate 
for slaves. Hard work, whether due to economic need or under the orders of 
a master, was disdained. 
It was recognized that work was necessary for the satisfaction of material 
needs, but philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle made it clear that the 
purpose for 
 which the majority of men labored was in order that the minority, 
 the élite, might engage in pure exercises of the mind--art, 
philosophy, and politics (Tilgher, 1930, p. 5). 
  
^ 
CB; This seems related to  Engels' 
focus on the contrast between 
materialism and idealism's 
attitude to the relationship 
between thought and being. 
  
^^ 
  
 Plato recognized the notion of a division of labor, separating them 
first into categories of rich and poor, and then into categories 
by different kinds of work, and he argued that such an arrangement 
could only be avoided by abolition of private property (Anthony, 1977). 
  
^ 
CB: Which argument Marx and 
Engels make in the _Manifesto 
of the Communist Party_ 
  
^^ 
Aristotle supported the ownership of private property and wealth. 
 He viewed work as a corrupt waste of time that would make a citizen's 
 pursuit of virtue more difficult (Anthony, 1977). 
Braude (1975) described the Greek belief that a person's prudence, 
morality, 

[Marxism-Thaxis] Work Ethic 2.0: Attention Control

2009-03-06 Thread Charles Brown

http://www.internetnews.com/commentary/article.php/3793561
Work Ethic 2.0: Attention Control
Commentary: A person who works with total focus has an enormous advantage over 
a workaholic who's multi-tasking all day, answering every phone call, 
constantly checking Facebook and Twitter, and indulging every interruption.
 

December 29, 2008
By Mike Elgan: More stories by this author: 

The industrial revolution didn't arise out of nowhere, and it didn't arise 
everywhere. It was made possible by the emergence of a set of personal values 
that came to be known as the work ethic. 
The idea behind this meme -- inconceivable 400 years ago -- is that 
hard work is good for its own sake. Hard work makes you a better person. With 
hard work, our parents told us, we could grow up to become anything. Work hard, 
and we
 could get good grades, elite-school acceptance and scholarships. We could 
invent things, launch businesses and change the world. Genius, Thomas Edison 
told us,
 is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. 
This industrial-age work ethic has its variants, including the Protestant work 
ethic, the American work ethic, and the Asian work ethic to name a few. 
The success or 
failure of regions, nations and subcultures has been massively influenced by 
the degree to which populations embrace the value of hard work. And that's why 
the
 idea is hammered into kids in school, and lauded and rewarded in the 
workplace. 
When the information age started replacing the industrial age, hard work 
seemed more important than ever. Until the 1980s, to use a computer was to 
program it. Silicon 
Valley corporate culture, from tiny startups to the massive Googleplex, 
emphasizes long hours and feverish work. 
RELATED ARTICLES
Information Overload: Is There a Cure?
Is it Too Late to Pay Attention?
Is There a Cure for the 'Distraction Virus'?
Gates: Info Glut Killing Businesses


   For more stories on this topic:
  
But since the turn of the new millennium, the nature of work has 
evolved to the point where hard work is becoming less important to a successful 
work ethic than another, more useful value: attention. 
The New Work Ethic 
Columnist David Brooks, commenting in the Dec. 16th New York 
Times about Malcolm Gladwell's latest book called Outliers, made a statement 
as profound as it was accurate: Control of attention is the ultimate 
individual power, 
he wrote. People who can do that are not prisoners of the stimuli around 
them. 
But why is that truer now than ten or twenty years ago? Why 
will it be truer still ten or twenty years from now? As I wrote in May, 
Internet distractions evolve to become ever more distracting all the time -- 
like a virus. Distractions now seek you out. 

Distractions mask the toll they take on productivity. Everyone finishes
 up their work days exhausted, but how much of that exhaustion is from real 
work, how much from the mental effort of fighting off distractions and how much 
from the 
indulgence of distractions? 
Pundits like me are constantly talking about Facebook, Twitter, 
blogs and humor sites, not to mention old standbys like e-mail and IM. One gets 
the impression that we should be following these things all day long, and 
many do.
 So when does the work get done? When do entrepreneurs start and manage their 
businesses? When do writers write that novel? When do IT professionals keep the 
trains running on time? When does anyone do anything? 
The need for attention, rather than hard work, as the centerpiece of the 
new work ethic has arisen along with the rise of distractions carried on the 
wings of Internet 
protocol. In one generation, we've gone from a total separation of work from 
non-work to one in which both work and play are always sitting right in front 
of us. 
Now, we find ourselves with absolutely nothing standing between
 us and a universe of distractions -- nothing except our own abilities to 
control attention. Porn, gambling, funny videos, flirting, socializing, playing 
games, shopping -- it's
 all literally one click away. Making matters worse, indulging these 
distractions looks just like work. And it's easy to work and play at the same 
time -- and call it work. These new, increasingly compelling distractions get 
piled on to older ones -- office pop-ins, e-mail, IM,
 text messages, meetings and others. 
Kids now grow up with the whole range of distractions, from big-screen TVs to 
video games to cell phones to PCs in their rooms. They're addicted to screens 
before they even start high school. Their attention spans have been whittled 
down to seconds, and their 
expectations for constant amusement are highly developed. 
In a world in which entire industries bet their businesses on gaining access to 
our attention, which value leads to better personal success: hard work or the 
ability
 to control attention? 
A person who works six hours a day but with total focus has
 an enormous advantage over a 12-hour-per-day 

[Marxism-Thaxis] weather in Detroit

2009-03-06 Thread Charles Brown

Man, I hate the  
weather in Detroit. 

WL. 

^
CB: In the ex-motor city,it's been a really cold
winter, with record snow,
but today it's like spring !
Feels good

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Human language gene's origin not as recent as thought

2009-03-05 Thread Charles Brown
This implies that language originated earlier in human
evolution than thought.

CB

http://www.babelsdawn.com/babels_dawn/

The Neanderthal genome includes the human version of the 
FOXP2 gene. In my most recent post on that finding (see: Narrowing Down the 
Suspects) I said:
The original dating of the appearance of the FOXP2 gene in its 
human form put it between 200 and 100 thousand years ago. 
Many arguments about the recency of language have claimed 
authority based on that date, and now find their cards are very weak. ... In 
November 2006 this blog reported on a paper presented at a conference in 
Stellenbosch, 
South Africa claiming that the original dating effort on FOXP2 had been grossly 
in error and the true date of the human version of the gene was 1.8 to 1.9 
million years ago. ... I have emailed the paper’s main author, Karl Diller, to 
ask for an update on his work, but have 
not yet had a response.
Now I have gotten a response. In a nutshell, he is sticking by his earlier 
findings:
It is true that the [original] date for FOXP2 was widely cited before the 
Neanderthal results, but I would say that hardly anyone believes anymore 
that the FOXP2 mutations were recent. The accepted date for the common 
ancestor with Neanderthals is ~660,000 years ago. We stand by the genomic 
evidence and our date of 1.8 or 1.9 million years ago for the FOXP2 
mutations.
More
Carl Zimmer reminds me of a letter Molecular Biology and 
Evolution (here) arguing that the Neanderthal gene is a contaminant from 
inbreeding with Homo sapiens. These things will be argued for some time, and as 
I said in my 
Narrowing Down the Suspects post:
... all dates on this gene are likely to be taken with several grains of salt 
without multiple, independent confirmations.


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] FOXP2 and the Evolution of Language

2009-03-05 Thread Charles Brown
FOXP2 and the Evolution of Language
Alec MacAndrew
 
Introduction 
This article addresses the history and the significance of the discovery of the 
relevance of FOXP2 in the development of speech. It is a remarkable scientific 
detective story that has been in the making for some time.  In its earlier 
stages, there was serious 
disagreement within the scientific community about how the scientific findings 
should be interpreted, and this was set against a background of sensationalist 
reporting by the
 popular press.

Background

Background
The story goes like this: The KE family were brought to the attention of the 
scientific community in about 1990. Over three generations of this family, 
about half the family members suffer from a number of problems, the most 
obvious of which is severe 
difficulty in speaking, to such an extent that the speech of the affected 
people is largely unintelligible, and they are taught signs as a supplement to 
speech as children. It is
 a complicated condition including elements of impairment in speech 
articulation and other linguistic skills, and broader intellectual and physical 
problems. From the outset
 it seemed quite likely, from the pattern of inheritance, that the disorder is 
associated with a mutation in a single autosomal-dominant gene. It is rather 
surprising that such
 a diffuse condition should be linked to a single genetic defect, but it turned 
out to be so for reasons that we shall see later.

From the beginning, there has been a range of views in the 
professional scientific community with regard to whether the gene in question 
is a `language' or a `grammar' specific gene. Those disagreements continue in 
a somewhat abated form today.



http://www.evolutionpages.com/FOXP2_language.htm


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] The Language of Looting

2009-03-04 Thread Charles Brown
What Nationalize the Banks and the Free Market Really Mean in Today's 
Looking-Glass World 
The Language of Looting 
By MICHAEL HUDSON 
Banking shares began to plunge Friday morning after Senator Dodd,
 the Connecticut Democrat who is chairman of the banking committee, said in an 
interview with Bloomberg Television that he was concerned the government might
 end up nationalizing some lenders “at least for a short time.” Several other 
prominent policy makers – including Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the 
Federal Reserve, and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina – have echoed 
that view recently.” 
--Eric Dash, “Growing Worry on Rescue Takes a Toll on Banks,” 
The New York Times, February 20, 2009
How is it that Alan  Greenspan, free-market lobbyist for Wall Street, recently 
announced that he favored nationalization of America’s banks – and indeed, 
mainly the biggest
 and most powerful? Has the old disciple of Ayn Rand gone Red in the night? 
Surely not.
The answer is that the rhetoric of “free markets,” “nationalization” 
and even “socialism” (as in “socializing the losses”) has been turned into the 
language of deception to help the financial sector mobilize government power to 
support
 its own special privileges. Having undermined the economy at large, Wall 
Street’s public relations think tanks are now dismantling the language itself.
Exactly what does “a free market” mean? Is it what the classical 
economists advocated – a market free from monopoly power, business fraud, 
political insider dealing and special privileges for vested interests – a 
market protected by the
 rise in public regulation from the Sherman Anti-Trust law of 1890 to the 
Glass-Steagall Act and other New Deal legislation? Or is it a market free for 
predators to exploit
 victims without public regulation or economic policemen – the kind of 
free-for-all market that the Federal Reserve and Security and Exchange 
Commission (SEC) have created 
over the past decade or so? It seems incredible that people should accept 
today’s neoliberal idea of “market freedom” in the sense of neutering 
government watchdogs, 
Alan Greenspan-style, letting Angelo Mozilo at Countrywide, Hank Greenberg at 
AIG, Bernie Madoff, Citibank, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers loot without 
hindrance or sanction, plunge the economy into crisis and then use Treasury 
bailout money to pay the highest 
salaries and bonuses in U.S. history.
Terms that are the antithesis of “free market” also are being turned into the 
opposite of what they historically have meant. Take today’s discussions about 
nationalizing 
the banks. For over a century nationalization has meant public takeover of 
monopolies or other sectors to operate them in the public interest rather than 
leaving them so special interests. But when neoliberals use the word 
“nationalization” they mean a bailout, a government giveaway 
to the financial interests. 
Doublethink and doubletalk with regard to “nationalizing” or “socializing” the 
banks and other sectors is a travesty of political and economic discussion from 
the 17th through mid-20th 
centuries. Society’s basic grammar of thought, the vocabulary to discuss 
political and economic topics, is being turned inside-out in an effort to ward 
off discussion of the policy solutions posed by the classical economists and 
political philosophers that made Western civilization “Western.” 
Today’s clash of civilization is not really with the Orient; it is with our own 
past, with the Enlightenment itself and its evolution into classical political 
economy and Progressive Era social reforms aimed at freeing society from the 
surviving trammels of 
European feudalism. What we are seeing is propaganda designed to deceive, to 
distract attention from economic reality so as to promote the property and 
financial interests from whose predatory grasp classical economists set out to 
free the world. What is being attempted 
is nothing less than an attempt to destroy the intellectual and moral edifice 
of what took Western civilization eight centuries to develop, from the 12th 
century Schoolmen
 discussing Just Price through 19th and 20th century classical economic value 
theory. 
Any idea of “socialism from above,” in the sense of “socializing the risk,” is 
old-fashioned oligarchy – kleptocratic statism from above. Real nationalization 
occurs when 
governments act in the public interest to take over private property. The 
19th-century program to nationalize the land (it was the first plank of the 
Communist Manifesto) 
did not mean anything remotely like the government taking over estates, paying 
off their mortgages at public expense and then giving it back to the former 
landlords free and 
clear of encumbrances and taxes. It meant taking the land and its rental income 
into the public domain, and leasing it out at a user fee ranging from actual 
operating cost to a
 subsidized rate or even freely as in the case of streets and roads.

[Marxism-Thaxis] Finance Capitalism Hits a Wall

2009-03-04 Thread Charles Brown
Finance Capitalism Hits a Wall 
The Oligarchs' Escape Plan 
By MICHAEL HUDSON 
The financial “wealth creation” game is over. Economies
 emerged from World War II relatively free of debt, but the 60-year global 
run-up has run its course. Finance capitalism is in a state of collapse, and 
marginal
 palliatives cannot revive it. The U.S. economy cannot “inflate its way out of 
debt,” because this would collapse the dollar and end its dreams of global 
empire by
 forcing foreign countries to go their own way. There is too little 
manufacturing to make the economy more “competitive,” given its high housing 
costs, transportation,
 debt and tax overhead. A quarter to a third of U.S. real estate has fallen 
into negative equity, so no banks will lend to them. The economy has hit a debt 
wall and is
 falling into negative equity, where it may remain for as far as the eye can 
see until there is a debt write-down.
Mr. Obama’s “recovery” plan, based on infrastructure spending, will 
make real estate fortunes for well-situated properties along the new public 
transport routes, but there is no sign of cities levying a windfall property 
tax to save their finances.
 Their mayors would rather keep the cities broke than to tax real estate and 
finance. The aim is to re-inflate property markets to enable owners to pay the 
banks, not to help 
the public sector break even. So state and local pension plans will remain 
underfunded while more corporate pension plans go broke. 
One would think that politicians would be willing to do the math and realize 
that debts that can’t be paid, won’t be. But the debts are being kept on the 
books, continuing to extract interest to pay the creditors that have made the 
bad loans. The resulting 
debt deflation threatens to keep the economy in depression until a radical 
shift in policy occurs – a shift to save the “real” economy, not just the 
financial sector and the wealthiest 
10 per cent of American families.
There is no sign that Mr. Obama’s economic advisors, Treasury officials
 and heads of the relevant Congressional committees recognize the need for a 
write-down. After all, they have been placed in their positions precisely 
because they do not 
understand that debt leveraging is a form of economic overhead, not real 
“wealth creation.” But their tunnel vision is what makes them “reliable” to 
Wall Street, which doesn’t
 like surprises. And the entire character of today’s financial crisis continues 
to be labeled “surprising” and “unexpected” by the press as each new 
surprisingly pessimistic statistic 
hits the news. It’s safe to be surprised; suspicious to have expected bad news 
and being a “premature doomsayer.” One must have faith in the system above all. 
And the system 
was the Greenspan Bubble. That is why “Ayn Rand Alan” was put in charge in the 
first place, after all.
So the government tries to recover the happy Bubble Economy years by getting 
debt growing again, hoping to re-inflate real estate and stock market prices. 
That was, after all,
 the Golden Age of finance capital’s world of using debt leverage to bid up the 
book-price of fictitious capital assets. Everyone loved it as long as it 
lasted. Voters thought 
they had a chance to become millionaires, and approved happily. And at least it 
made Wall Street richer than ever before – while almost doubling the share of 
wealth held 
by the wealthiest 1 per cent of America’s families. For Washington policy 
makers, they are synonymous with “the economy” – at least the economy for which 
national economic policy is being formulated these days.
The Obama-Geithner plan to restart the Bubble Economy’s debt 
growth so as to inflate asset prices by enough to pay off the debt overhang out 
of new “capital gains” cannot possibly work. But that is the only trick these 
ponies know. 
We have entered an era of asset-price deflation, not inflation. Economic data 
charts throughout the world have hit a wall and every trend has been plunging 
vertically downward 
since last autumn. U.S. consumer prices experienced their fastest plunge since 
the Great Depression of the 1930s, along with consumer “confidence,” 
international shipping, 
real estate and stock market prices, oil and the exchange rate for British 
sterling. The global economy is falling into depression, and cannot recover 
until debts are written down. 
Instead of doing this, the government is doing just the opposite. It
 is proposing to take bad debts onto the public-sector balance sheet, printing 
new Treasury bonds give the banks – bonds whose interest charges will have to 
be paid by taxing labor and industry.
The oligarchy’s plans for a bailout (at least of its own financial position)
In periods of looming collapse, wealthy elites protect their funds.
 In times past they bought gold when currencies started to weaken. (Patriotism 
never has been a characteristic of cosmopolitan finance capital.) Since the 
1950s the
 International Monetary Fund has made loans 

[Marxism-Thaxis] Capitalism, Socialism and Crisis

2009-03-04 Thread Charles Brown


OK . . . fair enough. Maybe later. 
It was so bad I was embarrassed to actually comment on it. 

WL. 

^^

CB:  You haven't been too embarrassed
to post bad stuff yourself in the past.
When did you get to be so sensitive ? (smile)


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] symbols edited from Marxism

2009-03-03 Thread Charles Brown
Waistline2 
Marxism/T list 3/02/09 index. Decoded. 2nd level.  

^

Wow !!! That's what I call real proletarian poetry.
A definite chapter in the new Ballad for Americans.
You go bro , the workers' T.S. Eliot

John Henry

Did you send it to the other lists ?

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Capitalism, Socialism and Crisis

2009-03-03 Thread Charles Brown
Capitalism, Socialism and Crisis
By Prabhat Patnaik  
http://www.politicalaffairs.net/article/articleview/8201/

 Original source: People's Democracy (India) 

A common view of the current financial crisis of capitalism holds
 that it is essentially an aberration. Some attribute this aberration to 
specific mistakes committed in the past, for instance by the US Federal Reserve 
with regard to monetary
 policy. Some hold the lack of adequate regulatory mechanism as being 
responsible for this aberration. Paul Krugman, the current year’s Nobel 
laureate, blames it on
 insufficient supervision of the financial system. And even Joseph Stiglitz, 
the well-known radical economist and Nobel laureate, characterizes it as a 
“system failure,” a term which makes the crisis a phenomenon that in principle 
could have been avoided with impunity.
 This entire perception however is untenable. The crisis is a result not of the 
failure of the system but of the system itself; it is a part of the mode of 
operation of contemporary capitalism rather than being unrelated or extraneous 
to it. 

