Saturday, June 5, 2010


I would like to conclude the Jack Silverman economics blog. Now I know what b-people (businesspersons) mean when they say "the time had come" to end the project, or the run on B'way (Broadway), etc.

Also, I have to go to the beauty parlor to get pigtails, and I'm going to be all day taking care of these.

I feel alright with what I did. The way most persons seem to work is that they feel secure at the beginning; and then they do something fake. I seem to feel secure upon looking back at what I did in the end and finding out that it was OK. At that point I feel alright with it. Well, I could say something stupid now, but I think I'll just close.

773-934-7221 Jack Silverman

p.s. also, a warm "thank you" to the Chinese who had begun to follow me.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Capitalsim have white Europe a break

Capitalism gave white Europe a break. It delivered them from the evil of their ways. It re-arranged its relational or social system. Capitalism opens up possibilities for human equality. But unless the distributional promise is fulfilled, everything may go awry. Why do I say that?

It is the multiplicity of factors, all occurring at once, that allow capitalism to happen at all. What man has to do, after this opening occurs, is take note of all these factors at work. Then mankind needs to intentionally create the factors that increase the good in capitalism and decrease the bad. (Instead we have the philosophy of "hands off" or "do not interfere," which is obscurantism.) There are quite a few of these factors (for example, how much emphasis should be given to oil drilling, including in water, over windmills and other sources of energy? Did anybody monitor this issue? Or did we just "let the market decide"?). But human beings are totally not up to the task.

On of all these factors is distributional. While capitalism works, to some extent, for those few centrally-oriented countries (firstly, Holland or England, and then the U.S. are a few main examples to consider), there is a very obvious, simple problem that shows up and that is the fact that while the capitalists penetrate every section of the earth's surface, the persons living in those countries do not share in the benefits (or course some do and some don't but it is true that in general those persons are not all sharing in the benefits). This is a contradiction with the principle of capitalism as treating all entrants into this system as equals, simply based on the products they offer. There is no cultural remedy for these "outsider" countries whom capitalism invades but then fails to benefit. That is why one of the first areas to intervene in that I would mention would be these much less-wealth far-flung or "3rd world" countries. If intentional intervention -- and there are ways to do it -- would be done for those human beings, a tremendous amount of human capital would be released. All of this would ensue if the capitalists would simply agree to treat everyone equally.

Capitalism gave the European white people a break, but if they won't give the other persons on the face of this earth a break, they will capsize their capitalism as well.

Friday, May 7, 2010

"My Paper Chase," by Harold Evans

Evans, a newspaper editor from Great Britain, in his lovely booke of the year 2009, gives us an idea of life in a capitalistic society. His mother and Dad are entirely dissimilar - and he entirely dissimilar from them. No doubt. Yet Dad had success, in his own way. And Mom in hers. Western Europe finds its way out of feudalism and out of the strict class division of the time by tolerating disagreement and variety. And the method for doing so is called capitalism.

Rogues to the right of me, here I am

Today I am in a different motel, in Madison Wisconsin. There is a party of "rouges" who checked in last night, had no respect for anything, and made noise until three a.m. Today, they seem be acting slightly differently. The behavior reminds me of scam or con game. They have a "Palin 2012" bumper sticker on their van. Nothing means anything?
Now when I go to the computer, I see five screens uploaded for Facebook slash Mafia Wars. Here it is: []. I read some of the copy: they use all the crime terminology in interacting with their public, and when they sell product to customer they call it "loot."
This is a very interesting mentality, which I have no doubt is the same as the one they use at Goldman Sachs or at those brokers that went under in 2008. I do not think there would any difference. Would there. It's what Loretta Napoleoni calls "Rouge Capitalism."

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Random Comment (Emlenton, PA: restaurant)

Why is it that individuals bringing us news on T. V. pretend they are experts?
I am struck by this pretense of expertisticalness from the good folks at Fox while I am watching Fox News. I'm in the restautant after staying at the motel, next door.
Obviously, any person can think anything he/she likes. The Fox people have a lot of things to say today, mostly about immigration in Arizona. When talking about one's thoughts, there is a very basic requirement that we show some rationality. That is one of the first things we are going to need to do, as, after all, you need to use language. You need to have some basic grammar going for you, as well as semantics, syntax, occasional mispelling is alright.

But here is the Fox Corp. caption that erupts under the screen while I m watching my morning News. It's definitely fresh and "New." "People protests better working conditions" -this is an actual caption seen in the restaurant. On the great Fox news network. It is regarding something European, or course. Not only that, it is a May Day demonstration.

Those Europeans is crazy aren't they.

I guess people like to make sense; but this time a caption writer stumbled.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Transcations (Blankfein on TV)

Blankfein. (AP) "...we do hundreds of thousands, if not millions of transactions a day, ... ... he said, adding that behind every transaction there was a buyer and a seller, creating both winners and losers." What he said was rubbish, just a load of hot air from someone who cannot defend what he does. But we'll accept what he said anyways, which is that in the trades there are winners and losers.