Massive speculation 

In a “free market” regime, asset markets tend to be subject to
 speculation. Speculators buy assets not because of the yield on these assets 
but because they expect its price to appreciate in the coming days. They have 
no long term
 interest in the assets and are concerned exclusively with capital
 gains. Since buying today to sell tomorrow entails carrying the asset during 
the intervening period for which a “carrying cost” has to be incurred, the 
assets most suitable for speculation are those whose carrying costs are low; 
and these are typically financial assets
 which have virtually zero carrying costs (requiring only a few taps on 
computer keys to effect all necessary transactions). Financial asset markets 
therefore are
 always subject to massive speculation. 

Speculation generates bouts of euphoria or “speculative excitement” 
which have the cumulative effect of pushing up asset prices. An initial rise in 
some asset prices, caused no matter how, gives rise to expectations of a 
further rise, and hence
 to an increase in the demand for the assets in question which actually raises 
their prices further; and so the process feeds upon itself and we have asset 
price “bubbles.” 
Such “bubbles” typically characterize financial assets, which, as already 
mentioned, are particularly prone to speculation; but they are not confined to 
financial assets
 alone (as the housing market “bubble” in the United States has just 
demonstrated). 

Such “bubbles” have an obvious impact on the real economy. The 
rise in asset prices fed by speculative euphoria improves for individuals who 
own these assets the estimation of their wealth position, and hence causes an 
increase in 
their consumption expenditure, and thereby in employment. Likewise such a rise 
in asset prices, where the assets in question are producible, causes an 
increase in
 investment expenditure on these assets, which leads to their larger 
production, and hence to larger employment. In short, speculative euphoria in 
the asset markets makes
 the boom in the real economy, stimulated by whatever had caused the initial 
rise in asset prices, more pronounced and prolonged. 

Precisely because of this however if for some reason the asset price
 increase wanes or comes to a halt, speculators attempt to get out of the 
assets in question causing a crash in the asset prices. This causes a fall in 
aggregate expenditure
 on goods and services; a collapse in the state of credit, as banks face 
insolvency; and a possible collapse even in the inclination of depositors for 
holding bank deposits (since they fear banks’ insolvency), as had happened 
during the Great Depression. In short
 there is a collapse of the state of confidence all around, and hence a 
corresponding increase in liquidity preference; i.e. there is a disinclination 
to hold any asset other than 
pure cash, or in extreme cases only currency, and of course claims upon the 
government, which is considered to be the only safe and reliable borrower. Not 
all crises display
 this severity; but to a greater or lesser extent these features mark any 
crisis. 

Speculation therefore has the effect of making the boom more pronounced
 and prolonged; but it has also the effect of precipitating a severe crisis, as 
distinct from a mere cyclical downturn. In the absence of speculation the boom 
in the real economy will 
be a much more truncated and tame affair. But precisely because it is not a 
tame affair, it is followed by a crisis. 

Two conclusions follow from the above analysis. First, since speculation
 is endemic to modern capitalism, where financial markets play a major role, 
speculation-engendered euphoria and the consequent pronounced booms, together 
with the crises
 that invariably follow, are also endemic to modern capitalism. “Bubbles” 
constitute in other words the mode of operation of the 

[Marxism-Thaxis] Obama , getting money to the working class pronto

2009-03-03 Thread Charles Brown
Obama , getting money to the working class, pronto

3/3/09 Notice of Certain Benefits Unemployed Workers May Be Eligiole For Under 
the Economic Stimulus Package.

1)Extra $25 per week in unemployment benefits
2)Period for Collecting Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extended
3)Partial  (first $2,400)Suspension of Federal Income Tax On Unemployment 
Benefits for Tax Year 2009



Obama , Obama , Obama !


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Capitalism, Socialism and Crisis

2009-03-03 Thread Charles Brown
 Waistline2 at aol.com 



Capitalism, Socialism and Crisis By Prabhat Patnaik  
_http://www.politicalaffairs.net/article/articleview/8201/_ 
(http://www.politicalaffairs.net/article/articleview/8201/) 

is one of the worse, if not the worst economic analysis, I have read (under  
the banner of Marxism) in perhaps the past decade. 

WL. 

^^
CB: This is one of the worst unsupported, conclusory
assertions I've seen since
Ralph's embarrassing posts a couple of days 
ago. An empty outburst, with no thought in it
whatsoever. Who cares what you think
without any argumentation ?

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] James Petras' critique of the Communist Manifesto

2009-03-01 Thread Charles Brown
James Petras' critique of the Communist Manifesto


* To: pe...@xxx, 
marxism-internatio...@xx, cm15...@xxx 
* Subject: James Petras' critique of the Communist Manifesto 
* From: Louis Proyect l...@ 
* Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 09:57:28 -0500 


The sequence of capitalist expansion,
 destruction of traditional bonds and
global integration was, according to Marx, the process of creating a
unified working class, conscious of its
 class interests and linked across
national boundaries. His chain of reasoning lacks a clear understanding of
the importance traditions and social bonds preceding capitalism played in
creating social solidarity for confronting 
capitalism and sustaining class
consciousness. When Marx describes the 
bourgeoisie as reducing human
relations to the cash nexus as a prelude to the development of class
consciousness, he is essentially 
describing the condition of the U.S.
working class--probably the least willing and able to identify its source
of exploitation let alone struggle against it. 
The stripping of older
beliefs--what Marx and Engels unfortunately called philistine
sentimentalism--includes the sense of 
community and not necessarily belief
in a natural superior. Thus the assumption that the everlasting
insecurity and agitation that the Manifesto's 
authors associate with
capital's revolutionizing of the means of production does not necessarily
compel [man] to face with sober senses,
 his real conditions of life and
his relations with his kind. In fact, economic processes are having the
opposite effects in deepening reaction, 
atomizing labor, stimulating ethnic
warfare and undermining a vast swath of economic production throughout
Latin America, Africa, the ex-USSR
 and elsewhere.

Thus the centrality of tradition and culture 
and community in defining
the formation of class consciousness is
 lost before Marx and Engels'
sweeping and uncritical celebration of the revolutionary potential of the
development of the forces of production.

Similarly, the savaging of the Third World labor
 force occurring under the
aegis of the internationalization of capital has not led to greater class
consciousness or civilized behavior. 
One look at free trade zones should
dissuade anyone of that notion. Instead, it has broken class ties and
fostered greater deference and servility.

Bourgeois globalization has not created
 a world in its own image as Marx
and Engels argued. Today these are the sentimental pieties printed out in
World Bank public relations handouts
 trumpeting the modernization of the
Third World. [And LM TV documentaries, I might add.]

Their lack of a sense of class consciousness 
directly related to the
producers and not derived from the capitalist process of production
explains the difficulties many Marxists 
have in creating an alternative
to capitalism. Today capitalists don't call into existence the men who
will wield the weapons to deal a death blow 
to capitalism. They create
millions of frightened, uncertain, temporary workers, tied to the cash
nexus. To become a Marxist in the sense
 of realizing the goals of the
Manifesto, one must reject Marx and Engels' false assumptions about the
revolutionary role of the bourgeoisie.
 To move toward working class
action, their conception of the transformation of workers into a
revolutionary class must be subjected to the harshest criticism.

Where Marx and Engels say that man's 
consciousness changes with every
change in the conditions of his material existence, in his social relations
and in his social life the changes that 
capitalism has wrought have
undermined the construction of a revolutionary consciousness at every
point. The notion that the bourgeoisie 
revolutionizes production through
competition and in the course forces workers to confront their
conditions and subsequently join together 
is false on all counts. The most
important change is not the revolutionizing of production, but the
transformation of political and social 
relations throughout the world in a
fashion that undermines the possibility of material recognition of
proletarians.

To speak of the Manifesto today, one must 
move from the brilliant economic
analysis to the revolutionary conclusions by constructing a new theory of
revolutionary action.



The passage above appears in James Petras' article The Manifesto's
Strength and Flaws, which is part of a symposium on the relevance of
Marxism on the 150th anniversary of the Communist Manifesto published in
the latest New Politics, Winter 1998. I highly recommend this issue. For
ordering information, check www.wilpaterson.edu/~newpol.

Louis proyect


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Obama: The brother from another planet

2009-03-01 Thread Charles Brown




Waistline2 

Waistline2 Obama as a uniter is an interesting Marxist approach. 


^ CB: Marxist as in Workers of all nations and races , unite ! 

^ 

Perhaps if all of  us was raised by a white parent and white  grandparents, 
we too would be uniters. 

^ CB: Makes sense. It would engender need for unity on a personal level  
for peace of mind. His mother seems to have taught him Black history type  
respect for Black people. He seems to have somewhat consciously constructed a  
Black identity of high integrity. Going to the hood to live, like an  
anthropologist joining his own culture. Now he's an interesting character. 
To  coin a 
phrase, he seems to be in the Presidential world , but not of it. Somehow  he 
comes across as confident in the sense of not worried, in the face of an  
extraordinary mess but not arrogant and not aloof. Engaged with horrific 
crises,  
but not scared and  not in the bliss of ignorance. I'm like more power to  ya, 
Barry. So far, so good. 

 

Comment/Reply 

I tend to prefer a Marxist approach rather than psychological speculation  
and race theory.

^
CB: The Marxist approach to an individual's personality
would be a psychological approach too.

 

To conceive Obama personality traits as a call for  Workers of all  nations 
and races , unite ! is an interesting proposition. 


CB: He said he's a uniter not a divider, Given
he's Black , and of course that is a prominent
feature of the public situation, race unity is
strongly suggested. So, it fits with
workers uniting. In the US racial unity
is an important version of the famous
unity slogan.



Further, I reject  the 
concept that humanity is divided into races.

^
CB: You are ignoring social and historical actuality.
What do you think the Civil Rights movement was
directed at ? An illusion ?

^^

 I am convince with every fiber  of 
my being that those who cling to race and its usage will inevitably fail to  
approach issues from a class point of view, because a false theory of biology  
cannot be reconciled with a science of class and economic relations.


CB: Race is an invalid biological concept
Unfortunately, it is a real social, political
economic and historical category.
It inflects class.

^

 Obama  
does not unite back and white people, devoid of any class conception 
of  society. 


CB: When I mention Workers of the all nations and races
unite  I am referring to his impact on uniting people
in relation to a class conception of society.
That should be obvious.

^^^
  

Pardon, but whites in America are not united amongst themselves because  
class - economic interest, stratification, status and perception of class,  
divides them and have always divided them, along with a morality of what 
is  right 
and wrong about our society ills.

^^^
CB: Yes, but that doesn't mean White and Black
workers haven't been divided too.

^^^

  Barack's personal qualities,  which I most 
certainly have never ignored, which cast him a uniter, is a class  thing 
also: to unite or maintain the polarizing unity that is the productive  forces 
and social relations of American society. 


CB: Maybe. We'll see what happens.

^

That is his J.O.B. 

^^
CB:  So, far the effect of his campaign
has not been to do that job.

^^

Obama's personal cool has more in common with Frank Sinatra rather than  
Miles Davis with the latter expressing a contempt and demeanor characteristic 
of  
the black middle class militant profoundly aware of the structural barriers of 
Jim Crow. Personal qualities are important but should not overshadowed 
class;  and in Obama case, his set of polices designed to protect the unity of 
the  
productive forces and social relations. The race to the bottom, has nothing 
to  do with biological race, and will not stopped or be halted by any of 
Obama's  polices. The character of who hits bottom first, from the standpoint 
of the 
color factor, is rooted in slavery and its aftermath. 


CB: You introduced the issue of individual
personality by your idea that he has an
immigrant personality. I'm not trying to override
class with personality. I'm pointing to the
impact of his campaign in contributing to
more unity between races, including
between White, Black and Brown workers, especially.
Reduction of racism in the middle strata enhances
the racial unity of the working class as well.
His mixed racial background logically helps 
him in leading a movement that unites
sections of the social classes. 

As to whether he does what you say,
we shall see. So, far it's not like that
His budget proposals to reverse Reaganism
and pledge to fight its opponents is the
opposite of what you predict. It is
fighting for the working class versus
the rich.

^

It is interesting to state that Obama went to live in the hood, when most  
Negroes in America were born in the hood. The point being that this  
anthropologist joining his own culture, 

[Marxism-Thaxis] Lenin's discussion of monopoly and speculation

2009-02-28 Thread Charles Brown
Brown 


http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/imp-hsc/ch01.htm 



“Even in the purely economic sphere,” 
writes Kestner, “a certain
change is taking place from commercial activity in the old sense of the
word towards organisational-speculative 
activity. The greatest success
no longer goes to the merchant whose technical and commercial experience
enables him best of all to estimate
 the needs of the buyer, and who is
able to discover and, so to speak, ‘awaken’ a latent demand; it goes
to the speculative genius [?!] who 
knows how to estimate, or even only
to sense in advance, the organisational development and the
possibilities of certain connections
 between individual enterprises and
the banks. . . .” 

Translated into ordinary human language
 this means that the development
of capitalism has arrived at a stage when, although commodity production
still “reigns” and continues to be 
regarded as the basis of economic
life, it has in reality been undermined and the bulk of the profits go
to the “geniuses” of financial manipulation.
 At the basis of these
manipulations and swindles lies socialised production; but the immense
progress of mankind, which achieved 
this socialisation, goes to benefit
. . . the speculators. We shall see later how “on these grounds”
reactionary, petty-bourgeois critics 
of capitalist imperialism dream of
going back to “free”, “peaceful”, and “honest” competition.




 Half a century ago, when Marx was writing
 Capital, free competition
appeared to the overwhelming majority of economists to be a “natural
law”. Official science tried, by a conspiracy 
of silence, to kill the
works of Marx, who by a theoretical and historical analysis of
capitalism had proved that free competition gives rise to the
concentration of production, which, in 
turn, at a certain stage of
development, leads to monopoly. Today, monopoly has become a fact.
Economists are writing mountains of books in which they describe the
diverse manifestations of monopoly, and continue to declare in chorus
that “Marxism is refuted”. But facts are
 stubborn things, as the
English proverb says, and they have to be reckoned with, whether we like
it or not. The facts show that 
differences between capitalist countries,
e.g., in the matter of protection or free trade, only give rise to
insignificant variations in the
 form of monopolies or in the moment of
their appearance; and that the rise of monopolies, as the result of the
concentration of production, is 
a general and fundamental law of the
present stage of development of capitalism.
-clip-

Thus, the principal stages in the 
history of monopolies are the
following: (1) 1860-70, the highest stage, the apex of development of
free competition; monopoly is in the
 barely discernible, embryonic
stage. (2) After the crisis of 1873, a lengthy period of development of
cartels; but they are still the exception. They are not yet durable.
They are still a transitory phenomenon.
 (3) The boom at the end of the
nineteenth century and the crisis of 1900-03. Cartels become one of the
foundations of the whole of economic 
life. Capitalism 

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Evgeny Pashukanis

2009-02-28 Thread Charles Brown
Evgeny Pashukanis
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Evgeny Bronislavovich Pashukanis (February 23, 1891[1] – 1937) was a Soviet 
legal scholar, best known for his work The General Theory of Law and Marxism.
Contents[hide]
* 1 Early life and October Revolution 
* 2 The General Theory of Law and Marxism 
* 3 Latter years 
* 4 Notes 
* 5 External links  
[edit] Early life and October Revolution
Pashukanis was born in Staritsa, in the Tver Oblast in
 the Russian Empire. Influenced by his family, particularly his uncle, he 
joined the Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party (RSLDP) in Saint Petersburg 
at the age of 17. In 1909, he started studying jurisprudence in Saint 
Petersburg. As a result of his socialist activism, the Czarist police 
threatened Pashukanis with banishment, so he left Russia for Germany in 1910. 
He continued his studies in Munich.
 During World War I, he returned to his native Russia. In 1914, he helped draft 
the RSLDP resolution opposing the war. Following the 1917 October Revolution 
and the establishment of the Soviet Union, Pashukanis joined the Russian 
Communist Party, the Bolshevik wing of the RSLDP, after its founding in 1918. 
In August 1918, he became a judge in Moscow. Meanwhile, he launched his career 
as a legal scholar.
 He also held a post in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was an adviser to 
the Soviet embassy in Berlin, helping to draft the Rapallo Treaty of 1922. In 
1924 he was 
transferred to full-time academic duties as a member of the Communist 
Academy.[2]
He was a cousin of publisher Vikentiy Pashukanis (1879-1920).
[edit] The General Theory of Law and Marxism
In 1924, Pashukanis published his seminal work, The General 
Theory of Law and Marxism. This is best knows for Pushkanis' formulation of the 
Commodity Exchange Theory of Law. This theory was built on two pillars of 
Marxist thought:
 (1) in the organization of society the economic factor is paramount; legal and 
moral principles and institutions therefore constitute a kind of superstructure 
reflecting 
the economic organization of society; and (2) in the finally achieved state of 
communism, law and the state will wither away. If communism is achieved, 
morality as it is typically understood will cease to perform any function.
[edit] Latter years
From 1925 to 1927, Pyotr Stuchka, another Soviet legal scholar, 
and Pashukanis compiled an Encyclopedia of State and Law and started a journal 
named Revolution of Law. In 1927, he was elected a full member of the Communist 
Academy, eventually becoming its vice-president. He and Stuchka started a 
section on the General Theory of State and Law at the Academy. However, in 
1930, Nikolai Bukharin was attacked by Stalin, because he insisted that the 
state must wither away to bring
 forth communism, as Marx had advocated, and stripped of all his political 
posts. Pashukanis soon came under pressure from the government as well. As a 
result, Pashukanis started to revise his theory of state. He stopped working 
with his friend Stuchka. It is unclear
 whether Pashukanis's transformation was simply the result of fear for his 
safety, or whether he actually changed his mind. He was rewarded by being made 
director of the Institute of Soviet Construction and Law in 1931. In 1936, he 
was nominated Deputy Commissar of Justice of the USSR and was proposed for 
membership in the Soviet Academy of Sciences.[3]
However, Pashukanis, like Nikolai Krylenko and others, was 
denounced as part of a band of enemies by Andrey Vyshinsky, the Prosecutor 
General of the USSR and mastermind of Stalin's Great Purge. The philosopher
 Pyotr Yudin was also active in attacking Pashukanis. In 1937, Pashukanis was 
arrested and Vyshinsky replaced him at the Institute of Soviet Construction and 
Law.
 Alfred Krishianovich Stalgevich, a longtime critic of Pashukanis, took over 
his courses at the Moscow Juridical Institute.[4]
Pashukanis, after publishing many 'self-criticisms', was eventually 
denounced as a trotskyite saboteur in 1937, and executed.[5]
[edit] Notes

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Black History Month 2009 Change and continuity 6/end

2009-02-28 Thread Charles Brown
Waistline2
Obama as a uniter is an interesting Marxist approach.


^
CB: Marxist as in
Workers of all nations and races , unite ! 

^

 Perhaps if all of  us 
was raised by a white parent and white grandparents, we too would be  
uniters. 

^
CB: Makes sense. It would engender
 need for unity on a personal 
level for peace of
mind. His mother
seems to have taught him Black
history type respect for Black people.
He seems to have somewhat consciously
constructed a Black identity of high integrity.
Going to the hood to live, like an anthropologist
joining his own culture.
Now he's an interesting character.
To coin a phrase, he seems to
be in the Presidential world , but not of it.
Somehow he comes across as
confident in the sense of not worried,
in the face of an extraordinary mess
but not arrogant and not aloof. Engaged
with horrific crises, but not scared
and  not in the bliss of ignorance.
I'm like more power to ya, Barry.
So far, so good.

^^^

Why not just read his book - Dreams from my father?

^
CB: I did.

^

 And then describe how  
being raised, during his formative years, where he was raised mirror the life 
of  blacks in American Northern or Southern cities and country side. I do not 
write  Obama is an immigrant. His story - meaning the story that he tells, and 
to a  large degree the live he has lived, is that of the story of the 
immigrant and  their first generation offspring. 

^
CB:  Maybe sort of half, but the other
half is pretty American native. I will say that
he's sort of like a brother from
another planet. More like an
immigrant from ancient Egypt 
or something, somekind of higher
civilization than America.
His mother was an anthropologist,
and he lived in Indonesia for a while,
which might give him some ability
to view American culture objectively
like an immigrant,
but his grandfather was a traveling salesman
and his grandmother worked in a bank, real
regular Americans from Kansas

He's _sui generis_, a phenomon, breaking through
a new quantitative boundry in personality type.
He's got a lot of character, and, well../\. intelligence
social intelligence and abstract intelligence.



If you disagree with an interpretation why not simply state something to  the 
effect that my interpretation is unless you are saying what Obama means is  
I was raised by one white parent and white grandparents and therefore I am a 
uniter, with the small physiological disposition of the descendants of  
Southern slavery. Without question he is African American, but that does not  
really tell much.   


CB: See above

Uniter! 

Trust me on the following: Obama is CEO for the capitalist class. 

WL. 

^^
CB: So were Lincoln and FDR.
From my observations, that's
dogmatic ,formulaic thinking ,and
in this situation, there  keep arising
more indications that
something new is going on here. Need to
try to think dialectically on this one. Again
the first indicator is getting all those
White people to vote for him. That's
breaking a quantitative barrier. Then 
his first month as Pres is realistic , but making
some changes that are possible
in this context
, despite all
the left haters say. I could list
the actions , but I'm not going
to exert myself for the
haters. Fuck em. 

The big crisis/problem is
Afghanistan, and ,of course
Palestine He's going
to have to be Houdini on that.
I can't see how he'll do it. Unless
he just pretty soon , after this 
assessment he can get something like
broker both a treaty with Hamas 
and a treaty with  the 
Taliban et al not to
facilitate, and to hinder any
attack on the US by the bin
Laden group.  I don't know
how he gets out of the obligation
to capture bin Laden, 





 Barack Obama wonderful book, Dreams from My Father, is the  immigrant  
story, a black immigrant, rather than the history of the  Negro People, and 
his  
acute awareness of this living history accounts  for his unique and 
individual  
ability to cross the color line. When  Obama writes, My identity might begin 

with the fact of my race, but  it didn’t, couldn’t, end there, what is 
meant is 
that my identity is not  defined on the basis of the color factor in American 
history. 

The words of Obama reveals why no self respecting Marxist, born and  reared  
as part of the baby boomers, can deploy the concept race,  other than the 
petty  bourgeois intellectuals unable to fully digest  dialectics without 
opportunist  sauce.  

^
CB:  Obama's words don't mean that. Unlike most
Black  people he was raised by White parents
and grandparents. This gave him an  unusual 
ability to understand both aspects of his 
Duboisian double  consciousness. It allows
him to be a uniter, not a divider.

Obama is not an immigrant. He had little contact
with his immigrant  father. He was raised by
US natives


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:

[Marxism-Thaxis] Massacre of Chilean students in Florida panhandle

2009-02-28 Thread Charles Brown
[Marxism] Massacre of Chilean students in Florida panhandle

* Subject: [Marxism] Massacre of Chilean students in Florida panhandle 
* From: Joaquin Bustelo jbust...@gmail.com 
* I guess xenophobic murder is becoming so common in the United States it's
become a dog-bites-man non-story -- at least for the Anglo press.

This time the victims were Chilean students
 participating in a work-study
program and staying at the Florida panhandle seaside town of Miramar Beach.
They were having a social when someone
 opened up on the people inside house
through a window. 

Two were killed, three more injured, one remained in critical condition
according to the most recent information. 

The perp was one Dannie Baker, a white 
60-year-old Bush-Cheney volunteer in
the 2004 election campaign who also appears to have been active in religious
affairs. 

It took place 48 hours ago as I write this, 
shortly before 2AM Thursday
morning, but the first report in the U.S. outside local media came out early
Friday morning, and that only on Spanish 
language TV. At that point there
are exactly eight stories on the event on the web in English that Google
News knew about, but only three appeared 
to be original reporting, the
others are rewrites. 

There are now 8 more articles in English, pretty much all updates by the
same news outlets.

If you look at the web site stories on the case, 
you will see how gingerly
they dance around the motive. The perp is described as having written
radical and disturbing emails, being eccentric, 
and various other things.
But only if you read to the very end of one dispatch (or watch the video) do
you get some clear idea of what went down:

Neighbor Crystal Lynn says 'he did come up
 to me one time and asked me if I
was ready for the revolution to begin and if I had any immigrant in my house
to get them out, channel 7 WJHG reported.

By contrast, a Google News search in Spanish 
(news.google.es) reveals a
couple of hundred articles, including coverage by various news agencies,
AFP, Notimex and Prensa Latina among them. 
There are articles in Spanish
language newspapers from LA to Tierra del Fuego and from New York to
Patagonia in Argentina. And unlike the English stories, most had no problem
describing what happened *accurately* -- a
 murderous attack on Latinos by an
Anglo (American.) Nor placing it in context, explaining this was one MORE
in a series of murders and other attacks on
 Latinos that have taken place
recently in the United States.

Most striking to me is that the U.S. outlet
 that has had the most coverage
has been CNN's Spanish-language network, but I can find no trace of CNN's
main domestic (English-language) network
 or web site having even mentioned
the story. Similarly, El Herald had a substantial story, the
English-language Miami Herald ignores the story.

Joaquin

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] John Bellamy Foster interview on the financial crisis

2009-02-28 Thread Charles Brown


http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/foster270209.html

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Black History Month 2009 Change and continuity: The election of Barack Obama 1

2009-02-27 Thread Charles Brown
Ralph:Yes, this is a crossroads . . . a conjuncture of the election of the 
first black president and a major crisis of capitalism. Those two facts are 
interdependent, interrelated, and quite important, but I've yet to see an 
insightful elucidation of the nature of that importance.  Decisive in this is 
not the election of a black president, but the fact that Cracker America, 
almost half of the white electorate, voted for McCain and is out for Obama's 
blood. I saw a documentary last night on HBO: Right America: Feeling Wronged: 
a survey of white Americans who hate Obama. These aren't just white people, 
these are the whitest people you ever saw, the redneck kind that make your 
blood run cold. The kind not shy about telling you what they think about 
niggers. Granted, they are dinosaurs, and hopefully they will die out soon, but 
not soon enough.  Now the question is: how will Cracker America react to 
'socialist' Obama's handling of the economic crisis?  

^^

CB; The racists are a danger, but the important
factor in this election is the great mass ofWhite Americans who voted _for_ 
Obama.That's what is new. The racists 
have alwaysbeen here.  This election was a point of tipping from the racists' 
majority to an anti-racist majority 
of the electorate. The racists are a danger. This is a crossroads, a crisis for 
the American system with, of course,
 danger and opportunity, massesof Whites with new thinking and openness. Which 
side are you on ?
 


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Black History Month 2009 Change and continuity: The election of Barack Obama 1

2009-02-27 Thread Charles Brown
Now that American society is undergoing a profound revolution in the   
society machinery

^^^
CB: What is the evidence and argument 
that _society_ is going through
a profound revolution in machinery ?
What characteristics of today's
new  machinery make the revolution
_profound_ in comparison with the
revolutions in machinery in the
last 100 years ?

Why is American society undergoing
this and not the whole world ?
If it is the whole world
then why not say the whole
world ?

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Black History Month 2009 Change and continuity: 4

2009-02-27 Thread Charles Brown
 The most noteworthy aspect of taking the high road is that Obama can appear, 
and probably believes he is, 
totally nonpartisan, bipartisan, or whatever,


CB: Well isn't he ? That's basically
what you say here.

 all along being forced to take more liberal or social democratic measures to 
correct the heinous state of affairs 
he has bequeathed.  A shift in the overall political direction of the country 
won't depend on him, but if 
popular pressure forces him to move to the left, he would do so.

^^
CB: Which is what he says. Changes comes from
the bottom up.


  And that's the only way any president 
gets anything done, whether it be Lincoln, FDR, or LBJ, the only presidents 
good for anything since the 
Founding Fathers.



___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Definition of symbolic

2009-02-27 Thread Charles Brown
Another crucial element is that human language is symbolic: the sound of words 
(or their shape, when written) bear no relation to what they represent.[64] In 
other words, their meaning is arbitrary. That words have meaning is a matter of 
convention.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture#Biological_Anthropology:_the_Evolution_of_Culture



Linguists Charles Hockett and R. Ascher have identified thirten design-features 
of language, some shared by other forms of animal connunication. One feature 
that distinguishes human language is its tremendous productivity; in other 
words, competent speakers of a language are capable of producing an infinite 
number of original utterances. This productivity seems to be made possible by a 
few critical features unique to human language. One is “duality of patterning,” 
meaning that human language consists of the articulation of several distinct 
processes, each with its own set of rules: combining phonemes to produce 
morphemes, combining morphemes to produce words, and combining words to produce 
sentences. This means that a person can master a relatively limited number of 
signals and sets of rules, to create infinite combinations. Another crucial 
element is that human language is symbolic: the sound of words (or their shape, 
when written) bear no relation
 to what they represent.[64] In other words, their meaning is arbitrary. That 
words have meaning is a matter of convention. Since the meaning of words are 
arbitrary, any word may have several meanings, and any object may be referred 
to using a variety of words; the actual word used to describe a particular 
object depends on the context, the intention of the speaker, and the ability of 
the listener to judge these appropriately. As Tomasello notes,






___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Black History Month 2009 Change and continuity: 4

2009-02-27 Thread Charles Brown
The huge mass that was once dubbed the reserve army of labor, was called  
such precisely because it was a reserve to be thrown into the battle for  
production during peak period of production. No level of production and  
consumption 
today can throw this huge mass of labor into the production process,  because 
of what Marx called the progress of industry. This mass of labor has  been 
rendered superfluous to the production of capital as an expanded value in  the 
absolute sense.  Here is the 800 lb. gorilla in the living room many  deny 
exist, with other claiming it is not really a gorilla at all. From reserve  
army 
to a permanent caste of proletarians shut out the civic society of the  
bourgeoisie.

^^

CB: True. But there never is a time when
there hasn't been mass unemployment,
even in the boom phase of cycles. Bourgeois
economics defines fullemployment as
4% unemployment. Maybe the  lowest
percentage will get bigger under your
analysis

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Black History Month 2009 Change and continuity: 6/end

2009-02-27 Thread Charles Brown
Barack Obama wonderful book, Dreams from My Father, is the immigrant  
story, a black immigrant, rather than the history of the Negro People, and his  
acute awareness of this living history accounts for his unique and individual  
ability to cross the color line. When Obama writes, My identity might begin  
with the fact of my race, but it didn’t, couldn’t, end there, what is meant is 
that my identity is not defined on the basis of the color factor in American 
history. 

The words of Obama reveals why no self respecting Marxist, born and reared  
as part of the baby boomers, can deploy the concept race, other than the 
petty  bourgeois intellectuals unable to fully digest dialectics without 
opportunist  sauce.

^
CB:  Obama's words don't mean that. Unlike most
Black people he was raised by White parents
and grandparents. This gave him an unusual 
ability to understand both aspects of his 
Duboisian double consciousness. It allows
him to be a uniter, not a divider.

Obama is not an immigrant. He had little contact
with his immigrant father. He was raised by
US natives

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Forward from Rosa Lichtenstein

2009-02-26 Thread Charles Brown
This article does not raise the
issue of symbols. It turns on
imitative learning. But my
anaylsis assumes that animals
can imitate - monkey see, monkey do.
It is symboling that they can't do.
They can't understand the concept
of representation; or at least
not abstractly enough to do
it tens of thousands of times
readily. A chimp can learn to sssoicate
 a limited number of words
with their referants. Even a 
dog can learn to associate a few
words with referents. It's name,
commands like sit , rollover.
fetch. but they don't seem
to be able to generalize to the
concept of word enough to build
the giant vocabularies that 
humans readily achieve. sit, rollover
fetch etc. are built up through
conditioned learning links between
words and behaviors

CJ can help me to elaborate on
the characteristics of full
language

http://animals.howstuffworks.com/animal-facts/animal-culture-info.htm

On a grassy slope above the shore of Lake Tanganyika
 in the east African nation of Tanzania, two male chimpanzees spot a hole in 
the ground, into which a long column of ants is 
marching. The chimps pause for a moment beneath the light drizzle of an early 
morning rain and then amble to the hole—the 
entrance to the ants' nest—for a closer inspection. The chimpanzees, lifetime 
residents of Tanzania's Gombe Stream 
National Park, expertly select several long sticks and sit down beside the 
nest. Slowly, each of them extends a stick into
 the hole and watches as some of the ants swarm up the probe. As soon as either 
of the chimps gauges that the lower half 
of the stick has become covered with ants, he extracts it from the nest. He 
then quickly gathers the tasty insects from the stick with his free hand and 
pops them into his mouth.

Across the continent in the Tai Forest of 
western Africa's Ivory Coast, two other male chimps have also discovered a nest 
of ants. They each find a suitable tool—a 
short stick, rather than the long probes favored by the Gombe chimps-and begin 
dipping it into the nest entrance to 
fish for a meal. After the ants guarding the nest climb up the sticks, the 
chimps sweep the sticks directly across their
 smacking lips and, without using their hands, draw the ants into their mouths.

At the same time that the chimps are enjoying their morning snacks, two other 
mealtime rituals are being played 
out by other primates (the order of mammals that includes humans, apes, and 
monkeys) far to the west. In St. Louis,
 Missouri, two human families—one whose ancestors came from Asia and the other 
whose forebears originated in Europe—sit 
down to dinner at separate tables in a Chinese restaurant. Both families order 
their favorite dish of spicy orange 
chicken. When the food is served, the Asian family begins eating its meal with 
chopsticks, while the other family picks up forks.

Since the dish could be eaten with either 
chopsticks or forks, the preference for one type of utensil over another is 
simply a reflection of cultural differences
 between the two families. There's nothing unusual about that. But what about 
the differences in the ways the Gombe 
and Tai chimpanzees perform ant fishing? Could those individual preferences 
also reflect differences in 
culture? Since all of the chimps are of the same species, it is unlikely that 
genetic differences could account for 
the variations in behavior. Thus, the different approaches to a similar task, 
ant fishing, are likely to be learned 
behaviors within the Gombe and Tai social groups. That means that knowledge may 
have been passed from one chimp to another. In other words, the chimps seem to 
be exhibiting behavior that 
could be called culture.

Social scientists have long maintained, however,
 that only humans are capable of possessing culture. Are they wrong? Do 
chimpanzees—and perhaps even other animals, 
such as monkeys, whales, and birds—also possess a form of culture? Many 
scientists in 2000 believed that the answer to that question is yes. But others 
insisted that culture is a purely human 
phenomenon.
What Do Scientists Mean By “culture?”
Scientists have debated whether animals have 
culture at least since the late 1800's, when the British physiologist and 
psychologist George Romanes proposed that 

some animals display behaviors that indicate a high degree of intelligence and 
an ability to learn. Other scientists,
 however, disagreed with this conclusion, believing that animal behavior is 
hard-wired in the brain. Over the years,
 scientists on both sides of the issue divided themselves into two camps, the 
culturalists and the anticulturalists. 
The culturalists contend that animals are a lot smarter and more adaptable than 
most people think. The anticulturalists argue that animals, regardless of their 
intelligence, are incapable of culture.

Central to this debate is defining what 
exactly is meant by culture. One requirement for culture that is accepted by 
scientists on both sides of the issue 
is imitation, or learning 

[Marxism-Thaxis] Symbols as unique in human learning (was Forward from Rosa Lichtenstein)

2009-02-26 Thread Charles Brown
This subsection of the
wikipedia article on
culture, brings in
the concept of symbols
as a distinguishing 
characteristic of human
culture.

This author distinguishes
imitative from emulative

Using imitative differently
than I have been using it.
Emulative would be monkey see, monkey do.

The kind of learning characteristic of human 
children is “Imitative learning,” which “means reproducing an instrumental act 
understood intentionally.”[38] Human 
infants begin to display some evidence of this form of learning between the 
ages of nine and twelve months, when infants
 fix their attention not only on an object, but on the gaze of an adult which 
enables them to use adults as points of reference and thus “act on objects in 
the way adults are acting on them.”
 [39] This dynamic is well-documented and has also been termed “joint 
engagement” or “joint attention.”[40][41] 
Essential to this dynamic is the infants growing
 capacity to recognize others as “intentional agents:” people “with the power 
to control their spontaneous behavior” and who 
“have goals and make active choices among behavioral means for attaining those 
goals.”[42]


Culture is “the 
imposition of arbitrary form upon the environment.”


CB: The following is what I
try to get at when I say
with a symbol something is represented
by something that it is not. There
is an arbitrary relation between
the sign and the signified:

“In the preparation of the stick for termite-eating, the relation between 
product and raw material is 
iconic. In the making of a stone tool, in contrast, there is no necessary 
relation between the form of the final product and the original material.”[60]


CB

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture#Biological_Anthropology:_the_Evolution_of_Culture

Biological Anthropology: the Evolution of Culture
 
The taxonomic relationships of Hominoidea

Discussion concerning culture among biological
 anthropologists centers around two debates. First, is culture uniquely human 
or shared by other species (most notably, 
other primates)? This is an important question, as the theory of evolution 
holds that humans are descended from non-humans. 
Second, how did culture evolve among human beings?