Yeah, those two: And, thirdly, middlemen. Umpires. Armchair quarterbacks. Brokers or bankers or compradors... Merchants, basically using money. Nothing wrong with that. Right? Maybe not.

First of all -- you can verify from earlier posts of mine -- I think they are psychopathological hypocrites. The decent folks made their money on Wall St. and retired, to run art galleries and bed and breakfasts, or grow organic soybeans.

The banking industry shot down critics at least as far back as the 19th century. They were in the U. S. farmers' or agrarian movement (which had elected some U.S. Senators), and they lost, and the dominant banker interest has continued to dominate such critics ever since. But there was tremendous opposition during much of the 19th century.

As this destruction of the level-headed, perfectly rational opposition to financiers continues, the end result matters. It is not an abstraction. It is matter. And it matters and their behavior in the end causes suffering. This suffering will happen to real people ---- if not to bankers, ha ha ---- what a cute harmless joke. Well of course it causes suffering anyway: you could say that all this behavior has caused plenty of suffering already. (Or do "middlemen" brokers have no responsibility?) Then it will cause more. It will cause more suffering.

Eventually there will be a collapse of civilization, "empire," "epoch," or kalpa or whatever you call it. Then we'll all die. Boy. What a dumb post this one turned nout to be. Pointless. Totally pointless. What do I even think I am doing?

As we struggle mightily to smooth out such periodic business cycles/crises as historians have noted do occur. The problem is this. It is that bankers are peaceful men, who do not kill.

They just keep cheating.

Capitalism is just one big killing machine, because we cannot regulate it or do any better with it.

So what is the point of this blog?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Money, and Men's Ideas About It

To do anything at all, one needs money. That money either comes from the financial sector of the economy, which is to say the casino-like atmosphere of derivatives and the like, or it comes from the what some economists actually call the "real" economy.

All through history, capitalism has been a combination of these two phenomena, which may also be called the fraudulent side and the honest side.

If the fraudulent side is kept in check by natural forces, that's all well and good. But what if it is not? If it is not, then humans have to intervene. That is when human beings have to use their wisdom to intervene and control the economy. We think "control the economy" is a dirty word(s), due to the conditioning we have received from the society in which we live. Actually, that may be wrong thinking.

There are no simple answers. We cannot say simply that "the economy" is a thing in itself or a magical force that takes care of itself, all the time. Why would that be? Yet this is the view that was upheld, and it went on for decades.
Only now is this view being questioned once again and its defenders have suddenly scattered like flies --- and that proves there was nothing to it. But you can see books lining the shelves. There were these books coming out every week, I used to monitor them, books that came out anytime in the last thirty years or more, giving this "magic of the markets" view.
Capitalism comes to rule, and after it does, first, money takes over; then, ideology takes over.
Where are those pundits and masters of economic theory now? Where is their defense of their position? Where even is an admission, "I was wrong"? Nowhere. Doesn't exist. WE hear nothing from them. (Oh yeah. I did see that Kudlow guy on T.V. a few months ago!)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Anonymity in Capitalistic Societies

Capitalism lets anyone with money enter the market. This is the basic case -- there are certain limits. For example, there are limits to one's getting money in the first case. One is also not free to engage in this capitalism stuff very well if one is in jail. But these limits do not detract from my basic case that in this system of capitalism, which is one that encompasses so much of human activity in the world today, there is a general pool of persons who are anonymous and equal. Generally speaking, they are free to enter the market as they please. The fact that any member not in one of the specific excluded categories, such as in jail, illegally in somebody else's country, or flat broke, can operate with equality in the system. That can be called a system of both equality and anonymity.

Can this last? Is this a problem-free system? Of course not.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Analyzing Capitalism from the Car

Written in the car:

No doubt but that there is a lot of economic activity. I just passed a fairly big building on the hiway, in Indianapolis, called "Interactive Intelligence":

Everything is happening so fast you really don't know what is going on.
Something like exchange.
It is to do with exchange.
Everything is being exchange'd

Wrong and Right in Economics

Does free market neo-Classic economic thought and theory make any sense? It should make some. 15,000 univeristy-trained economics professors teach it, so then we should expect it to. You would think that there would be at least a little bit of sense in it. And it would seem surprising if this were not the case. Notice here that I am not saying I think that there is, or is not, but I just want to say 'that much' here for now. OK?

Let's hear an official of the Fed who (while carefully distancing himself from any conflict of interest with other officials of the Federal Reserve) wrote a book on the subject of the importance of not the economists' thought or academic society's thought in general (they support their culture, of course), but rather a related subject: the theories and philosophy of the "American Businessman." This is a 1964 book that looks at the peculiar and particular thought of the businessmen. Bunting (he's the author) says on page 5 that "what the business man thinks about economic policy is important, no matter how myth-laden his views may seem."

In other words, the views are important even if "myth-laden." I could say the same for economists: their views are important vis-a-vis the society even if they are totally wrong. Those views are the backstop we bounce our culture off, like a basketball. The book in question here is about the case of businessmen, circa 1964.
It is a very interesting case: the entire social class indulges in the same view at the same time. But is it the right view? That's another matter: the viewis culturally functional even if it is wrong.