Gerald Weiss noted that although Tylor’s 
classic definition of culture was restricted to humans, many anthropologists 
take this for granted 
and thus elide that important qualification from later definitions, merely 
equating culture with any learned behavior. 
This slippage is a problem because during the formative years of modern 
primatology, some primatologists were 
trained in anthropology (and understood that culture refers to learned behavior 
among humans), and others were 
not. Notable non-anthropologists, like Robert Yerkes and Jane Goodall thus 
argued that since chimpanzees have learned
 behaviors, they have culture.[10][11] Today, anthropological primatologists 
are divided, several arguing 
that non-human primates have culture, others arguing that they do 
not.[12][13][14][15]

This scientific debate is complicated by ethical 
concerns. The subjects of primatology are non-human primates, and whatever 
culture these primates have is threatened
 by human activity. After reviewing the research on primate culture, W.C. 
McGrew concluded, [a] discipline requires 
subjects, and most species of nonhuman primates are endangered by their human 
cousins. Ultimately, whatever its merit,
 cultural primatology must be committed to cultural survival [i.e. to the 
survival of primate cultures].[16]

McGrew suggests a definition of culture that
 he finds scientifically useful for studying primate culture. He points out 
that scientists do not have access to the 
subjective thoughts or knowledge of non-human primates. Thus, if culture is 
defined in terms of knowledge, then scientists
 are severely limited in their attempts to study primate culture. Instead of 
defining culture as a kind of knowledge, 
McGrew suggests that we view culture as a process. He lists six steps in the 
process:

A new pattern of behavior is invented, or
 an existing one is modified. 
The innovator transmits this pattern to another. 
The form of the pattern is consistent within 
and across performers, perhaps even in terms 
of recognizable stylistic features. 
The one who acquires the pattern retains the ability to perform it long after 
having acquired it. 
The pattern spreads across social units
 in a population. These social units may be families, clans, troops, or bands. 
The pattern endures across generations.[17] 
McGrew admits that all six criteria may be 
strict, given the difficulties in observing primate behavior in the wild. But 
he also insists on the need to be 
as inclusive as possible, on the need for a definition of culture that casts 
the net widely:

Culture is considered to be group-specific
 behavior that is acquired, at least in part, from social influences. Here, 
group is considered to be the 
species-typical unit, whether it be a troop, 

[Marxism-Thaxis] Putting The Social Back Into Language : Marx, Vološinov and Vygotsky reexamined

2009-02-26 Thread Charles Brown
Putting The Social Back Into Language: Marx, Vološinov and Vygotsky reexamined

Marnie Holborow
Dublin City University

Studies in Language  Capitalism
1, 2006: 1 – 28

[Studies in Language  Capitalism is a peer-reviewed online journal
that seeks to promote and freely distribute interdisciplinary critical
inquiries into the language and meaning of contemporary capitalism and
the links between economic, social and linguistic change in the world
around us.
http://languageandcapitalism.info ]

Abstract:

Language as autonomous system, cut free of the social world, is seeing
a revival through the
popularity of genetic explanations about the origins of language. It
is therefore timely to reassess the
input of society into language. This article seeks to do this through
a reexamination of the writings of
Marx on the subject of language and consciousness. Within this
framework, it then examines the
contribution of the Russian linguist, Vološinov who took Marx’s
initial insights further and developed a
rounded social theory of language which included the interplay between
language and ideology and
the making of language through social relations. Finally, the article
briefly examines the contribution of
another early twentieth century Russian Marxist, Vygotsky, who
identified linguistic signs as the social
tools of communication. The article makes the claim that these
interpretations of the social nature of
language are necessary to account for the dynamic and unpredictable
nature of language.



___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Symbols as unique in human learning (was Forward from Rosa Lichtenstein)

2009-02-26 Thread Charles Brown

In this famous passage, Marx
distinguishes human labor from
that of animals by the existence
of imagination, plan and purpose.
This fits with the very interesting
wikipedia article on culture, which
claims that human children's learning
in imitation of adults is focused
on learning the intent and mental purpose
of the adult, in contrast with
chimp children who focus on the
objective activities of the adult
they imitate. 

If Marx is correct about the 
the uniqueness of imagination
and mental purpose in the human
labor process, this supports the
idea that that process is mediated
by symbols unlike animal labor
processes.

Charles

^


We pre-suppose labour in a form that stamps it as exclusively human. A spider 
conducts operations that resemble those of a weaver, and a bee puts to shame 
many an architect in the construction of her cells. But what distinguishes the 
worst architect from the best of bees is this, that the architect raises his 
structure in imagination before he erects it in reality. At the end of every 
labour-process, we get a result that already existed in the imagination of the 
labourer at its commencement. He not only effects a change of form in the 
material on which he works, but he also realises a purpose of his own that 
gives the law to his modus operandi, and to which he must subordinate his will. 
And this subordination is no mere momentary act. Besides the exertion of the 
bodily organs, the process demands that, during the whole operation, the 
workman’s will be steadily in consonance with his purpose. This means close 
attention. The less he is attracted by the
 nature of the work, and the mode in which it is carried on, and the less, 
therefore, he enjoys it as something which gives play to his bodily and mental 
powers, the more close his attention is forced to be.


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Forward from Rosa Lichtenstein

2009-02-25 Thread Charles Brown
CB: On your comments below, notice
I said language and culture. Material culture
might be thought of as the products
of gestures. In my hypothesis , the
nature of symbols as the use of 
something to represent something it is
not is critical. The critical communication
is not between living humans, except that
between adults and children, but the communication
between living and dead generations.
More specifically I am thinking symbols
allow the dead generation to teach the
living generation ( or the living generation
to teach the unborn generations) in a way that
teaching through imitation cannot occur.
Birds and monkeys and humans can learn by imitation -
monkey see, monkey do. But only humans can
through symbols, whether speech, gestures
or material cultural items. Symbols can cross
the boundary between the living and the dead
( in a non-mystical sense), in a way that
 imitations cannot. Why ? Because the dead are
no longer present themselves to be imitated. But
if the dead are represented, if the experineces
of the dead are represented by something that
is not the dead, by a symbol, then the something
that is not the dead , that is not dead, can
get across the death barrier.

Language actually is the most efficient of
these death barrier crossers. However,
language need not be _spoken_, it can
be gestures, i.e. sign language. Or it
could be a form of written, but non-
alphabetical language, as in abstract use
 of material objects as the symbolic 
elements, tokens. Anyway, my hypothesis
suggest spoken or sign language had to
be very early at the origin of our
species, because, story tellikng would
be the most effective death barrier 
crosser.

This is why I think Rosa's opposition
between representation and communication
can be happily resolved at the origin
of language and human thinking, because
originally language was representational
or symbolic in order to be communicative
across generations, between dead and 
living.


CeJ jannuzi 
Interesting that Rosa should mention
Lamarckianism in this context, as
I have argued that culture and
language give humans a Lamarckian-like
adaptive mechanism. Culture and language
, symboling, allow inheritance of
acquired, extra-somatic , characteristics.

I think that would be a genetic mutation, except a genetic mutation
really only seems to transcend soma, and doesn't actually (Lamarck and
Lysenko weren't completely wrong).

The ability to gesture complexly emerged from our biology and brain
capacity, and this ability to systematize, embed meaning and
communicate symbolically then colonized our well-developed phonetic
abilities (we could chatter like the birds and then we learned to
communicate). Instead of asking what separates us from the apes, we
ought to ask what separates us from a mockingbird or parrot?
Corballis's fascinating book could have been made better had he
collaborated with an articulatory phonologist, like someone at Haskins
Laboratory.




Michael Corballis is a psychologist with a strong interest in
lateralization, handedness, and the origins of language. In this book,
he puts these interests together with a solid and comprehensive survey
of other background material relevant to the origins of language. The
book also pushes Corballis' own specific hypothesis, that human
languages were implemented mainly in manual gestures until about
50,000 years ago, at which point largely vocal language took over as
an invented cultural innovation. This is an argument about the medium
in which linguistic messages were expressed.

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Did the Soviet state whither away ?

2009-02-23 Thread Charles Brown

Ralph Dumain  


Total idiocy, delusional nonsense, senseless gibberish, from first 
word to last.


CB: This is wishful  and lazy thinking
a childish , whining critique, because
you can't make a good argument. You are
stumped, trumped and checkmated. Pitiful 
really. You should be embarassed.

^^ 



___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Forward from Rosa Lichtenstein

2009-02-23 Thread Charles Brown

Interesting that Rosa should mention 
Lamarckianism in this context, as
I have argued that culture and
language give humans a Lamarckian-like
adaptive mechanism. Culture and language
, symboling, allow inheritance of 
acquired, extra-somatic , characteristics.

CB

The 'Lamarckian' Origin Of Speech

 

On a related topic, despite the fact that most of what Parrington and Holborow 
say undermines the role that language plays in communication -- reinforcing the 
view that language serves to 'represent' things to us in our heads (even if 
this process is filtered through our own idiosyncrasies, social situations, 
prevailing ideologies, etc., etc.) --, they appear to believe that human beings 
developed language because of a need to communicate. This is how Holborow 
puts it:

 

The genesis of language is in human labour…. Communication is not therefore 
just one of the functions of language; on the contrary, language presupposes 
both logically and de facto the interaction among people. Language only arises 
from the need to communicate with other humans. It is quintessentially social. 
[Holborow (1999), p.20.]

 

Parrington clearly concurs:

 

Crucially labour…developed within a co-operative and social context. It was 
this that led, through the need to communicate while engaging in co-operative 
labour, to the rise of the second specifically human attribute -- language. 
[Parrington (1997), p.122.]88

 

While I do not wish to question the role that co-operative labour has played in 
the development of language and thought (quite the opposite, in fact), several 
other aspects of the above quotations seem highly dubious, especially the idea 
that human beings invented language because of a need to communicate. To be 
sure, we use language to communicate, but the claim that this arose because of 
a specific need to do so is highly questionable -- except, that is, for 
Lamarckians.

 

Of course, the word need is ambiguous itself. We use it in a variety of 
different ways. Consider just a few of these:

 

N1: That cake needs more sugar.

 

N2: This strike needs widening.

 

N3: Car owners need to put oil in their engines.

 

N4: We need a pay rise.

 

N5: The giraffe needs a long neck to browse tall trees.

 

N6: That drunk needs to go home.

 

N7: Plants need water.

 

N8: The state needs to be smashed and the ruling class needs overthrowing.

 

N9: Tony Blair and George W Bush need prosecuting as war criminals.

 

N10: Comrades need to shout louder on paper sales.89

 

Precisely which of the above senses of need these two comrades were using is 
unclear -- several of them relate to what can only be called felt needs, or 
conscious needs (e.g., N4, and possibly N2), expressed perhaps as part of an 
agent's aims, goals or intentions. Others refer to the causal concomitants or 
prerequisites of a flourishing organism, successful revolution, strike, 
comeuppance for Bush and Blair, paper sales or well-run engines -- all of which 
are largely, if not totally, unfelt. Some of course, cannot be felt.

 

Nevertheless, it is patently obvious that human beings could not have invented 
language as a result of a felt need to communicate (unless, that is, we 
assume they could think before they had developed language -- which would 
naturally imply that thought is not a social phenomenon, dependent on 
collective labour), since such a need would presuppose the very thing it was 
aimed at explaining. The idea that this type of necessity mothered that sort of 
invention would imply that the first human beings to talk had earlier formed 
the thought: I/We need to communicate (or something equivalent in their 
proto-language). Clearly, such a felt need to communicate could only be 
expressed if language already existed. On the other hand, if the thought (or 
its equivalent) that supposedly  motivated the need to communicate was not in 
fact linguistic, then little content can be given to the notion that human 
beings once possessed such a need without being able to
 give voice to it. Indeed, how would it be possible to form the thought We 
need to communicate if the individual or individuals concerned had no idea 
(yet) what communication was. That would be like saying that we can (now) form 
the thought We need to schmunicate when none of has a clue what schmunicate 
means. [In fact, it is worse, since we are already sophisticated language 
users.]

 

It could be objected to this that such a need could be a biological one 
(analogous to that expressed, say, in N5). However, there are two problems with 
this response. First, reference to the biological needs of organisms to explain 
the origin of adaptation is Lamarckian, not Darwinian. Secondly, and far worse, 
this alternative in fact completely undermines the view that language is a 
social phenomenon.89a


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe 

[Marxism-Thaxis] Did the Soviet state whither away ?

2009-02-23 Thread Charles Brown
CB, you a damn lawyer, why do I have to write this and continuously explain  
the most elementary understanding of the Marxist approach to the state!!!

^^^
Waistline, I'm willing to discuss this with you
but , you know, _on the surface_ at least, your
discussion doesn't have the appearance of 
a clear understanding of what you are
explaining. I'm willing to give you
the benefit of a doubt , that you have
some significant understanding from
your many years of study and direct
experience with capitalism from the
standpoint of a socialist conscious proletarian.
But you've got to give some consideration to my
many years of experience as a predominantly
mental laborer, writer, etc. Yea, I am
a lawyer, and a long time student of
materialism, so that means I got some
good understanding of the state from
Marx, Engels and Lenin's point of view.
Lenin's fundamental discussion of the state
relies especially upon Engels' anthropological
book _The Origin of the Family, Private Property
and the State_. I'm a lawyer, and
a student of anthropology and Marxist political
economy and materialism. 
It was _The State
and Revolution_ that was important in bringing me to Marxism.
Lenin was a lawyer, etc., etc.

So, what is it that you want to
explain to me about the state ?
And remember. You better come
correct.

Perhaps we should serialize _The State
and Revolution_. 

Actually, I'm thinking
these days the issues Lenin emphasizes in
that book, non-electoral path to socialism
are significantly turned into their 
opposite in our concrete circumstance.
We might study _The State and Revolution_
to negate its thesis.
The Dictatorship of the Proletariat 
is not the path for the U.S.
It is _Imperialism_ and _Leftwing Communism_
that are most pertinent to our right here,
right now The US state is too loaded for
bear, including nukes, and the US population
is too stupified with anti-Communism from
the Cold War travesty/tragedy to build toward
insurrection or a direct assault to
take the state power. The US cannot be confronted
into socialism. It will take a backdoor , 
bourgeois self-negating route. The capitalists will
have to be allowed (as if we had a choice, and
can stop them , smile) to take capitalism to
such an extreme such that it turns into
its opposite, on its own. In other words,
the super dictatorship of the bourgeoisie/finance capitalists
( and it is important always to discuss the
dictatorship of the bourgeoisie when discussing
the dictatorship of the proletariat)
will self-negate, turn into its opposite.
Rather than the capitalists selling us
the rope with which we hang them, we give
them enough rope to hand themselves.
We are seeing that now, as super imperialism
is imploding. Amazingly, it is bourgeois
and capitalist journalists , economist
intellectuals and high bureaucrats
 who see we are all socialists
now, want nationalization of the financial
monopolies, see Marx as rising from the
dead and call on him to save themselves
from themselves, redbait themselves, almost
begging for socialism. 
The bourgeois bureaucracy is in a mood
for suicide, expropriating itself.

Marx in The Historical Tendency of the
Capitalist Mode of Production chapter
of _Capital_ , and _Imperialism_ note
how the monopoly-centralization-one capitalist
kills many of capitalism is preparation for
socialism. 

Emphaisis on discussion of the government function of the
state is part of the anti-thesis of
that of _The State and Revolution_. Rather
than elections only being a measure of the
maturity of the working class, they are
where its at for, including going into
the Democratic Party, that most despised
proposition on the childish Left. That's
a main lesson of the Obama tactic.

More later


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Did the Soviet state whither away ?

2009-02-23 Thread Charles Brown



--- On Mon, 2/23/09, Phil Walden 
 Date: Monday, February 23, 2009, 7:26 PM
 Phil Walden: It was a bourgeois state because it was part of
 a world system
 of bourgeois relations - all states extracting a surplus
 from their
 populations.  Thus the Soviet Union could not have been
 some form of workers
 state.  But it wasn't capitalist because the surplus
 extracted in the Soviet
 Union was not surplus value.

^^^
CB: Extracting surplus use-values ? I don't
know if you are analyzing this based on
the Marxist classics, but I believe
that they contemplate that there are
still surpluses generated during socialism,
but that these are used to provide for
social welfare funds for the eldersly,
children, childcare, sick,intellectual
workers, soldiers, etc.

^


 
 CB: Why use the term bourgeois if it wasn't
 
 form of capitalism ?
 
 
 -Original Message-
 From: marxism-thaxis-boun...@lists.econ.utah.edu
 [mailto:marxism-thaxis-boun...@lists.econ.utah.edu] On
 Behalf Of Charles
 Brown
 Sent: 23 February 2009 14:06
 To: marxism-thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
 Subject: [Marxism-Thaxis] Did the Soviet state whither away
 ?
 
 
 
 Phil Walden 
 I would agree with Jim F that present day Russia is some
 form of state
 capitalism.
 
 On the nature of the former Soviet Union I think it was
 none of the
 alternatives offered by Jim (and by Trotskyism in the
 post-war period). It
 was a bureaucratic bourgeois state in which a surplus was
 extracted from the
 peasantry and workers but not surplus value (so it could
 not have been a
 form of capitalism). 
 
 It ceased to be a degenerated workers state when the
 possibility of a democratic opposition to Stalin within the
 CPSU based on
 Trotskyists/Bukharinists expired (1930).
 
 I had been thinking of doing work on globalisation since
 the 1970s because
 none of the Trotskyist groups seems to understand what has
 happened or its
 significance. But then I realized that I have to go even
 further back to the
 Cold War, because post-war Trotskyism tried to impose its
 own schemas onto
 it and unfortunately no group built a developed
 understanding of the Cold
 War. Adam Westoby's COMMUNISM SINCE WORLD WAR TWO is
 however a good start,
 despite faults.
 
 Phil Walden
 
 
 
 ___
 Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
 Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
 To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
 http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Review of Sokal's Beyond the Hoax

2009-02-22 Thread Charles Brown

Ralph Dumain 

I thought Proyect hated Sokal.

^
CB: I don't know about that.
I think he doesn't hold
much truck with post-modernism

^

The review is hardly brilliant but it is to the point.

I am sure Sokal got all his information about India from Meera Nanda, 
who has written numerous books and articles on the subject.

I haven't read Sokal's books, though I have always been in sympathy 
with his aims.  However, judging from the review, there comes a point 
where one ends up beating a dead horse to death.


CB: Yeah you right, comrade, but there
are probably some potential converts
to Marxism among among post-modernists
who get their heads straight. And some
young thinkers who witness the debates
may go more directly to materialism.
Understanding of truth derives from correction of error.



___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Did the Soviet state whither away ?

2009-02-21 Thread Charles Brown



--- On Sat, 2/21/09, Jim Farmelant farmela...@juno.com wrote:

 From: Jim Farmelant farmela...@juno.com

 
 The Socialist Workers Party (USA) has long been insistent
 that Russia remains a kind of workers state. 
 Their formulations
 strike me as nutty, but I think that they have stumbled on
 to
 a facet of post-Soviet life that merits further
 exploration,
 which is that many aspects of the Soviet system have
 managed
 to survive the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Indeed, given
 the recent economic downturn which has now begun to
 impact Russia, it is quite possible that we might see
 Russia
 reverting back to Soviet-style economic and social policies
 in order to maintain order.  
 
 It also seems to be the case that the same is true for
 some of the other former Warsaw Pact countries as well.
 The Czech Republic for instance has since 1989 been
 governed mostly by rightwing governments that have
 been avowedly committed to neoliberal economic
 policies, and yet I have read that much of the social
 safety net that was built up under the Communist
 regime has remained more or less in place since
 1989.  That indeed it has been the continuing
 existence of this social safety net that made it
 possible for the post-Communists governments
 to gain the acquiescence of the Czech masses
 in the creation of a market economy there.

^^
CB: It is interesting that the social
safety net remained, because as I understand
it, neo-liberalism is supposed to strip
away welfare and the social safety net.
So, perhaps the name was neoliberalism
but the facts on the ground were not so
neo-liberal.