Are we doing the same when we listen to our present economics language and economics ideas? Are we merely indulging a common language? It is dangerous. What does it mean to have a society, concentrated in economics, and with a wrong view of that economic life itself? Could it be that these economists are so far off that they cannot help us solve problems. Could it be that, relying on them, we will not even begin to find the answers that we need? That we are not capable of finding solutions?

Of course it is my hope that the set of alternative views here, but whether I can single-handedly turn this around would probably be unlikely. But, who knows? I hope this blog will be of some interest or some help, somehow. So I continue to do the good work, the good thing. I endeavor to continue, in order to develop it and improve my own writing -- until I am ready for the world, and they are ready for me.

I guess, then, what I am trying to do is create a sort of communication interface.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Capitalism to the Rescue --- again and again and again

Westernity is continually getting rescued. It is by something that tweaks the social side. That's what capitalism did --- it rejuvenated the social side. It wakes up our social side but we keep going to sleep. If it is a social process, then it follows that capitalism cannot be characterized in the fashion of the right, because they say it is private rather than social. Their idea is wrong; they see only a private quest for profit. I beg to differ: capitalism tweaks the social side of man---although, at the same time, this also seems to have the character of being a short-term fix. Capitalism creates a society.

Finally: when a heroin addict gets her/his "fix" s/ he really DOES feel good.

Is a feeling of "good" the same as really good?

That is something to ponder of course, and I include this just to make a suggestion for the reader's own thinking process.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Public Sector, In a Healthy Capitalism

In order to live in capitalism, you need to have a sense of humor. Once you are living in capitalism, and enjoying yourself --- and once you are suitably relaxed --- you need to be serious: that too. You need seriousness too --- in order to improve, reform and stabilize your system. Therefore it is my position that capitalism has to be stabilized. Stabilization is not a crime.

That means that the left should not be offended --- by the suggestion that one needs to stabilize capitalism! (Instead of what? Revolution!?) The responsibility of capitalism is to give persons the chance to earn a living and to live.

(On the serious side) it is the responsibility of persons living in capitalism to change it. It is the responsibility of persons living in capitalism to reform it. It is their responsibility to make it better. But we are falling down on that job, or on our responsibility to reform, monitor and stabilize the system.

A version of capitalism that has only what we call the private sector is a bad version ---- a bad dream. You could call our current economic system a failing and declined, or, sort of sterilized, neutered, or doomed capitalism. It is no longer humorous! As it loses that particular quality as well as the essential character of diversity ---- it perverse: merely perverse. Capitalism needs to be diverse. It needs no perversity but rather the diversity of the public sector.

The public sector is different ---- than the private sector. (Which is why, I suppose, two labels exist!) The two are different, then, and what the public sector is, and how it is to operate vis-a-vis the economy as a whole, and how the relationship is to be sustained, needs to be worked out; and that's the "how" problem.

Our problem is the "how" of governance. It is the "how" of governance (regulation), not "whether." But it is a step forward to understand this, at least: the two concepts, of "capitalism" and "public sector," are not contradictions.

To sum all this up, capitalism needs a public sector. One quality of a public sector is governance. If a quality of capitalism is that it needs both a public sector and a private sector, then, since the public sector part needs to be governed, capitalism needs to be governed. Maybe the private sector part does not but....who decides what part is the private sector and what part the public sector?

It is not possible to say that that decision should be left to the private sector.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Covering A Few Basic Ideas Of Mine

In my work the definition of “capitalism,” like “economics,” is assumed, with the consequence that it is defined subsequently in the context of the ensuing discussion.

But it goes without saying that it isn't the “self-interest” of atomized human beings. This concept has nothing to do with it!

I am trying to uncover the keys to what is good about capitalism and what actually makes it function.
Our problem is that we don’t understand what capitalism did: the actual accomplishments.
It created a workable, liveable society.
From economists, we never hear anything of this quality of liveableness, as if this has nothing to do with the subject matter of economics. I know it's a "hard world" and everything, but I just do not think this is the correct way to approach the subject of capitalism. The voices for peace are so few and far between, as the mobs cry for war.
Somehow, capitalism made a more liveable society. I cannot agree with the all too commonly-held radical, left idea that it is only to be characterized as exploitation, injustice and so forth. There is something else going on.

The right-wing will tell you that capitalism is based on the individual, but it's propaganda. It’s a fairy tale. A whole book – a philosophy book – could be written on this: it would be about what is called “ideology.”


In her book, “A Body of Individuals” (Ohio State University Press, 2009), academic Sue-Im Lee discusses social feeling using the word "community." This matter of what social bonds consist of is, sometimes, indeed discussed on the left, but rarely so by proponents of capitalism or (academic) economists. Now, social bonds, being natural, may be assumed rather than explicitly delineated in "narratives" or in writing. Lee talks about writers who like talking about community, and those who don't, and feel it is actually something pernicious. However in the case of a discussion of capitalism, I think we have to do it. If we try to have such a discussion while leaving this matter of human sociality out of it, our arguments fail, and so there is no alternative to discussing and seeing and indeed understanding capitalism as social. Now I think that conservative philosophy is quite acceptable as philosophy; but it is that it totally misses the mark in so far as capitalism. This is the matter of ideology---a big subject. And the matter of ideology and economics is also real, and concrete. This is because if the Republicans in Congress stick to their views about the "private" nature of economics and capitalism they are going to be completely unable to govern.