It really will be interesting to see
what happens now if the world wide
recession/depression  batters
what ever free-market institutions
that were actually established in
Eastern Europe, Russia and the rest
of the former Soviet Union. Their
stock markets are likely to be more
fragile and limited than those in the
US and Western Europe. A crash of
neo-phyte stock markets could be
their end or lead to their permanent
limitation.  Besides the social safety
net, how far could they really go
in privatizing basic means of production
and basic necessities
industries, such as food, utilities, mass
transit, water, gas, electricity, telephone?
Those are only half private in the
US. It probably wouldn't be a very
big step to nationalize them - permanently.
The same with the banking system.

 In Eastern
Europe, and countries like Latvia,
Estonia and Lithuania with no Russian
troops there anymore, there may be
little reason to resent socialist 
organization, socialist _self_organization
and self-determination.

Perhaps socialism will come as a
negation of the negation of the
first experience of socialism.

They don't have to call it
socialism or communism Just call it
economic democracy and freedom
or social democracy or
democratic socialism.





___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Did the Soviet state whither

2009-02-21 Thread Charles Brown
What is socialism?

^
CB: Abolition of private property
in the basic means of production.
^
 
...we could start or continue our conversation having a clear and Communist 
understanding of socialism in this particular moment.  What do you think?  Let 
me know if you are interested so we could base our discussion on the soviet 
experience on  solid ground...materialist ground...for example: under which 
conditions the State whiter away?  Were those conditions given in 1917?  Are 
there historical evidence of the existence of communist minorities 
interpretations of that particular moment of human history?  Why events had 
developed the way they did?  Let me know if we could deepen our debate on 
different grounds...

^^^
CB: Tell us what  different grounds.



___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Did the Soviet state whither away ?

2009-02-21 Thread Charles Brown



--- On Sun, 2/22/09, Jim Farmelant  wrote:
 
 Well in Russia the state renationalized most
 of the energy industry several years ago.
 Putin, as president, went a long way towards
 reestablishing the leading role of the state in
 the management of Russia's economy.  The
 state is a major stockholder in many of
 Russia's largest companies.  One of Putin's
 big achievements was to rein in the oligarchs
 who had taken control of much of Russia's
 economy under Yeltsin.
 
 All this course takes us back to a lot
 of the old debates over the nature of
 the former Soviet Union:  was it socialist?
 was it state capitalist?  a degenerate workers
 state?  a bureacratic collectivism?
 
 And to those old debates we can now
 can add debates over the nature of contemporary
 post-Soviet Russia.  The post-Soviet regimes
 of Yeltsin and Putin had the avowed aim of
 restoring capitalism, but it seems that the
 reality there is perhaps more complex.
 They never could entirely obliterate Soviet-era
 institutions and practices, and now, I suspect,
 that the current world economic practice may
 force the current government of Medvedev
 and Putin to revive many of the old Soviet policies.
 I suppose that we might characterize the
 current Russian economy as a kind of
 state capitalism with some socialist characteristics.
 
 Jim F.


CB: The overall historical process
might be zig-zagging toward
socialism, rather than moving
in a straight line. One step forward
two steps backward...one step right
two and a half steps to the left.
You do the hokey pokey and you
turn yourself around. That's 
what it's all about.
 


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Did the Soviet state whither away ?

2009-02-21 Thread Charles Brown
Also, notice the Soviet state did not
kill a lot of people when it went away.
That's another characteristic
of the process that fits the term
whither. Away not with a bang
but a whimper.


CB


--- On Sun, 2/22/09, Jim Farmelant farmela...@juno.com wrote:

 From: Jim Farmelant farmela...@juno.com
 Subject: Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] Did the Soviet state whither away ?
 To: cdb1...@prodigy.net, marxism-thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
 Cc: marxism-thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
 Date: Sunday, February 22, 2009, 12:53 AM
 On Sat, 21 Feb 2009 16:35:43 -0800 (PST) Charles Brown
 cdb1...@prodigy.net writes:
  
  
  
  --- On Sat, 2/21/09, Jim Farmelant
 farmela...@juno.com wrote:
  
   From: Jim Farmelant farmela...@juno.com
  
   
   The Socialist Workers Party (USA) has long been
 insistent
   that Russia remains a kind of workers
 state. 
   Their formulations
   strike me as nutty, but I think that they have
 stumbled on
   to
   a facet of post-Soviet life that merits further
   exploration,
   which is that many aspects of the Soviet system
 have
   managed
   to survive the collapse of the Soviet Union. 
 Indeed, given
   the recent economic downturn which has now begun
 to
   impact Russia, it is quite possible that we might
 see
   Russia
   reverting back to Soviet-style economic and
 social policies
   in order to maintain order.  
   
   It also seems to be the case that the same is
 true for
   some of the other former Warsaw Pact countries as
 well.
   The Czech Republic for instance has since 1989
 been
   governed mostly by rightwing governments that
 have
   been avowedly committed to neoliberal economic
   policies, and yet I have read that much of the
 social
   safety net that was built up under the Communist
   regime has remained more or less in place since
   1989.  That indeed it has been the continuing
   existence of this social safety net that made it
   possible for the post-Communists governments
   to gain the acquiescence of the Czech masses
   in the creation of a market economy there.
  
  ^^
  CB: It is interesting that the social
  safety net remained, because as I understand
  it, neo-liberalism is supposed to strip
  away welfare and the social safety net.
  So, perhaps the name was neoliberalism
  but the facts on the ground were not so
  neo-liberal.
  
  It really will be interesting to see
  what happens now if the world wide
  recession/depression  batters
  what ever free-market institutions
  that were actually established in
  Eastern Europe, Russia and the rest
  of the former Soviet Union. Their
  stock markets are likely to be more
  fragile and limited than those in the
  US and Western Europe. A crash of
  neo-phyte stock markets could be
  their end or lead to their permanent
  limitation.  Besides the social safety
  net, how far could they really go
  in privatizing basic means of production
  and basic necessities
  industries, such as food, utilities, mass
  transit, water, gas, electricity, telephone?
  Those are only half private in the
  US. It probably wouldn't be a very
  big step to nationalize them - permanently.
  The same with the banking system.
 
 Well in Russia the state renationalized most
 of the energy industry several years ago.
 Putin, as president, went a long way towards
 reestablishing the leading role of the state in
 the management of Russia's economy.  The
 state is a major stockholder in many of
 Russia's largest companies.  One of Putin's
 big achievements was to rein in the oligarchs
 who had taken control of much of Russia's
 economy under Yeltsin.
 
 All this course takes us back to a lot
 of the old debates over the nature of
 the former Soviet Union:  was it socialist?
 was it state capitalist?  a degenerate workers
 state?  a bureacratic collectivism?
 
 And to those old debates we can now
 can add debates over the nature of contemporary
 post-Soviet Russia.  The post-Soviet regimes
 of Yeltsin and Putin had the avowed aim of
 restoring capitalism, but it seems that the
 reality there is perhaps more complex.
 They never could entirely obliterate Soviet-era
 institutions and practices, and now, I suspect,
 that the current world economic practice may
 force the current government of Medvedev
 and Putin to revive many of the old Soviet policies.
 I suppose that we might characterize the
 current Russian economy as a kind of
 state capitalism with some socialist characteristics.
 
 Jim F.
 
  
   In Eastern
  Europe, and countries like Latvia,
  Estonia and Lithuania with no Russian
  troops there anymore, there may be
  little reason to resent socialist 
  organization, socialist _self_organization
  and self-determination.
  
  Perhaps socialism will come as a
  negation of the negation of the
  first experience of socialism.
  
  They don't have to call it
  socialism or communism Just
 call it
  economic democracy and freedom
  or social democracy or
  democratic socialism

[Marxism-Thaxis] Review of Sokal's Beyond the Hoax

2009-02-21 Thread Charles Brown
[Marxism] Brilliant review of Alan Sokal's Beyond the Hoax



To: arch...@xx 
Subject: [Marxism] Brilliant review of Alan Sokal's Beyond the Hoax 
From: Louis Proyect l...@x 
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2009 11:09:40 -0500 
User-agent: Thunderbird 2.0.0.19 (Windows/20081209) 


http://www.wpunj.edu/~newpol/issue46/Touger46.htm

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Sokal: law as a heuristic for natual science

2009-02-21 Thread Charles Brown
Hoax and Reality
Jerold Touger
 




Suppose I am asked to pick a number from 1 to 99,999,999,999. I claim to have a 
method for getting it right on the first try despite seemingly insuperable 
odds. If I then proceed to do so, it gives my claim enormous credibility. If 
others claiming the same method likewise get it right, or pick numbers 
clustering closely around the correct one -- perhaps differing only in the last 
one or two places -- it does not in a strictly logical sense prove my claim is 
correct, but makes the case for it compelling, as our legal system would put 
it, beyond a reasonable doubt. This, in essence, is what happens when an 
experimental measurement of the electron's magnetic moment agrees with what 
theory predicts to eleven decimal places. This outcome, as Sokal says, would 
be utterly miraculous if quantum mechanics were not saying something at least 
approximately true about the world [and] . . . if electrons did not really 
exist in some sense or another.

^^^
CB: as our legal system would put it, beyond a reasonable doubt.

Here we go again with a natural scientist using
the law as a heuristic.

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Did the Soviet state whither away ?

2009-02-20 Thread Charles Brown
http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2009/02/social-collapse-best-practices.html

Someone named Orlov says in the essay linked above:

When the Soviet system went away, many 
people lost their jobs, everyone lost their savings, wages and pensions were 
held back for months, their value 
was wiped out by hyperinflation, there shortages of food, gasoline, medicine, 
consumer goods, there was a 
large increase in crime and violence, and yet Russian society did not collapse. 
Somehow, the Russians found 
ways to muddle through. How was that possible? It turns out that many aspects 
of the Soviet system were paradoxically 
resilient in the face of system-wide collapse,
^
CB: Evidently, the SU had more of a grass roots and democratic society , 
working class people's world there all 
along than a lot of observers and critics, West and East , thought. Was this a 
paradox or was it proof that working 
people ran things more than critics claimed ?


That the author evidently didn't expect this, 
suggests he didn't quite understand fully what was going on at the base of 
his country.

^

 many institutions continued to function, and 
the living arrangement was such that people did not lose access to food, 
shelter or transportation, and could survive 
even without an income. The Soviet economic system failed to thrive, and the 
Communist experiment at constructing a 
worker's paradise on earth was, in the end, a failure.
^
CB: Or maybe the collapse of the Soviet state 
was the state whithering away, as Marx prognosticated. And what is left is 
closer to the free association of free producers, 
or whatever, Since Marx didn't predict a workers paradise, maybe this author 
is looking for the wrong thing, and what
 is there is closer to what Marx envisioned than he thinks.

Since the collapse of the Soviet state, I've 
always been interested in the reports like this one that people continued to 
survive without income or wages. That 
means that the money system, the wage system went poof !  That's what is 
supposed to happen in communism. 

Very interesting.

^^

 But as a side effect it inadvertently achieved 
a high level of collapse-preparedness. 

^^
CB: Maybe it wasn't so inadvertent. Maybe the 
big ,bad Soviet state was a protective, scary mask worn to ward off the vicious 
imperialist system, and the real future society was grown on purpose 
underneath, with hardy roots. It is 
not likely an accident that the society he describes survived and functions.
You can be sure that they are growing a lot of local food in gardens.

^ 


In comparison, the American system could 
produce significantly better results, for time, but at the cost of creating and 
perpetuating a living arrangement
 that is very fragile, and not at all capable of holding together through the 
inevitable crash. Even after the Soviet 
economy evaporated and the government largely shut down, Russians still had 
plenty left for them to work with. 
^
CB: My estimate is that he is mistaken that 
this was inadvertent. It was not a paradise, but it was a place where the 
working class was empowered and running their own lives.
^^

And so there is a wealth of useful information 
and insight that we can extract from the Russian experience, which we can then 
turn around and put to good use in helping
 us improvise a new living arrangement here in the United States – one that is 
more likely to be survivable.

^^
CB: Hopefully. But unfortunately, we don't have socialism, and they did.


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Guatemala apologizes to Cuba for Bay of Pigs

2009-02-18 Thread Charles Brown
Fox 40 KTXL TV/DT Sacramento 
Guatemala apologizes to Cuba for Bay of Pigs 

By ANDREA RODRIGUEZ 


HAVANA (AP) — Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom apologized to Cuba on 
Tuesday for his country's having allowed the CIA to train exiles in 
the Central American country for the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion. 


Today I want to ask Cuba's forgiveness for having offered our 
country, our territory, to prepare an invasion of Cuba, Colom said 
during a speech at the University of Havana. It wasn't us, but it was 
our territory. 


He added that he wished to apologize as president and head of state, 
and as commander in chief of the Guatemalan army. 


About 1,500 Cuban exiles trained under CIA guidance in Guatemala 
before invading the island beginning April 17, 1961, in an 
unsuccessful bid to overthrow Fidel Castro's communist government. 


The invasion ended after less than three days, with about 100 invaders 
killed and more than 1,000 captured by Cuban forces. 


Colom, whose government is considered center-leftist, said he was 
asking Cuba's forgiveness as a sign of solidarity and that times are 
changing, and to reaffirm my idea that Latin America is changing. 


At the height of the Cold War, the Guatemalan military government of 
Miguel Ramon Ydigoras Fuentes allowed the CIA to train an exile force 
in the rural province of Retalhuleu. Known as the 2506 Brigade and 
comprising mostly Miami-area Cuban exiles, the group was determined to 
overthrow Castro's government — which had brought the Soviet bloc 
closer than ever to the continental United States by seizing power in 
Cuba 28 months before. 


The invaders landed at Playa Larga at the innermost part of the Bay of 
Pigs, on the southern coast of central Cuba. The fighting later moved 
south, to Playa Giron, where Castro's forces triumphed after less than 
72 hours, when U.S. President John F. Kennedy failed to provide air 
support. 


Colom said Tuesday that Cuba deserves its own destiny, a destiny that 
you all built with this revolution of 50 years. 


Defend it, he said, referring to the guerrilla uprising that brought 
Castro to power on Jan. 1, 1959. Defend it like you have always 
done. 


Colom's comments drew sustained applause from his Cuban audience. 


Like Cubans, Guatemalans harbor a deep resentment toward the United 
States for past violence. The CIA helped topple the democratically 
elected government of Jacobo Arbenz in 1954 and Washington backed a 
series of hardline military and civilian governments during that 
country's 36-year civil war, in which 200,000 Guatemalans died or 
disappeared before peace accords were signed in December 1996. 


During a visit to Guatemala in March 1999, President Bill Clinton said 
any U.S. support given to military forces or intelligence units that 
engaged in violent and widespread repression was wrong. And the 
United States must not repeat that mistake. 


During Colom's state visit to Havana, he awarded his country's highest 
honor to Castro, though it was unclear if he would meet with the 
ailing, 82-year-old former president, who has not been seen in public 
since undergoing emergency intestinal surgery in July 2006. 


The Guatemalan president's was the latest in a string of recent visits 
to Havana by regional leaders, including Panama's Martin Torrijos and 
Rafael Correa of Ecuador. 


Fidel Castro, who ceded power to his younger brother Raul about a year 
ago, met with two other visiting Latin American presidents, Cristina 
Fernandez of Argentina and Chile's Michelle Bachelet. Photographs of 
him with each of the presidents were later released by their 
respective governments, and a series of photos featuring Castro and 
Bachelet appeared in Cuba's communist newspaper Granma on Tuesday. 


Link: http://www.fox40.com/pages/landing_world_news/?Guatemala-apologizes-t... 


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] In Defense of Washington and Wall Street

2009-02-18 Thread Charles Brown
In Defense of Washington and Wall Street
Robert Fitch
 

1. The Crisis of 2007-2008
THE VERY ELDERLY ARE PRONE TO FALL. And 
unlike infants who also tumble frequently, each time seniors stumble, they risk 
a disabling or even a fatal injury. 
On August 9th 2007, after an unparalleled quarter century long expansion, which 
had been checked in the developed 
countries only mildly and briefly, capitalism finally tripped and lost its 
balance with predictable results: banks tottered, while credit and commercial 
paper markets writhed in paralysis.

After about a month, though, notwithstanding 
the failure of the markets to unfreeze, the crisis was declared over. The 
palsied patient was deemed well enough to 
resume normal activity -- a diagnosis apparently confirmed when two months 
later, on October 9th, the Dow Jones 
Industrial Average reached 14,164, an all time high.

The March 2008 meltdown of two hedge funds 
belonging to Bear, Stearns suggested otherwise. A pillar of the shadow banking 
system that had emerged over the 
last two decades, Bear was forced into liquidation, sold to J.P. Morgan for 
$256 million. Scarcely more than a year
 earlier it was said to be worth $68.7 billion. Yet this stunning write-down 
barely moved Wall Street's needle. 
The market continued to move choppily until September 14th 2008, when Mr. FIRE 
(as in finance, insurance and real 
estate) fell again, with even more dire consequences. That Sunday, Lehman 
Brothers filed for bankruptcy. Later in 
the day, Merrill, Lynch announced its liquidation. Just two days later, AIG, 
the world's largest insurance company, 
was taken over by the government. This time, Wall Street had suffered the 
equivalent of a broken neck.

Even in the immediate aftermath of the 
1929 Crash, the biggest Wall Street banks didn't fail. They continued to lend. 
(The wave of failures by thousands 
of heartland banks came later.) But in 2008, it was precisely the big banks 
which formed the leading vector of 
the collapse. Within a period of 200 days, the five biggest U.S. investment 
banking houses -- the institutions 
that since the Reagan era had given Wall Street its swagger and identity -- had 
either gone bankrupt, or forced to find 
a merger partner or re-organized themselves as bank holding companies.

Whenever the spinal cord is severed at the
 top two vertebrae, i.e., at the neck, the greatest immediate peril is that the 
victim stops breathing. The September 
2008 crisis was marked by increasingly desperate measures to keep big FIRE from 
asphyxiation. The measures taken included 
flooding the system with liquidity -- almost unlimited loans and loan 
guarantees. The Bush Administration came up 
with a $700 billion plan to deleverage the banks (i.e., raise their dangerously 
low ratio of equity to debt) by
 buying their bad mortgage-backed securities. And when that didn't work, passed 
legislation which amounted to a 
semi-nationalization of the remaining big banks -- the equivalent of cutting a 
hole in the patient's trachea.

By October's end FIRE was breathing, albeit
 with a tube provided by the U.S. guarantee of inter bank loans. But breathing 
is not walking. A financial system 
in which banks lend only to other banks refusing to act as intermediaries to 
the non-financial sector-- is still non-functional.