Capitalism took over from the medieval or the Renaissance – or whatever – and extended whatever social feeling or whatever bonds of community feeling existed already. Those feelings reformed themselves. This gives us for one further extended period for Western civilization. But what comes at the end of this last leg of Western civilization is up to us. The capitalist period as we know it will end. This could be followed up be some kind of fundamental overhaul, some basic structural reform. If this is done, the civilization may go on. If it is not done, the civilization will crash.
Our period is the period of capitalism. Looking back from this “relative vantage point” or “observational opportunity,” we can see that Western “civ” is not really that culturally impressive – of course there’s a lot to get excited about if you are the excitable type. Let’s not go there!
So what we see is a horrible dead/deadly/deathening (to use Chögyam Trungpa’s term) stretch of time (“history”) with only cruelty, little spots of culture only available to a very few and, Well – death (did I mention that?), followed by a weird, dialectically transfigured/transfiguring, terminally perplexing society that is called capitalism and that is also called democracy. Um, whatever those things are.
There were social bonds or social ties (I’d call it “fellow-feeling” if I was living in one of my 50’s used bookstore-paperbacks) that existed – that’s natural, right? – what happens in capitalism is that these are suddenly converted into modern terms. And this whole period of Western history is now ending as this leg or extension comes to its natural limits. Although some modification of capitalism could save the system, the present form of capitalism is terminal. This is not bad; it’s just terminal.
So, capitalism gives us an extension leg. It jacks up the sociality (not to mention that this manifests as the movement called “socialism”), perhaps – for a few persons. If the observation of this historical period is made according to the conservative method, which is to say their take on capitalism, you won’t get anywhere; you’ll miss the whole point. You will not penetrate capitalism at all.
If you want a paradigmatic word-construction here it is. “Capitalism is social.” And it’s also very ambiguous – and I’ll end on that note.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Method of America

How do you get to have a society where people have a lot of (wealth or) money?

One answer is that you have to allow individual intiative. You have to give people opportunity. And that's what the founding fathers did --- gave equal democratic vote rights to the landholders of their society.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thinking about US/America

The U. S. became a big success. This success seems to include both wealth and power. You get the picture.

Compared to other countries of about the same size, it is richer. I propose a way to comprehend the existence of such events.

To what is the success and/or the power of this entity - a term I like to use is "US/America" - attributable? The success of the USA, as a preeminent country, with a record of respect for human rights, liberty, and individual freedom of expression is mostly attributable to something like an economic method.

If so, then what it is not attributable to is "ideals" --- nor the "ideas" --- of liberty --- of democracy, and of human rights, and so forth. It is not that those things are not important. In other words it is not that US/America does not have human rights. It does. But it is not mostly attributable to ideals.

The "ideals" are of not such great impact.

If we want to understand this matter of the nature of America, why America exists, or where its success comes from; or this matter of the American phenomenon, which Toqueville and others have all had their shot at explaining, we should use this approach of thinking about an economic method, not a society driven by "ideals". That means not to look as much at the intellectual heritage, etc. (This sounds a bit like Sartre's "existence over essence".)

And in going back to the idea of an economic method, while discounting the value of "ideals," we nevertheless should not forget culture. Culture becomes important, later in the discussion. But for now just understand that you've got to discount "ideals" and put the causal emphasis on economic method. This is all characteristic of the original view that I have worked out and that I think explains the capitalistic historical period better than other approaches.

If we read Gordon S. Wood on the way that US/America transitioned from a pre-Revolutionary status-conscious society, to its new "American" nature (a change that he thinks of, rather weirdly, as "radical"), or, in fact, if we look at the combination of class and relaxed that we see in the pictures of Norman Rockwell, then we may get the hint we need.

What made America so successful? There seems to be a method involved which has something to do with relaxing some of the social convention, or rigid class aspect, and letting the force of markets come to the fore, as everyone scrambles for jobs in the developing capitalist society.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Red Stripe Lager Advert Message/beer label

....__....._Red Stripe

........For over 75 years
.Red Stripe Lager has embodied
...the spirit, rhythm and pulse
.....of Jamaica and its people.

Red Stripe is interesting beer, I bought a bottle. It turned out to be drinkable, but it is interesting in other ways, too. The label says it is "brewed and bottled" by Desnoes & Geddes Limited, Kingston, Jamaica. The importing firm is on the label as: Diago-Guiness USA, Norwalk, CT.

Also interesting is the advert claim-iology reproduced just above. There is a contrary argument – contrary to the one represented on the label – and this is that Red Stripe Lager would not, after all, embody the Jamaican ethnicity, or nation. This argument could be made, because the item of interest, the beer, is like other items. It must be a part of the economic globalization system. Thus, we might contest the claim that it embodies the ethnic heritage of Jamaica.