In the midst of the anarchy, the headline 
Capitalism in Convulsion appeared not in The Militant or The People's World, 
but in the August, salmon colored pages 
of The Financial Times.1 Unlike the Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) crisis 
or the dot.com bust which were more or 
less confined to the G-7 countries, or the Asian, Mexican, Argentinean crises 
-- which remained localized within the 
Third World -- the crisis of 2007-8 was truly global. It spread from America to 
Europe to Latin America to Asia 
and even to remote Iceland which was all but officially bankrupt and forced to 
await rescue from the IMF. Nor was 
the crisis confined to capitalism's financial sub-system. Production was 
shrinking, consumption was off. Even foreign 
trade, the main driver of the world economy, was contracting. There is a real 
possibility of a real, deep, international 
depression, said one senior monetary official at a G20 meeting in Dubai who 
spoke on the condition of anonymity, calling 
the crisis the worst in 100 years.2

2. The Meaning of the Meltdown
IN 1989, THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL was widely
 interpreted as a failure of the Communist system. But not by its supporters. 
They favored minimalist interpretations.
 Liberal Stalinists saw it as a reaction to certain overzealous GDR officials 
in the security apparatus; conservatives
 as the failure of those same officials to contain the illegal exodus. Still 
others blamed Soviet Premier Gorbachev's 
blundering efforts to deregulate the Soviet system, which they insisted was 
still fundamentally sound.

Similarly, the present crisis can be interpreted 
in various ways. Not as the 

[Marxism-Thaxis] unemployment

2009-02-18 Thread Charles Brown
http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn02132009.html 

Every president since Reagan, particularly Clinton, has jimmied the 
unemployment criteria to produce an undercount. The actual number for the two 
months is nearer one and three quarter million. The actual total unemployment 
rate, according to statistician John Williams, by pre-Reagan criteria, rose to 
18 per cent in January, from 17.5 per cent in December.


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Up and out of poverty, now

2009-02-16 Thread Charles Brown
The Marxist reform solution for getting 
us out of crisis depression is up and out 
of poverty ,now ! Unrestrict the
consumption of the masses !

CB

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Ukrainian workers occupy a farming machinery plant

2009-02-16 Thread Charles Brown
http://red-news.livejournal.com/1462.html 

Ukrainian workers occupy a farming machinery 
planthttp://red-news.livejournal.com/1462.html 


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Alain Badiou

2009-02-15 Thread Charles Brown
Ruthless Critic of All that Exists :

Full: http://mondediplo.com/2009/02/17sarkozy

Alain Badiou's book on Sarkozy reveals the philosopher's own advocacy
of change based in reality, which is beginning to displace the old
'new philosophy' of Bernard-Henri Lévy et al

By Christopher Bickerton

From Wikipedia:

[Alain Badiou (born 17 January 1937 in Rabat, Morocco) is a prominent
French philosopher, formerly chair of philosophy at the École Normale
Supérieure (ENS). Along with Giorgio Agamben and Slavoj Zizek, Badiou
is a prominent figure in an anti-postmodern strand of continental
philosophy. Particularly through a creative appropriation of set
theory from his early interest in mathematics, Badiou seeks to recover
the concepts of being, truth and the subject in a way that is neither
postmodern nor simply a repetition of modernity.

He was politically active very early on, and was one of the founding
members of the Unified Socialist Party (PSU). The PSU was particularly
active in the struggle for the decolonization of Algeria. He wrote his
first novel, Almagestes, in 1964. In 1967 he joined a study group
organized by Louis Althusser and grew increasingly influenced by
Jacques Lacan. The student uprisings of May 1968 reinforced Badiou's
commitment to the far Left, and he participated in increasingly
radical communist and Maoist groups, such as the UCFML. In 1969 he
joined the faculty of University of Paris VIII (Vincennes-Saint
Denis), which was a bastion of counter-cultural thought. There he
engaged in fierce intellectual debates with fellow professors Gilles
Deleuze and Jean-François Lyotard, whose philosophical works he
considered unhealthy deviations from the Althusserian program of a
scientific Marxism. In the 1980s, as both Althusserian Marxism and
Lacanian psychoanalysis went into decline (with Lacan dead and
Althusser in an asylum), Badiou published more technical and abstract
philosophical works, such as Théorie du sujet (1982), and his magnum
opus, Being and Event (1988).]


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] WHY THE U.S. STIMULUS PACKAGE IS BOUND TO FAIL

2009-02-14 Thread Charles Brown
WHY THE U.S. STIMULUS PACKAGE IS BOUND TO FAIL
DAVID HARVEY

Much is to be gained by viewing the contemporary 
crisis as a surface
eruption generated out of deep tectonic shifts in
 the spatio-temporal
disposition of capitalist development. The tectonic 
plates are now
accelerating their motion and the likelihood of
 more frequent and more
violent crises of the sort that have been 
occurring since 1980 or so
will almost certainly increase. The manner, 
form, spatiality and time
of these surface disruptions are almost 
impossible to predict, but
that they will occur with greater frequency 
and depth is almost
certain. The events of 2008 have therefore 
to be situated in the
context of a deeper pattern. Since these 
stresses are internal to the
capitalist dynamic (which does not preclude 
some seemingly external
disruptive event like a catastrophic pandemic 
also occurring), then
what better argument could there be, as Marx 
once put it, for
capitalism to be gone and to make way for some a
lternative and more
rational mode of production.

I begin with this conclusion since I still 
find it vital to emphasize
if not dramatize, as I have sought to do over 
and over again in my
writings over the years, that failure to 
understand the geographical
dynamics of capitalism or to treat the 
geographical dimension as in
some sense merely contingent or epiphenomenal,
 is to both lose the
plot on how to understand capitalist uneven 
geographical development
and to miss out on possibilities for 
constructing radical
alternatives. But this poses an acute 
difficulty for analysis since we
are constantly faced with trying to distill
 universal principles
regarding the role of the production of 
spaces, places and
environments in capitalism's dynamics, out 
of a sea of often volatile
geographical particularities. So how, then, 
can we integrate
geographical understandings into our theories 
of evolutionary change?
Let us look more carefully at the tectonic shifts.

In November 2008, shortly after the election 
of a new President, the
National Intelligence Council of the United 
States issued its delphic
estimates on what the world would be like 
in 2025. Perhaps for the
first time, a quasi-official body in the 
United States predicted that
by 2025 the United States, while still a 
powerful if not the most
powerful single player in world affairs, 
would no longer be dominant.
The world would be multi-polar and less 
centered and the power of
non-state actors would increase. The report 
conceded that US hegemony
had been fading on and off for some time but 
that its economic,
political and even military dominance was now 
systematically waning.
Above all (and it is important to note that 
the report was prepared
before the implosion of the US and British
 financial systems), the
unprecedented shift in relative wealth and 
economic power roughly from
West to East now under way will continue.

full: http://grupodapiedade.posterous.com/radical-europe-fwd-moneybanksc


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Ian Angus on Charles Darwin

2009-02-14 Thread Charles Brown
Ian Angus on Charles Darwin

http://www.socialistvoice.ca/?p=366


February 6, 2009


Charles Darwin and Materialist Science
http://www.socialistvoice.ca/?p=366

*By Ian Angus. *February 12, 2009 is Darwin Day, the 200th anniversary 
of the birth of Charles Darwin. His masterwork,
 /On the Origin of 
Species/, was published 150 years ago, in November 1859, initiating a 
revolution in science that continues to this day.

Although Darwin’s political views were far 
from radical, his insights 
became the central weapons in the battle to establish materialist 
science as the basis for our understanding 
of the world, and contributed 
to the development of Marxism.

Charles Robert Darwin was, to say the 
least, an unlikely revolutionary. 
His father was a prominent physician and wealthy investor; his 
grandfather was Josiah Wedgwood, founder 
of one of the largest 
manufacturing companies in Europe. He could have lived a life of leisure 
— instead he devoted his life to science.

After graduating from Cambridge in 1831,
 22-year-old Charles Darwin 
boarded the British survey ship /HMS Beagle/ as an unpaid naturalist, 
subsidized by his doting father. 
When he returned after five years, he 
had thousands of pages of scientific observations, over 1,500 carefully 
preserved specimens — and growing 
doubts about the dominant scientific 
and religious ideas of his day.

*A heretical conclusion*

At that time, Darwin wrote in his 1861
 introduction to /Origin/, “the 
great majority of naturalists believed that species were immutable 
productions, and had been separately 
created.” Biblical literalists and 
deists alike agreed that species were fixed by divine law. Dogs might 
vary in appearance, but dogs don’t 
give birth to cats.

After five years of travel and two years 
of study at home, Darwin came 
to a heretical conclusion: species were not immutable. All animals were 
descended from common ancestors, 
different species resulted from gradual 
changes over millions of years, and God had nothing to do with it.

It is difficult, today, to understand 
how shocking this idea would be to 
the middle and upper classes of Darwin’s time. Religion wasn’t just the 
“opium of the masses”— it gave the wealthy
 moral justification for their 
privileged lives in a world of constant change and gross inequality. The 
world was unfolding according to God’s 
wishes, and anyone who questioned 
that endangered the very fragile social order.

Nevertheless, by the 1830s educated people knew that the /Genesis/ 
creation story couldn’t be literally true.
 The rise of capitalism in the 
1700s had led to booms in mining and canal building: those works exposed 
geological layers and ancient fossils that 
clearly contradicted the idea 
of a recently-created earth.

In the same period, imperialism led to global exploration and the 
discovery of more varieties of plant and animal 
life than any European 
had ever imagined. Why had the Creator been so extravagant? And why, if 
each animal was created separately, were 
their underlying structures so 
similar — why do bats’ wings, whales’ flippers, lions’ paws and human 
hands all contain the same bones?

Many attempts were made to preserve a central 
role for God and creation 
in the face of this evidence. Perhaps the most sophisticated was 
developed in the 1850s by Richard Owen, 
head of natural science at the 
British Museum and inventor of the word “dinosaur.” He argued that all 
animals are variations on ideas — 
“archetypes” — in God’s mind. God 
“foreknew all variations” on those archetypes, and made them real in 
forms that would suit various environments or 
situations over time.

At the opposite end of the philosophical spectrum, the great French 
biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck offered a
 non-religious explanation. He 
proposed that there is a “chain of being,” a ladder of life, with 
single-celled animals at the bottom and 
humans at the top. Nature 
constantly and spontaneously creates new creatures that have an innate 
drive to climb the ladder, becoming more 
complex, or perfect, over time.

As they climb, they also adapt to environmental changes: giraffes have 
long necks because their ancestors had 
to stretch to reach high leaves, 
while fish that live in caves are blind because their ancestors’ vision 
declined as a result of disuse. This 
concept was not central to 
Lamarck’s theory, but “inheritance of acquired characteristics” has 
since become inextricably connected to his name.

*A materialist explanation*

While Lamarck and others just /speculated/ 
that species changed over 
time, Darwin provided convincing /evidence/. More important, he showed 
that it happened by natural processes, 
without any help from gods or 
mysterious progressive forces. That is, his explanation of evolution was 
/materialist/.

In Darwin’s theory, three factors combine 
to create new species: 
variation, inheritance, and natural selection. There are many 
differences between the members of 

[Marxism-Thaxis] The Jewishness of Jews Without Money

2009-02-14 Thread Charles Brown
http://www.jbooks.com/interviews/index/IP_Buhle_Gold.htm
The Jewishness of Jews Without Money
By PAUL BUHLE

Perhaps the most remarkable feature of 
the 1996 edition of Jews Without 
Money (originally published in 1930) was 
how the political wrangling of 
the past had slipped into history, leaving
 behind one of the most 
magnificent of Jewish-American sagas. Alfred 
Kazin’s introduction to the 
new edition almost skipped over Michael Gold’s better-known reputation 
as polemicist for the Daily Worker and 
its literary counterparts through 
some thick and much thin, all the way to Gold’s death in 1967. Jews 
Without Money had been written as 
Gold’s own personal story of Jewish 
slum life with a heroic-political ending as brief and irrelevant as the 
ending of a Hollywood melodrama. 
The real thing was the rest of the saga.

And what a saga! The Yiddish short-story
 writer and dramatist Leon 
Kobrin became known, mainly by virtue of his stories in the Forverts, as 
the “Jewish Zola,” chronicler of misery 
and impoverishment. If the 
sobriquet had not already been earned, Gold would have had the best 
claim. Original Sin is not the problem 
of the Lower East Side 
inhabitants; poverty sinks into every corpuscle of their collective 
blood. The Sin is real, but it belongs
 to the bullies and the braggarts. 
Generations before Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors roasted the 
hypocritical figures among the 
Jewish-American arrivistes, Gold 
lacerated the diamond-wearing matrons, the slum lords, the sweatshop 
kings, and others who had scant mercy 
for their own people (and wanted 
to be accepted by the Gentiles, preferably rich Gentiles, more than 
anything).

Not all the villains were Jews, by 
any means. Gold was keen on the Irish 
cops of New York who took pride in drawing blood with their clubs at any 
Jewish labor activity, especially 
if they could bash a young radical 
woman. He took in the others, boxers to politicians, who were part of 
Jewish life but not of it. But Gold 
was more interested in human 
consequences. In one of his famous phrases, “America is so rich and fat, 
because it has eaten the tragedy of 
millions of immigrants.”

Gold wrote, in his own introduction to the 
book, that he could not 
accept America’s gods because he had his own idol: his mother. If this 
sounds amazingly saccharine for an avowed 
atheist and revolutionary, it 
is nevertheless the deepest sentiment in the novel and the one that 
rings the truest after all these years.
 A wife: a “buttinski” and 
reformer, self-sacrificing for anyone in trouble, literal midwife for 
home births, defender of neighbors threatened 
by drunken husbands, also 
proud to be Jewish in no small part because antisemitism showed how low 
and animalistic the haters were—all this 
thanks to a marriage broker. 
Jewish also because the memory of Europe, the relatives left behind in 
Europe, one might suggest the 800 years of 
Yiddishkayt, was inextricably 
part of her sense of family and self. What would a Jew be without that 
memory, or the generosity of spirit toward 
the poor that his mother 
represented?

Jews Without Money, the testimony of Michael 
Granich aka Mike Gold, is 
alive as long as Jewish-American immigrant history plays a vivid role in 
collective memory—and that shows no sign of 
dissipating. For all Gold’s 
particularities, it’s certain that the election of Barack Obama with the 
overwhelmingly enthusiastic support of Jewish 
voters is one more 
reminder that if poverty is the real sin, reform offers redemption. Mike 
Gold knew it a long time ago.

Paul Buhle's latest project is Yiddishland,
 a comic-art volume 
collaboration with Harvey Pekar and others. Reprinted with permission 
from the journal Sh'ma (January 2009) as part 
of a larger conversation 
about Jews and Money (www.shma.com).


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] from the kingdom of necessity to the kingdom of freedom

2009-02-14 Thread Charles Brown
From Anti-Duhring

With the seizing of the means of production by society, production of 
commodities is done away with, and, simultaneously, the mastery of the 
product over the producer. Anarchy in social production is replaced by 
systematic, definite organization. The struggle for individual 
existence disappears. Then, for the first time, man, in a certain 
sense, is finally marked off from the rest of the animal kingdom, and 
emerges from mere animal conditions of existence into really human 
ones. The whole sphere of the conditions of life which environ man, 
and which have hitherto ruled man, now comes under the dominion and 
control of man, who for the first time becomes the real, conscious 
lord of nature, because he has now become master of his own social 
organization. The laws of his own social action, hitherto standing 
face-to-face with man as laws of Nature foreign to, and dominating 
him, will then be used with full understanding, and so mastered by 
him. Man's own social organization, hitherto confronting him as a 
necessity imposed by Nature and history, now becomes the result of his 
own free action. The extraneous objective forces that have, hitherto, 
governed history,pass under the control of man himself. Only from that 
time will man himself, more and more consciously, make his own history 
— only from that time will the social causes set in movement by him 
have, in the main and in a constantly growing measure, the results 
intended by him. It is the ascent of man from the kingdom of necessity 
to the kingdom of freedom.

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Marxism and Humanism; Laborious Humanism

2009-02-14 Thread Charles Brown


CB: In Althusser's terms, 

^^^
CB: As far as I know, Althusser
doesn't say what I say below. It
is an extension, by me, of Althusser's
basic argument in his famous essay
beyond what he says. I believe Althusser
concludes that there is no humanism
in the mature Marx. I am disagreeing
with Althusser , a sort of negation of
his negating humanism in Marx

^^^

the mature Marx significantly 
relocates humanism and essentialism, philosophical 
anthropology  to human labor in that it is a main
 source of value; and there is a sense of human 
essence in the abstract equality of all abstract 
human labor. It's homogeneous and uniform. It exists in the 
organism of every ordinary individual.
It's human labour pure and simple. , identically 
abstract ( and abstractly identical, human labor 
generally


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Why is history a history of class struggles ? Critique of Althusser

2009-02-14 Thread Charles Brown

Charles Brown 
Althusser says:

In 1845, Marx broke radically with every 
theory that based history and politics on an 
essence of man. This unique rupture contained 
three indissociable elements. 

(1) The formation of a theory of history and 
politics based on radically new concepts: the 
concepts of social formation, productive forces, 
relations of production, superstructure, ideologies,
 determination in the last instance by the economy, 
specific determination of the other levels, etc. 

(2) A radical critique of the theoretical 
pretensions of every philosophical humanism. 

(3) The definition of humanism as an ideology. 


^
CB: By at least 1848 with the _Manifesto 
of the 
Communist Party_, we can infer that 
Marx has 
relocated the essence of humans , 
his humanism in Althusser's sense, 
in human labor. 

^
CB: However, Althusser does _not_
say what I am saying here about 1848
and Marx relocating human essence
in human labor.

^^

This is in part 
the reason that
 history is a history of class 
struggles. For 
exploitation of labor triggers a 
human instinct in 
exploited laborers to  recover 
and enjoy all 
the fruits of their labor, 
appropriate all the 
products of their work. History 
progesses
as exploited laborers win victories
 restructuring 
the immense
superstructure with each revolution.


CB: Althusser doesn't say this , though.
I do.

^^

Althusser's claim that Marx's radical
new theory is scientific is correct
because the new theory deals with
_necessary_ connections in human
society. Labor is necessary for
human life.

Capital I: So far therefore as 
labour is a creator 
of use value, is useful labour, it is a 
necessary condition, independent of all forms of 
society, for the existence of the human race; 
it is an eternal nature-imposed necessity, 
without which there can be no material exchanges 
between man and Nature, and therefore no life. 





___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] from the kingdom of necessity

2009-02-14 Thread Charles Brown
From Anti-Duhring

With the seizing of the means of production 
by society, production of 
commodities is done away with, and, simultaneously, the mastery of the 
product over the producer. Anarchy in 
social production is replaced by 
systematic, definite organization. The struggle for individual 
existence disappears. Then, for the 
first time, man, in a certain 
sense, is finally marked off from the rest of the animal kingdom, and 
emerges from mere animal conditions
 of existence into really human 
ones. The whole sphere of the conditions of life which environ man, 
and which have hitherto ruled man, 
now comes under the dominion and 
control of man, who for the first time becomes the real, conscious 
lord of nature, because he has now
 become master of his own social 
organization. The laws of his own social action, hitherto standing 
face-to-face with man as laws of 
Nature foreign to, and dominating 
him, will then be used with full understanding, and so mastered by 
him. Man's own social organization, 
hitherto confronting him as a 
necessity imposed by Nature and history, now becomes the result of his 
own free action. The extraneous 
objective forces that have, hitherto, 
governed history,pass under the control of man himself. Only from that 
time will man himself, more and 
more consciously, make his own history 
— only from that time will the social causes set in movement by him 
have, in the main and in a constantly 
growing measure, the results 
intended by him. It is the ascent of man from the kingdom of necessity 
to the kingdom of freedom.