It cannot be both at once. The concept of incommensurability applies here as to what Red Stripe Lager is the embodiment of, for it is either an embodiment of the ethnic heritage of Jamaica or the embodiment of transnational economics, not both.

I feel that it is important to ask how capitalism developed: How did capitalism develop to create a livable, practicable world. The question that I work with and feel to be important is just that question. We need a livable capitalism ---- no less than a drinkable beer.

Private (business)

Capitalist businesses are not private. This idea we have that they are "private businesses" or controlled by private ownership does not turn out to be true. It may be that we are no longer looking at every word in the sentences. But, at any rate, really I have changed, and created a view in which I no longer think that way.
What I am saying is that it does not make sense to call typical the capitalist business, in ordinary life, private. And that is a distinct statement from another type of statement. What I mean is that I am not saying that these businesses should not be private, or that they should be more transparent, etc. those are another sort of statement.
I am noting was the case is, actually. Not what “should” be.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Dear respected Iranian leaders,

You have done wrong, Ahmadinejad, you have done wrong, Khamenei.

Supreme Blogger

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What Kind of Joke

I have to ask myself sometimes what kind of joke is this we're living in. I have to ask. I just don't know. African-American candidate wins on auto-pilot presidential in default election against rabid blood-sucking moronic conservative. Now should we discuss Ms. Palin? One thing I don't get is why everybody in the media has to be so polite.

But, hey. That's reality. Go ask Alice, you know what I mean? The old hippies, it occured to me as I wrote that, had no problem with alternate realities. They could shift realities ... yes, precisely because they knew they had solid ground under them. But we cannot expect them to have expected nor predicted what the world had in store for them and us today and today it is the very ground itself that is shifting under us. And that ain't no Carole King song.

Now, for a short synopsis of David M. Smick's masterwork (that's sarcasm, but it doesn't come across ---- maybe I'll be a better writer some day) praised in the preview pages of the book itself by fifteen or sixteen bankers and hedge fund managers: "The World is Curved." Curved, flat, what kind of joke? Anyway, here goes...

- Hedge Fund Fraud

David Smick tours the world interviewing all the hedge fund liars. Then he spins all of those lies and all of that pure garbage into "truth." There is a genre of books like this. Bankers read them, and they consist of popularization. It keeps all the hedge fund liars on the same, even putting green. The job pays extremely well----then he doubles up on himself. Writes a book telling all the rest of us what the official lie is. Meet David M. Smick, the hedge fund consultant who lets all the rest of us in on his version of truth.
My fear of getting an email from this guy is the only thing that gives me pause about publishing my comments. Ha ha ha. I too, am just kidding, my friends. Everyone is. And what'll be really super-funny is the day the world comes to an end, and we all die. That'll prob'ly be Smick's biggest moment of all. Then he can compete with Thomas Friedman to tell us why we're dying. Either because The World Is Curved or because the world is flat.

[The book that this is a review of is: "The World is Curved," by David M. Smick, Javelin, N.Y., 2008]

Thursday, March 18, 2010

B&N Pt. 2

Sometimes, a part of the market (or the market system) works:

...but never does the whole market work.

Jes' like in B&N. Some of the books work, but not all of them

Barnes and Noble

Piles of nonsense have infected Western Civilization.

There is a whole genre of books written by and for morons.

As I sit here sipping on a sparkling grapefruit Izzie at Barnes and Noble I'm looking straight ahead and there is a book straight ahead and it is part of a B&N display case of books. It is a volume purporting that Jesus was not a spiritual being. He's a "life coach."

Should the fact that most of the books here in the large suburban bookstore in the large suburban mall (Oakbrook Center) in the large suburb (Oak Brook) ... should this be, I ask --- a problem? Why should this be surprising? From a logical point of view it is not. The store only wants money. The manager might be a real human being who wants edification and education, but the business Barnes and Noble --- or the moron Barnes and Noble --- want money. From here I'm afraid all roads converge on the point of there being a display case with the sign "The Art of Communication" on it.

Barnes and Noble is a giant money-sucking aphid. An aphid! No more and no less my friends. But as I leave metaphors aside (I almost said something like a giant claw but the thinking mind is faster than the writing hand you kno), let us comprehend that, obviously, we cannot talk Barnes or Borders on a book-by-book basis.
Children want children's books. Adults want adult books. Morons want moron books.

It is infecting society!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Economic Plan

What would happen if some percentage between five and thirty-five per cent of world economic output were extracted out of present commodity circulation and then redeployed for use as a secondary-sector wealth base from which to free the world of severe wealth-deprivation? Humans suffer from malnutrition, lack of drinking water and so forth, in many countries. The number of such persons is, of course, large.
Even a five per cent extraction and redistribution might be enough to give most of the deprived world food and water for their basic needs for physical well-being and normal quality of health. Readers may not know what to make of this idea. Maybe it is new. And maybe it does not conform to the current discussions. Have I got a good idea? It is something we really have to think about. Then, perhaps, we may begin to understand.
Far from being a charity concern, such a redistribution move impacts the interaction between capitalism and human welfare. It is not simply a matter of charity, since it would redeem the social character of capitalism.
It would not be such a big change from the present system of capitalistic economics either. Therefore, it would be an extension of the capitalism and the human cultural system we have now. More or less the same commodities would be made, it is just that some would be removed from commodity circulation as we know it and those commodities would then be used for another purpose ---- in another way. In thinking this over for about eight years, I have found no reason why it could not be done, so I think it would be a legitimate aspect of a more advanced stage for capitalism. "Capitalism," therefore, is seen as a broad method of culture, exchange and society.