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Douglass and Feuerbach

2009-02-14 Thread Charles Brown
Ralph D:
And here's an atheist treat:

Letter to Ludwig Feuerbach from Ottilie Assing about Frederick Douglass
http://www.autodidactproject.org/other/dougls1.html

^
CB: Cool , Ralph !


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] socialism icon needed

2009-02-14 Thread Charles Brown

Ralph Dumain  


Aside from the hammer-and-sickle, and photos of Marx or other iconic 
figures, what other emblem of socialism can you think of?

^^^
CB: The color red.

  red flag



___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Locus of material necessity in human society and history

2009-02-14 Thread Charles Brown

This is a reworking and expansion of a thesis I have been
developing on Thaxis

Charles

Materialism, Necessity and Freedom: Rehearsal of the Fundamentals of Marxism




By the
_Manifesto of the Communist Party_ every
Marxist knows the A,B,C's of historical materialism or the materialist
conception of
history. The history of  hitherto existing society, since the breaking
up of the
ancient communes, is a history of class struggles between oppressor and
oppressed.
Classes are groups that associate in a division of labor to produce
their material
means of existence. Why are class struggles fundamental in determining
the whole of society's laws and rules, it's 
history and culture, the
super-structure ?

Because exploited classes are coerced into producing 
surpluses for
exploiting classes by making supply of the physiological necessities of
life to the exploited classes conditional upon 
their producing those
surpluses. Not only do exploited classes produce the physiological and
derivative material necessities of life for 
society , but they are
denied the fruits of their labor unless they supply the bosses, the
ruling classes with super fruits.

Ruling class coerce this exploitation by
control of the state power or special
repressive apparatus

   In The German Ideology, Marx and Engels implied this 
elementary
anthropological or human natural rationale for this conception of
class relations determining substantially
 the shape of society as a
whole. In a section titled
History: Fundamental Conditions, they say:
   *life involves before everything else eating and
drinking,
   a habitation, clothing and many other things.  The first
historical
   act is thus the production of material life itself.  And
indeed this
   is an historical act, a fundamental condition of all
history, which
   today, as thousands of years ago, must daily and hourly
be
   fulfilled merely in order to sustain human life.

  Production and economic classes are the starting point of
Marxist analysis
of  human society because human life, like all plant and animal life
must fulfill
biological needs to exist as life at all. It is an appeal to biologic
(which I
support, all of the anti-vulgar materialist critiques to the contrary
notwithstanding,
but that's my other paper).  Whatever humans do that is higher than
plants and
animals, we cannot do if we do not first fulfill or plant/animal like
needs, physiological necessities.

Marx and Engels define scientific analysis as
tracing the materially or objectively _necessary_ connections in a
phenomenon. Thus, the scientific understanding
of human society must be based in the materially
necessary connections of human society. Fulfillment
of physiological or biological requirments are
the materially necessary connections for
humans.

These biological necessary connections exist
in all human societies. But it is only in'
class divided society that , as said above,
surpluses are extorted from exploited classes
by ruling classes by employment and threat of
deployment of the 
forces of destruction and violenced, standing bodies of armed
men , against the exploited 
and ruled classes less
they disgorge the surplus fruits of their labor to
the ruling classes.

For not only is supply of food, shelter, air
etc. biologically and materially necessary
for living. The _absence_ of being killed or
bodily harmed by armed men is materially necessary
to live. Thus, the mode of destruction is as central
to the necessary connections of human society as
the mode of production. The mode of destruction as
critical in ruling class coercion and extortion
of the ruled classes is a mode of necessity in
human society and history. 

Thus the mode of necessity in human society
consists in both the mode of production and
the mode of destruction.

On Materialism ( speaking of Mao),
 there are two levels of
 the relationship between 
thought and being: 
economics and physics. 
While society remains in 
the Realm (or kingdom) of Necessity ,
society during its class divided history,
 ruling classes control 
masses by conditioning 
fulfillment of the _material_
needs of the exploited 
classes on the exploited 
classes ' producing surpluses
 for the ruling , exploiting 
classes. The materialism
 (determinism by the material)
 at this level derives from
 the coercive use of conditional
 provision of material needs. 
In all societies, including 
those in the Realm (kingdom of Freedom
 ( socialist, communist future
 and ancient) , all people 
must , of course, obey 
the laws of physics, 
chemistry, biology, 
physiology, objective 
reality etc. physics, in 
the general sense. 




 The higher (cultural, semiotic. super-structrual, social
conditioning traditions, super-natural,
 aesthetic, artistic etc.) human
activities are limited or negatively determined ( See Marshall Sahlins'
_Culture and Practical Reason_ on 
biological limits of 

[Marxism-Thaxis] kingdoms of necessity and freedom

2009-02-14 Thread Charles Brown



--- On Sat, 2/14/09, Charles Brown cdb1...@prodigy.net wrote:

 From: Charles Brown cdb1...@prodigy.net
 Subject: kingdom of necessity
 To: cdb1...@prodigy.net
 Date: Saturday, February 14, 2009, 8:31 PM
 From Anti-Duhring
 
 With the seizing of the means of production 
 by society, production of 
 commodities is done away with, and, simultaneously, the
 mastery of the 
 product over the producer. Anarchy in 
 social production is replaced by 
 systematic, definite organization. The struggle for
 individual 
 existence disappears. Then, for the 
 first time, man, in a certain 
 sense, is finally marked off from the rest of the animal
 kingdom, and 
 emerges from mere animal conditions
 of existence into really human 
 ones. The whole sphere of the conditions of life which
 environ man, 
 and which have hitherto ruled man, 
 now comes under the dominion and 
 control of man, who for the first time becomes the real,
 conscious 
 lord of nature, because he has now
 become master of his own social 
 organization. The laws of his own social action, hitherto
 standing 
 face-to-face with man as laws of 
 Nature foreign to, and dominating 
 him, will then be used with full understanding, and so
 mastered by 
 him. Man's own social organization, 
 hitherto confronting him as a 
 necessity imposed by Nature and history, now becomes the
 result of his 
 own free action. The extraneous 
 objective forces that have, hitherto, 
 governed history,pass under the control of man himself.
 Only from that 
 time will man himself, more and 
 more consciously, make his own history 
 — only from that time will the social causes set in
 movement by him 
 have, in the main and in a constantly 
 growing measure, the results 
 intended by him. It is the ascent of man from the kingdom
 of necessity 
 to the kingdom of freedom

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Insert for Locus of material necessity in human society and history

2009-02-14 Thread Charles Brown
I didn't finish these thoughts in what I posted

CB

The Second Thesis on Feuerbach -
the test of theory is practice -
is also rooted in or expresses
the determination of ideas by
material practice, practical-
critical , revolutionary,activity
(from the First Thesis on Feuerbach)
Theory, a system of ideas, is 
proven true or changed when it
is used to guide material practice
in both physics and economics.
Social theory or ideology that
guides real practice gives rise
to contradictions that react back
to change the theory, disproveit,
if it  contradicts material necessity
even if only in the long run as in
human history. Theb proof of the
pudding is in the eating. The disproof
of capitalism's theory or ideology,
is in the continuous immiseration of
masses and the periodic crises, 
wars and pollution.




___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Marxism and Humanism; Laborious Humanism

2009-02-13 Thread Charles Brown
CB: In Althusser's terms, the mature Marx significantly 
relocates humanism and essentialism, philosophical 
anthropology  to human labor in that it is a main
 source of value; and there is a sense of human 
essence in the abstract equality of all abstract 
human labor. It's homogeneous and uniform. It exists in the 
organism of every ordinary individual.
It's human labour pure and simple. , identically 
abstract ( and abstractly identical, human labor 
generally

  and physiologically and ESSENTIALLY 
the expenditure 
of human brain, nerves, muscles, c. 

Both the value creating character , and the use-value 
creating character of labor ( see below), are essentially human

Marx's is a laborious humanism, in _Capital_


Capital I:  The labour, however, that forms 
the substance of value, is homogeneous human 
labour, expenditure of one uniform labour power. 
The total labour power of society, which is 
embodied in the sum total of the values of all
 commodities produced by that society, counts 
here as one homogeneous mass of human labour 
power, composed though it be of innumerable 
individual units. Each of these units is the 
same as any other, so far as it has the character 
of the average labour power of society, and takes 
effect as such; that is, so far as it requires for
 producing a commodity, no more time than is needed
 on an average, no more than is socially necessary.

...But the value of a commodity represents human
 labour in the abstract, the expenditure of human 
labour in general. And just as in society, a general 
or a banker plays a great part, but mere man, on 
the other hand, a very shabby part,[14] so here with
 mere human labour. It is the expenditure of simple 
labour power, i.e., of the labour power which, on an 
average, apart from any special development, exists 
in the organism of every ordinary individual.

...While, therefore, with reference to use 
value, the labour contained in a commodity 
counts only qualitatively, with reference to
 value it counts only quantitatively, and must 
first be reduced to human labour pure and simple... 

..On the one hand all labour is, speaking 
physiologically, an expenditure of human 
labour power, and in its character of identical
 abstract human labour, it creates and forms the
 value of commodities...


The general value form is the reduction of all
 kinds of actual labour to their common character 
of being human labour generally, of being the 
expenditure of human labour power. 


For, in the first place, however varied the useful 
kinds of labour, or productive activities, may be, 
it is a physiological fact, that they are functions 
of the human organism, and that each such function, 
whatever may be its nature or form, is essentially 
the expenditure of human brain, nerves, muscles, c. 


CB:There is even an essential human natural equality 
of the use-value creating character of labor.

Capital I: So far therefore as labour is a creator 
of use value, is useful labour, it is a 
necessary condition, independent of all forms of 
society, for the existence of the human race; 
it is an eternal nature-imposed necessity, 
without which there can be no material exchanges 
between man and Nature, and therefore no life. 



___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Marx's laborious humanism, species-being

2009-02-13 Thread Charles Brown
Here is more elaboration of human essence in 
labor in the abstract, human species-being.

For Marx, labor is human creative essence.
Making is essentially human ( as is making out;
smile)

Of course human leisure, play, recreation
 is of
species-being , and human essence , too.
In this sense, philosophy of football 
is not an improper usage.

CB

^^

The Labour-Process and the Process of 
Producing Surplus-Value

THE LABOUR-PROCESS OR THE PRODUCTION 
OF USE-VALUES

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch07.htm

We pre-suppose labour in a form that stamps 
it as exclusively human. A spider conducts 
operations that resemble those of a weaver, 
and a bee puts to shame many an architect in 
the construction of her cells. But what 
distinguishes the worst architect from the 
best of bees is this, that the architect
 raises his structure in imagination before 
he erects it in reality. At the end of every
 labour-process, we get a result that already
 existed in the imagination of the labourer at
 its commencement. He not only effects a change 
of form in the material on which he works, but 
he also realises a purpose of his own that gives \
the law to his modus operandi, and to which he 
must subordinate his will. And this subordination 
is no mere momentary act. Besides the exertion 
of the bodily organs, the process demands that,
 during the whole operation, the workman’s will
be steadily in consonance with his purpose. This 
means close attention. The less he is attracted 
by the nature of the work, and the mode in which 
it is carried on, and the less, therefore, he enjoys 
it as something which gives play to his bodily and 
mental powers, the more close his attention is forced to be. 

The elementary factors of the labour-process are 1,
 the personal activity of man, i.e., work itself, 2,
 the subject of that work, and 3, its instruments. 




___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Why is history a history of class struggles ?

2009-02-13 Thread Charles Brown
Althusser says:

In 1845, Marx broke radically with every 
theory that based history and politics on an 
essence of man. This unique rupture contained 
three indissociable elements. 

(1) The formation of a theory of history and 
politics based on radically new concepts: the 
concepts of social formation, productive forces, 
relations of production, superstructure, ideologies,
 determination in the last instance by the economy, 
specific determination of the other levels, etc. 

(2) A radical critique of the theoretical 
pretensions of every philosophical humanism. 

(3) The definition of humanism as an ideology. 


^
CB: By at least 1848 with the _Manifesto 
of the 
Communist Party_, we can infer that 
Marx has 
relocated the essence of humans , 
his humanism in Althusser's sense, 
in human labor. 

This is in part 
the reason that
 history is a history of class 
struggles. For 
exploitation of labor triggers a 
human instinct in 
exploited laborers to  recover 
and enjoy all 
the fruits of their labor, 
appropriate all the 
products of their work. History 
progesses
as exploited laborers win victories
 restructuring 
the immense
superstructure with each revolution.

Althusser's claim that Marx's radical
new theory is scientific is correct
because the new theory deals with
_necessary_ connections in human
society. Labor is necessary for
human life.

Capital I: So far therefore as 
labour is a creator 
of use value, is useful labour, it is a 
necessary condition, independent of all forms of 
society, for the existence of the human race; 
it is an eternal nature-imposed necessity, 
without which there can be no material exchanges 
between man and Nature, and therefore no life. 






___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Toolmaking and use as an aspect of the human labor and essence

2009-02-13 Thread Charles Brown

Benjamin Franklin defines humans as
toolmakers, Franklin anthropology.
Control of fire, chemistry, is toolmaking,
and Promethean anthropology.

CB

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch07.htm

An instrument of labour is a thing, or a complex
 of things, which the labourer interposes between 
himself and the subject of his labour, and which 
serves as the conductor of his activity. He makes 
use of the mechanical, physical, and chemical 
properties of some substances in order to make 
other substances subservient to his aims. [2] 
Leaving out of consideration such ready-made 
means of subsistence as fruits, in gathering which 
a man’s own limbs serve as the instruments of his 
labour, the first thing of which the labourer possesses 
himself is not the subject of labour but its 
instrument. Thus Nature becomes one of the organs 
of his activity, one that he annexes to his own 
bodily organs, adding stature to himself in spite 
of the Bible. As the earth is his original larder, 
so too it is his original tool house. It supplies 
him, for instance, with stones for throwing, 
grinding, pressing, cutting, c. The earth 
itself is an instrument of labour, but when 
used as such in agriculture implies a whole 
series of other instruments and a comparatively 
high development of labour. [3] No sooner does 
labour undergo the least development, than it 
requires specially prepared instruments. Thus 
in the oldest caves we find stone implements and 
weapons. In the earliest period of human history 
domesticated animals, i.e., animals which have 
been bred for the purpose, and have undergone 
modifications by means of labour, play the chief 
part as instruments of labour along with specially
 prepared stones, wood, bones, and shells. [4] The 
use and fabrication of instruments of labour, although 
existing in the germ among certain species of animals, 
is specifically characteristic of the human 
labour-process, and Franklin therefore defines man 
as a tool-making animal. Relics of bygone instruments 
of labour possess the same importance for the 
investigation of extinct economic forms of society,
 as do fossil bones for the determination of extinct
 species of animals. It is not the articles made, but 
how they are made, and by what instruments, that enables
 us to distinguish different economic epochs. [5]
 Instruments of labour not only supply a standard 
of the degree of development to which human labour 
has attained, but they are also indicators of the 
social conditions under which that labour is carried 
on. Among the instruments of labour, those of a 
mechanical nature, which, taken as a whole, we may 
call the bone and muscles of production, offer 
much more decided characteristics of a given epoch 
of production, than those which, like pipes, tubs,
 baskets, jars, c., serve only to hold the materials 
for labour, which latter class, we may in a general way, 
call the vascular system of production. The latter first
 begins to play an important part in the chemical industries

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] The Concept of Aura and the Question of Art in Althusser, Benjamin and Greenberg

2009-02-12 Thread Charles Brown
Gary Tedman (unregistered) wrote, in response to bing:

Hi,



Yep, very interesting. I agree about Marx and his concept of human nature, and 
sexuality, and what you say. But it is different to the classical humanist 
essence (very).  I did write about this (sort of) in an essay in RM 
(Subjectless Aesthetics). Marx's idea of species being is very subtle and 
underestimated, in my view.



Despite all the arguments against Althusser that have passed, I think his 
critique of humanism (essay Marxism and Humanism) is an excellent 
contribution to Marxist theory.



In my view what today forms the core of bourgeois ideology, which does not have 
to be consistent, is a sort of amalgamation of positivism and humanism. Yes, I 
agree there are progressive moments in humanism, but I also think the great 
majority of it is harmful and confusing, at least to those wanting to 
understand the difference of Marxism to other notionally critical 'alternative 
positions'.



--- um, I guess I think and have argued that social realism is the embodiment 
of humanism in art, which goes further than Althusser.



ciao!




___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Political Affairs Magazine - The Concept of quot; Auraquot; and the Question of Art in Althusser, Benjamin and Greenberg

2009-02-07 Thread Charles Brown
:Picking up on Jim F's discussion below
it seems to me that the structuralist and
other objections to humanism are
objections to individualism. That is
 humanism/individualism as a failure
to understand Marx's notion that human in
individuals are an ensemble of their social
relations.  The human individual is 
a highly social individual. An extreme
example of what here is being termed
humanism would be Margaret Thatcher's
claim that there is no such thing as
society. Her implication being that we
are just a collection of individuals. Another
term for this is reductionism as if' human
society can be reduced to the interaction
of all the individuals who have specific
human individual natures or individual
natural instincts , self-interests, etc.
 In bourgeois economics the natural
individual is the rational man  and
what Marx criticizes as the Robinsonade. In
 bourgeois
 law it's the reasonable man. It is a fundamental
tenet of the various
Social Darwinisms.
 
A fundamental critique of individualism is
that it is actually a socially determined' 
ideology of the bourgeoisie.
 
 It is to reduce
the social whole to the sum of its parts.
 
The Briitsh Marxist philosopher
Christopher Cauldwell has several
essays critiquing this very well.
 
Ted Winslow of several lists here
calls it external relations when
'reality is in the form of internal 
relations He follows Whitehead on 
this, and his debates with Bertrand
'Russell. This takes it out of the realm
of human society to the whole of
reality.  So, reducing wholes to the sum of
their parts in general.
 
 
 Jim Farmelant fOn Sat, 7 Feb 2009 05:30:54 -0800 (PST) Mehmet Cagatay
mehmetcagatayaydin at yahoo.com writes:
 
 Mr. Dumain, would you please clarify why you regard Althusserian 
 anti-humanism as a kind of epater les bourgeois?

The whole debate seems peculiarly French to me.
In France since the 19th century humanism was
seen as something that was closely tied to
the bourgeoisie.  Even someone like Sartre
struggled over whether he was a humanist
or not.  He eventually decided that his
existentialism was a kind of humanism,
but one that was different from the kinds
of humanism that the bourgeoisie typically
embraced.  In Sartre's case, I think he
identified conventional bourgeois humanism
with essentialism. Those humanisms
posited a human essence, whereas for
Sartre, existence preceded essence.