Since conceiving this original idea, and thinking it over for around eight years, I have also come to a new understanding of capitalism in general, and now, I think, as well, that perhaps we have all been thinking about capitalism in the wrong ways.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

"Exactly" Fifty Per Cent

A real thing creates a scam thing.

And, capitalism is 50% (fifty per cent) scam.

(added later): to give some context, consider this text from my December first, 2009 post:
"Freedom" to Americans apparently means "freedom to cheat." But there had to be some kind of underlying honesty --- otherwise, capitalism could not have succeeded.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sharing and Caring 2

individual giving is not enough. There has to be a public policy, shared by all advanced, productive nations. In such a policy all of us share together.

It has to be public. It has to be done all together, and each nation would then offer an appropriate share.

What would happen if that were done? It would be a two part capitalism. Some of the products that the advanced, developed capitalistic countries create would be traded in the usual manner but another set of products would be designated to benefit those in the globalized world who are malnourished.

Every time some factory worker would spend the day making some product, he or she would know that some portion would go to help the needy.

The "giver" is developed-world capitalism ITSELF. The "receiver" is anyone who is left out, or deprived, by capitalism and by globalization.

This policy would mean that the entire world would participate in capitalism, which is to say meaningfully, not merely as victim-members. What does "participate" mean, in terms of capitalism? It should mean that you get something from it.

Reich, Silverman

Robert Reich:
"Is Obama responsible for the meltdown of the Dow? The consistently wrong-headed Wall Street Journal's editorial page says so, as does Republican Fox News, CNN's reliably demagogic Lou Dobbs, and now CNBC (where, full disclosure, I frequently appear as a token liberal). CNBC's Jim Cramer, who bloviates nightly about stock picks, says Obama is pushing a "radical agenda" that's destroying investor's wealth. My friend Larry Kudlow, who rants nightly about nearly everything, says Obama is destroying capitalism. CNBC reporter Rick Santelli's ballistic nonsense about Obama's mortgage plan made him a pop-populist icon for a week or so."

Jack Silverman:
They have false theories.
What is the case if people dont know anything but they still want to talk? If people don't know what they are talking but still need, or want, to talk about whatever is the subject --- economics, for example --- they simply make up things. This is what Lou Dobbs, Jim Cramer, Larry Kudlow and others (I don't really know Santelli) are doing. They don't know anything about economics because NOBODY knows anything about economics. Except for you, if you read this blog.

Sharing and Caring

In a society that has so much wealth, what kind of people are we that we do not share it?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Capitalism: is it about humans or numbers?

Our system is capitalism. It is a human social organizational system. It is what you do with people. It is not what you do with numbers or math.

When you have a lot of people you need to do something with them. Western man, in the Europe that formed itself from the medieval age on, found that trade was more effective than warfare. War is simply too violent. Trade works better.

With the increasing reliance upon trade instead of solely upon violence or war, what developed is the kind of human system called "capitalism."

We ought to regard capitalism, therefore, as a resource. It comes about through causes, not because of some "facts" that "exist" in the abstract world of mathamatics.

Miller Time

Here I am sitting at the Starbucks. The inspectors have been sent by headquarters to obsess on displays.

They have the self-assured poise of them that know they are in control.

They are the totally irrational types who manifest displays of nonstop talk in an attempt at sequential rationality.
Or should I say Irrationality? It is an effort to self-display their normality. Their rationality or their normality.
Ah, but we are all normal my inspector friends, and we always were. We always were.

Nothing they do makes any sense but this Starbucks shall survive another day.

[yr. author has just realized that irrational blog posts are harder to write than rational ones. let's not try too hard to figure this out, though, OK?]

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Shy Asian Man

The Asians brought themselves into capitalism. There's a way to do that. This has been demonstrated by certain Asian tigers-or-pussycats. They did bring themselves into modernity --- or capitalistical-ness.

They did. But, Um----what have the Koreans or Chinese got?

What kind of timid persons are they creating? Why did they made the basic choice to adopt capitalism? Nothing else to do? So? What they got?

I pity the rulers who have to figure out what to do with huge populations. They have to administrate nations totally teeming with persons. Then again, once it is democracy you have, you cannot say you "pity" them --- because they ran voluntarily.

I met a Korean man today; he turned out to be so timid, I thought. I though him terrible shy. About 18 yrs. old. Fashionably attired---yes, a young pin-up---of course---probably bubble sunglasses ha ha. A young Korean democrat?)