In the French debates over humanism
in the 1960s and 1970s, structuralists
and poststructuralists like Levi-Strauss,
Louis Althusser, and Michel Foucault
attempted to push the critique of humanism
much further than Sartre had been willing
to go.  Sartre's existentialism, as he realized,
was still a humanism.  He placed free will
at the center of his conception of man.
People, regardless of the circumstances
that they might find themselves in, still
retained their freedom, if only the
freedom to redefine their situation
in alternative ways.  The French
anti-humanists questioned this view
in light of such developments in the
human sciences like structural linguistics
(which Levi-Strauss to generalize into
a complete anthropology), psychoanalysis
(i.e. the work of Lacan which enjoyed
great currency in this period), and of
course, Marxism.  Althusser, was
of course, a Marxist and long time
member of the PCF.  Foucault,
who had been a student of Althusser,
was a member of the PCF for a brief
period of time.  By the 1950s, he had
renounced Marxism in favor of Nietzscheanism,
although his work was still very much
influenced by Marxism.  Levi-Strauss,
I believed, identified himself at this time
as a Marxist, although his work doesn't
strike me as being particularly Marxist.

There were certainly differences in viewpoints
between these people.  Althusser doesn't
seem to have been particularly enamored
with Levi-Strauss's work, and he didn't
like being called a structuralist.  However,
all these people's work, whether drawing 
from Saussure, Freud, Marx, Nietzsche,
or Heidegger, all had certain themes in
common.  They all rejected the Sartrean
emphasis on human freedom, instead
emphasizing the extent to which human
behavior is determined by structures
of various sorts, whether these be
linguistic structures, kinship structures,
structures of epistemology (Foucault
in this *The Order of Things*), social
structures as represented by the 
mode of production and associated
superstructures (i.e. Althusser), and
so forth.  They all rejected the traditional
humanist idea that their exists an unchanging
human essence which provides the basis
for freedom and equality and human rights.
For the French antihumanists, this conception
was rejected as being ideological and/or
metaphysical, and they drew variously
upon Marx, Nietzsche, and Heidegger,
in their critiques of humanism.
___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] The Concept of Aura and the Question of Art in Althusser, Benjamin and Greenberg

2009-02-07 Thread Charles Brown





The Concept of Aura and the Question of Art in Althusser, Benjamin and 
Greenberg
By Gary Tedman



click here for related stories: science 




1-28-09, 10:33 am 






 I think we should not expect Marxism to produce a scientific (correct) theory 
of art, which would be like a Marxist theory of biology attempting to replace 
Darwinism. Instead, the theory must come from within the realms of art and be 
internal to that gamut of practices. Of course, Marxism has an input to make 
on this subject, and, in the absence of a universally accepted theory, it is 
obliged to take a position on art, to pick a side, so to speak. It is also 
obliged to champion those theories of art it thinks are the most progressive 
and scientific. I am not convinced that Marxism has done this in the past at 
all times. 

The Marxists Louis Althusser, Walter Benjamin and Clement Greenberg have, I 
would argue, produced the most progressive theories of art, sometimes almost as 
an aside to their more pressing concerns. This essay critiques their 
contributions and also seeks to amalgamate them into a new and radical whole. 

It will help us to start this investigation by thinking of visual art as visual 
philosophy. Art, if it is not simply decorative, entertainment, or utilitarian, 
communicates deep and fundamental ideas, just like philosophy. I realize, of 
course, that “What is philosophy?” is no easy question. The Marxist philosopher 
Louis Althusser (1918-1990) has, however, made it an easier one for us. For 
Althusser, philosophy is class struggle in the field of theory. It battles over 
the status of the sciences. Thus, the practice of science is distinguished from 
the practice of ideology. Art, however, differs from philosophy in that, while 
philosophy (at least as commonly understood) deals with the rational via 
writing, art specializes in “feelings,” taking feeling to mean both emotion and 
sensory perception, using its materials in subtle ways to affect the senses. 

Linking art and philosophy in this way has the benefit of revealing a hitherto 
hidden aspect of art: As Althusser said, all philosophy interpellates us as 
subjects. The same can be said about art. “Interpellation is a concept 
Althusser developed in his theory of ideology. For Althusser, ideology (even a 
system of false ideas such as bourgeois ideology) participates in the ongoing 
reproduction of the already existing social conditions of production. As any 
child knows, Althusser said, all societies must reproduce themselves. Ideology 
is necessary in order to reproduce the right kind of human subject with the 
right kind of mentality for functioning properly in capitalist society. The 
bourgeois state has organized modern education to manage this task, a task 
which once had been the function of religious institutions. Part of this 
reproduction process is the “interpellation of the subject.” Althusser’s 
example is the French police way of
 hailing: “Hey you there!” Such hailing functions so that the subject 
recognizes he or she really is a responsible individual subject to ideology. 

For Althusser, the ruling philosophy always interpellates subjects, it always 
has a particular world view, and it hails its subjects to recognize its 
authority. However, all interpellation by the state must be materialized. It 
can never just consist of pure ideas floating from one brain to another. It 
must therefore exist in actual practice. We act out ideology, or to put it 
another way, because practice always comes before theory, ideology legitimizes 
practices that already exist (e.g., ideology legitimated the Iraq war after the 
war had already been started). 

But, as Althusser said, bourgeois philosophy “lives by its denegation, the 
promise of an objective knowledge of what philosophy is, as a practice, which 
is offered by Marxism, is always denegated, or disavowed, by bourgeois 
philosophers, who assert that such knowledge is impossible. This denial of 
status is crucial to the ruling ideology. The bourgeois world view, for 
example, sees itself as just because it is universal, which means beyond all 
partisan positions. Because of this it may/can be forceful, resort to violence, 
etc. 

The professional art teacher is similarly obliged to deny real knowledge of 
their practice. The phrase there's no accounting for taste is one of the 
unwritten commandments of modern art education. This reflects the bourgeois 
notion that art (ultimately) cannot be scientific or subjected to scientific 
analysis. In this, the ruling philosophy has decided what science and art is, 
but at the same time (absurdly) it holds there can be no definite (scientific) 
knowledge of it. It also asserts this of its own practice of philosophy. 
According to the ruling philosophy, we cannot know what philosophy does, as a 
practice. All of this is a function of the classical bifurcation thesis, the 
great separation of the humanities from the sciences, which runs through all 

Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] What are the CPUSA’s views on the USSR?

2009-02-07 Thread Charles Brown


--- On Sat, 2/7/09, juan De La Cruz ballist...@yahoo.com wrote:

From: juan De La Cruz ballist...@yahoo.com
Subject: Re: [Marxism-Thaxis] What are the CPUSA’s views on the USSR?
To: cdb1...@prodigy.net
Date: Saturday, February 7, 2009, 2:15 PM







...I think or want to recommend to start our critical study of the exussr by 
using the concept revolutionary tentative in order to correctly understand that 
particular historical moment.  One of the historical documents that 
demonstrates that the revolutionary proletariat was defeated during the 
1917-1923 international wave of proletarian action is found in Lenin's 
Collective Works: The Eighth Party Congress and a decree stopping revolutionary 
action against private property  Lenin's himself acknowledge during its 
intervention in the Party's Congress that Soviets had been transformed into 
government's administration organs for the proletariat.In the second 
document he signed a decree calling the direct action against private property 
to be stopped and those structures to merged with the Soviets, that were 
already organs of capital's administrationWe shall not forget the 
international invasion that followed to consolidate the new form of
 capital's dictatorship in contradiction with other fraction of capital...until 
all contradictions exploited in 1938(9): the second generalized capital war.  
Also, we could see and learn more historical evidence of the proletariat defeat 
in the files of the Third International.   
with revolutionary salutations,
ballista 
 
^
Is it your conclusion that the great october 
revolution was not really that great ?

--- On Mon, 2/2/09, Charles Brown cdb1...@prodigy.net wrote:

From: Charles Brown cdb1...@prodigy.net
Subject: [Marxism-Thaxis] What are the CPUSA’s views on the USSR?
To: a-l...@lists.econ.utah.edu, marxism-thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
Date: Monday, February 2, 2009, 5:15 PM

What are the CPUSA’s views on the USSR?
The subject of the USSR is a complex one. There was certainly an insufficiently
developed democracy, but to dismiss over 70 years of their history developing
socialism as completely undemocratic is a gross oversimplification. They
practiced forms of economic democracy and worker involvement unknown in this
country. They offered citizens many essential benefits that the drive to
capitalism has destroyed.
When the solution is worse than the problem, it is not a solution.
Capitalism has made life for the vast majority in the former Soviet Union and
other former socialist countries much worse. All indicators of social health are
deteriorating, such as the sharp rise in infant mortality, the decrease in
longevity rates, levels of malnutrition and starvation, decreasing health care
for most of the population, inadequate and overwhelmed social security and
welfare programs. The problems they faced would have had a better chance of
being solved by more socialism, not less!
I recommend six books to help deepen your knowledge of the accomplishments and
shortcomings of the Soviet Union:
Heroic Struggle, Bitter Defeat by Bhaman Azad from International Publishers,
2000, 
Blackshirts and Reds by Michael Parenti from City Light Publishers.
These are both valuable contributions to the discussion of what happened in the
Soviet Union, why, and how that connects to the history of Soviet policies. 
About issues of human rights and socialist development in the Soviet Union, see
Human Rights in the Soviet Union by Albert Szymanski, Zed Books, 1984. 
An earlier book of his, Is the Red Flag Still Flying, included an afterward
that is a (very incomplete) start at an historical materialist analysis of
Stalin’s role. (Symanski was an economist and a Maoist who set out to prove
the Maoist thesis of capitalist restoration in the Soviet Union, but
on examining the statistics and realities, came to the conclusion that the
Maoists were wrong, that the Soviet Union was still primarily run in the
interests of the working class. He used statistics and facts as reported by
right-wing academicians, arguing that facts as reported by anti-communists could
be used to prove progressive points with greater believability by anti-communist
readers.)
Soviet Women ( Ramparts Press, 1975) and Soviet But Not Russian (Ramparts
Press, 1985) by William Mandel and The Siberians by Farley Mowat are useful
responses to the barrage of anti-communism directed at the Soviet Union and
other socialist countries. (Note that for writing this particular book, Farley
Mowat was barred from entering the United States in the 1980s! He wrote a short
funny book about his experiences. The U. S. State Department finally backed
down, at which time Mowat refused to enter! Other world-famous authors have been
refused entry into the U.S. as undesirable aliens, including Nobel
Literature Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez.)
http://www.cpusa.org/article/static/511/#question27
 
___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list

[Marxism-Thaxis] Economic tsunami

2009-02-06 Thread Charles Brown
 
Sam said:
If there were such a thing as an economic tsunami, I would say we are 
experiencing it. Not since the Great Depression has the economy been in such 
bad shape, which leads many economists to predict that the downturn will be 
L-shaped, that is, deep and prolonged. 

Furthermore, the economic contraction is worldwide. No country or region will 
escape its pain and long reach. Nor can any national economy, ours included, 
hope to make a full recovery without global coordination and cooperation. In an 
integrated global economy, we either swim together or sink together.

Financialization – two-edged sword 
While the present economic turbulence was triggered by the collapse of the 
housing markets over the past two years, its underlying cause goes back to the 
mid-1970s. 

At that time U.S. economy was rocked to its core by the interweaving of 
seemingly stubborn and contradictory economic problems – high inflation and 
unemployment, declining confidence in the dollar as a means of international 
payment, new competitive rivals in Europe and Asia, and a falling profit rate, 
all of which occurred in the context of overproduction in world commodity 
markets. Stagflation was the term coined to describe this contradictory 
phenomenon.

Faced with this unraveling of the economy and a crisis of profitability, 
then-chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker stepped into the breech and 
pushed up interest rates to near 20 per cent. This spike in interest rates 
threw the country into a deep recession, sending unemployment rates to the 
highest level since the Great Depression, forcing the closing of scores of 
manufacturing plants and a great number of family farms, laying waste to cities 
and whole regions, and bringing incredible hardship to the working class, and 
especially African-American, Latino and other racial minorities and women 
workers.

The rate hike also opened the door for a many-sided attack on labor and its 
allies, the likes of which hadn't been seen since the pre-Depression era. Wage 
and benefit concessions were demanded. New labor saving techniques and 
computerization invaded the workplace. Rules governing seniority, job 
classifications, line speed, and safety were either eliminated or routinely 
violated. And, the relocation of production to non-union and offshore sites 
became standard fare.

If we thought this was only done to dramatically increase the corporate share 
of the value that workers create in the production process relative to what 
they receive, we would be wrong. It was also motivated by the overarching 
desire of corporate capital to cripple the social power of the labor movement 
and disrupt its alliance with its most durable and powerful ally - the African 
American people. 

Now we can't leave it at this, because, in addition to the working class and 
its allies taking a pounding, there is another side to this intricate story – 
Volcker's interest rate spike also wrung inflation out of the economy, restored 
confidence in the dollar in international money markets, and, especially 
important to us, redirected domestic and foreign investment capital (and there 
was plenty of it), abruptly and massively from the real economy – auto, 
steel, machine tool, construction, and so on – into financial channels and 
speculative ventures where returns were markedly higher.

Once in financial channels, money/speculative capital stayed there, but it did 
not sit on its hands. Its financial agents (banks, investment houses, hedge 
funds, private equity firms, mutual funds, and so on) intent on expanding their 
profits in an increasingly toothless regulatory environment raced at breakneck 
speed into a massive buying and selling and borrowing and spending speculative 
spree for the next three decades. And all this led to an explosion of the 
financial sector in terms of employment, transactions, and profits. Nearly 40 
per cent of corporate profits came from this sector in the early years of this 
decade – not to mention the salaries, bonuses, stock options, and dividends of 
Wall St. insiders.
 
Capital that produces little, destroys much 
If this transformation of the U.S. economy into a speculative casino run by the 
masters of the universe, hunkered down on Wall St., has its roots in the 
unraveling of the U.S. economy three decades ago, what greased the skids during 
this period was the production and easy availability, seemingly without end, of 
staggering amounts of debt — corporate, consumer and government. 

Debt is as old as capitalism. But what is different in recent decades is that 
the production of debt and the accompanying speculative excesses and bubbles 
were not simply passing moments at the end of the business cycle, but essential 
to evolution, interrelations, and functioning of the overall economy. 

Without the massive piling up of debt and speculative bubbles first in internet 
technology, then in the stock market, and most recently, in housing, 

[Marxism-Thaxis] What more specifically does irreversible mean ?

2009-02-05 Thread Charles Brown
AP - President Barack Obama warned on Thursday that failure to act on an 
economic recovery package could plunge the nation into a long-lasting recession 
that might prove irreversible, a fresh call to a recalcitrant Congress to move 
quickly.

^^
CB: What more specifically does irreversible mean ?



This recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more 
jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper 
into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse, Obama wrote 
in the op-ed titled, The Action Americans Need.

Senate Democratic leaders hope for passage of the legislation by Friday at the 
latest, although prospects appear to hinge on crafting a series of spending 
reductions that would make the bill more palatable to centrists in both parties.

Obama rejected the argument that more tax cuts are needed in the plan and that 
piecemeal measures would be sufficient, arguing that Americans made their 
intentions clear in the election.

I reject these theories, and so did the American people when they went to the 
polls in November and voted resoundingly for change, he wrote.

Historically huge to begin with, economic stimulus legislation is growing 
larger by the day in the Senate, where the addition of a new tax break for 
homebuyers sent the price tag well past $900 billion.

It is time to fix housing first, Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said Wednesday 
night as the Senate agreed without controversy to add the new tax break to the 
stimulus measure, at an estimated cost of nearly $19 billion.

The tax break was the most notable attempt to date to add help for the crippled 
housing industry and gave Republicans a victory as they work to remake the 
legislation more to their liking.

Three swing-vote senators met with Obama at the White House on Wednesday to 
discuss possible cutbacks, but they declined to discuss details of their talks. 
Obama has made the legislation a cornerstone of his recovery plan.

For their part, Senate Republicans signaled they would persist in their efforts 
to reduce spending in the measure, to add tax cuts and reduce the cost of 
mortgages for millions of homeowners.

Officials figures were unavailable, but it appeared that the measure carried a 
price tag of more than $920 billion, making it bigger than the financial 
industry bailout that passed last year and as large as any measure in memory.

Despite bipartisan concerns about the cost, Republicans failed in a series of 
attempts on Wednesday to cut back the bill's size.

The most sweeping proposal, advanced by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., would have 
eliminated all the spending and replaced it with a series of tax cuts. It was 
defeated 61-36.

Democrats also upheld a so-called Buy American provision that requires projects 
financed by the measure to be built with domestically produced iron and steel.

But with Obama voicing concern about the provision, the requirement was changed 
to specify that U.S. international trade agreements not to be violated.

Additionally, Democrats turned back an attempt to strip out a provision that 
Obama has said was essential. It would provide a tax cut of up to $1,000 for 
working couples, including those who do not make enough to pay income taxes.

Isakson said the new tax break for homebuyers was intended to help revive the 
housing industry, which has virtually collapsed in the wake of a credit crisis 
that began last fall. 

The proposal would allow a tax credit of 10 percent of the value of new or 
existing residences, up to a $15,000 limit. Current law provides for a $7,500 
tax break but only for first-time homebuyers. 

Isakson's office said the proposal would cost the government an estimated $19 
billion. 

The provision was the second tax cut approved in as many days targeted to 
individual industries. On Tuesday, the Senate voted to give a break to 
consumers who buy new cars. 

The House approved its own version of the bill last week.



http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090205/ap_on_go_pr_wh/congress_stimulus




 Stores see January sales fall; Wal-Mart posts rise (AP) 

___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


[Marxism-Thaxis] Revoke Krugman's Nobel Prize!

2009-02-05 Thread Charles Brown
Barkley Rosser is a Thaxis alum.

CB
^^^

Revoke Krugman's Nobel Prize!
by Barkley Rosser

Yes, I know, not only has no Nobel Prize ever been revoked for anything, but 
they certainly do not do so for idiotic statements made by winners after they 
have won. However, as the first winner of the prize for international trade in 
31 years, I find it appalling that Paul Krugman has come out for the buy 
American provision in the fiscal stimulus package now under consideration in 
the US Senate, a provision not supported by President Obama, and roundly 
denounced by pretty much everybody outside the US, a provision that would 
violate promises made in November in Washington not to engage in protectionist 
actions for at least a year, with at its worst the nightmare possibility of a 
rerun of the trade war of the 1930s following the US Smoot-Hawley tariff that 
exacerbated the Great Depression. While some may dismiss such a possibility 
now, the standing of the US in the world on economic policy may have never been 
worse, given the role of the collapse of
our sub-prime market in the current troubles, and with world merchandise trade 
dropping at an annualized rate of nearly 45% in November. This is not the time 
to be playing with such irresponsible fire.

http://econospeak.blogspot.com/2009/02/revoke-krugmans-nobel-prize.html


___
Marxism-Thaxis mailing list
Marxism-Thaxis@lists.econ.utah.edu
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism-thaxis


  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   >