There is a certain life I am looking for here, obviously. I think it exists, somewhere. In 1776 they needed a certain kind of "life." They had to fight a Revolutionary War.

There is an enormous literature concerning capitalism as the destruction of the human spirit. Capitalism creates a world where everyone is, Um----the same.

What a nightmare.

Not on the subject of nightmares and Koreans... but (at any rate) ...

I remember when C. Hitchens hit these shores. Big media splash, eh. I understood he's an asshole. Right away I picked up on that. I guess some righteous experts, authorities, or writers had to help me. That much I picked up on. But I never actually read a book of his.

Finally I pick up the short bio on Jefferson. This guy is a really good writer.

Anyways, assholes are probably the motor of history.

Yeah, I know --- that had little to do with economics, or Korean people.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Money and Ethics

While the small-minded tell me to care only about money, I choose to give them back their kind advice. I care about what I want to care about, and that includes doing things ethically.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Results of a search: The Old Chestnut, "B for O"
[these are not my words!]
Capitalism presents itself, Marx said on more than one occasion, as an ‘immense accumulation of commodities’. [yeah most of 'em made in China] In a full-scale commodity producing economy, what comes to matter about each separate article is not so much its constellation of uses as its value as an item of exchange, its function as a ‘material depository’ (Marx again) of exchange value. The commodity’s value is generated from its shifting place in a complex, self-contained world of money equivalents. So that finally the usefulness of petroleum presents itself as merely the outward and accidental aspect of something more basic: the article’s price.

(JS): I'm not really so sure about the Marxism. I like the part about the immense pile or collection but I'm not quite so sure about the stuff from "material depository" on. This text sounds to me like it was written by some experts, though, does it not? The text's author or authors really sound like they know their stuff. It's from a website that is probably famous . I suppose the London Review of Books is famous?
I was searching "blood for oil" when I found it. I was interested in the old saw. Is the phrase still around? Figures like Bob Dole (I have books about him for some reason) or Romney, Mitt would surely disdain any serious consideration of the slogan. "Blood for Oil." What a scandalous thing to say. Where would such talk lead? To the truth, probably. Oooooops!!! Can't make any money there, now can we?

OK we know where the Google search leads.

the quoted material is a presentation of your basic Leftist type of stuff. Another such view is contained within the slogan "B 4 O," and these are just more views on our plate for consideration. After all, we are a society based on free enquiry. Free enquiry is related to freedom of speech. I do not see much point freely enquiring if you are not going to speak about it. Freedom of speech requires (you guessed this?)that Um----well, that we actually be that way. (Here we have both the scandalous Clintonian use of "is" as well as staunch refusal to follow spell-check and switch "enquiry" to "inquiry," but don't shoot me.)

I do not think the ideas in the quoted material are necessarily correct. What I do think to be correct, however, is the first part about "an immense accumulation of commodities." That is it. A huge pile of commodities. I would totally agree with this. After that, the view in the quote is wandering off into typical Marxist realms of speculation. I am more or less neutral on all this. What is a "full-scale commodity producing economy"? I don't know. What is an "economy", for that matter? Now so fast, Marxists!!

It is true that capitalism, as it now exists, requires this accumulated pile of commodities to be exchangeable, one against the other, but that is what I want changed. What I want to do is extract a portion out of the pool of commodities, and designate it for some particular use (has to do with the Third-world). Not exchangeable against itself but exchangeable against something in particular. A transfer system: from overy-developed to under-developed worlds. That, to is exchange. But a bit different. The particular commodities, which are extracted from the entire edifice of capitalistic production (or what I term the "capacity to produce"), are directed to one specific group and not another. What is different is that they are no longer "money equivalents." Now they have their own value. And as for price, it is taken out of the equation altogether. I want to give those commodities away --- free.

Monday, February 22, 2010

What is a Country?

What is the entity, "USA?" What does that mean?

"USA" equates to a society that is highly based on economics. ... everything is decided by "the market" (whatever that is) ... It is based on economics almost to the point of committing suicide.


Friday, February 19, 2010

All Equal

For a moment, let us think about the life of a woman who works behind a counter at a store that sells some small items.

Her job is to interact with customers. Such a person is often nice, sunny and cheerful----and the customers in a refined civilization such as ours appreciate this.

The store needs to accept plastic (cards) in order to thrive in a competitive business environment. The girl, too. Every time she sees a credit card, she has to accept it the same way she accepts cash. She has to treat it same as cash.

As capitalism develops, it erases all distinctions between persons----even distinctions that are still necessary. Capitalism lies: it pretends it is socialism.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Capitalism----who knows where the capitalist wind blows?
Its turgid winds of blowing and turning leave all of us flummoxed. If leftists -- many of whom are genius material -- do not know what is going on, I'm sure the corporation executives do not know what they are doing either.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

tweet style

Business is based on everybody fighting with each other.

But capitalism is not.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Industrial Belt, N. Illinois

Staying in Rockford, Illinois, you really learn what it is to live in a depressed economy. Large mansions line the road. I wonder why, though ---- why it is that I cannot find a dignified restaurant. I want to eat eggs this morning. Everyone is surly; no one gets along.

There are no clever ideas. There's a lack of entrepreneurs. It's a society in stagnation. There's a big lesson there:

...once the "magic of the market" loses its pixie dust it's going to be hard to re-ignite the flame.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Original Ideas

What would happen if some percentage between five and thirty-five per cent of world economic output were extracted out of commodity circulation and redeployed? It would be used as the base from which to free the world of severe wealth-deprivation. Humans suffer from malnutrition, lack of drinking water and so forth, in many countries. The number of such persons is large.
Even a five per cent extraction and redistribution might allow many of the deprived world food and water for their basic needs for physical well-being or health. We do not know what to make of this idea. It conforms to nothing currently being discussed in the intellectual circles. It is something we really have to think about, and then perhaps, we will be able to consider the notion.

Far from being a charity concern such a redistribution move is concerned with the nature of the interaction of capitalism and welfare. It is not a matter of charity. It would redeem the social character of capitalism. (See previous blog to get a better idea about this concept of mine that concerns a social side to capitalism.)

It would not be such a big change from the present system of capitalistic economics. For example, more or less the same commodities would be made. It would interrupt normal business only for a removal from commodity circulation and redeployment. I am quite certain that such an economic move would still be classifiable as being capitalistic. This is to be understood as a kind of clever idea within capitalism. It is an innovation within capitalism, or a new idea for the capitalist system, not aimed at supporting capitalism per se (ala "The Laguno Report") but simply aimed at the general welfare, and at basic moral principles. It also would coincide with the present system that we understand as being that of "capitalism." The notion of the definition of the term "capitalism" is beyond my scope here, but the move would help obtain that definition. In thinking this over for about eight years the present author has never found a compelling reason that I am wrong, and thus this, my idea, represents what might be a legitimate aspect of a more advanced stage of capitalism.

In thinking the idea over for around eight years another result is that I have come to a new understanding of capitalism. I believe therefore that we may be thinking about capitalism in the wrong way.

Thus, there are two basic tenets of this philosophical system and these are those of a new trading method or wealth-distributional method, and, a new understanding of what "capitalism" is.

My Kind of Idea

The system of social organization that emerged with capitalism needed to have elements of basic sociality, ethics, and goodwill.

This is a copy of my own (previous) blog, of course.

It is amazing to me that this would strike readers as something unusual or difficult to understand but such seems to be the case. To me, it's obvious.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Accounting For Sociality In Economic Theory

The system of social organization that emerged with capitalism needed to have elements of basic sociality, ethics, and goodwill.

It could definitely not have succeeded without these. Modernity succeeded because of goodwill, and because of the ethical behavior of the humans making up society (this is just what is lacking in what Loretta Napoleoni describes as "Rougue Economics"). It is not some kind of dry, mechanical causality like that which is expressed mathematically ---- a supply-demand graph/curve.

All societies, and modern ones are not excluded, need their deeply human, cultural, social ethical component ---- the system of capitalism of the last 200 years being no exception.
So capitalism is dependent on goodwill ---- and goodness.

Now, notice how this creates a cognitive dissonance with the predominant and mainstream approach. What they emphasize is economic rationality -- not ethical sociality.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Capitalism is always going to be a compromise. But let's think about it, and get ouselves a strategy. The idea that one ought to just "let the market work its magic" is incorrect.

We are the market.

It's up to us.

New and Improved "Free Your Mind" -with notes, too!

The social changes accompanying capitalism seem to free up the mind. Hegel had a very neat plan with thesis and anti-thesis following one another in sequential order. Capitalism embodies this dualism or dialectic but not sequentially. Capitalism is the only known social development that includes its own antithesis not sequentially but concurrently along with the whole story of its development. It is as if capitalism as a historical and social movement dangles before its member-"nation" or membership group an illusory proposition of rebelling against it.
The mind, therefore, is freed up to rebel against capitalism. But that is just another part of capitalism's plan. It is the only cultural development that packs its own antithesis.
There is nothing sequential about it. Capitalism is its antithesis, in real time. The usual Marxist or Leftist theory believes in a capitalist stage. After this stage, comes another, and so on and on. In fact it is more like a "wrapping up" of all the historical contradictions of history itself --of Western history --or else it is a telescoping----what I seem to be saying is, in reverse----collapsing the telescope (the view) of history into one neat, self-contradictory unit. Within that world or that period, of capitalism's potential for self-criticalness, are the youth of my own generation. We really thought we could rebel.

This is because capitalism frees up one's mind; and only under capitalism does the individual have the freedom to think of rebelling. In my time, we did that. I remember the"revolutionaries" we had in high school. That was the very early seventies actually. This type of thing went on in the thirties, as well. "New York Intellectuals" can testify that there were more Stalinists than creative "critical theorists" at New York City College in the thirties. That is one example.
Revolution is sexy, you know. Capitalism gives you this stage of rebellion. All that is pretty much over now. And so is capitalism itself.


"The social changes accompanying capitalism" - What is capitalism? It is a movement of things. It is movement coming into Western civilization. It is the wind of change coming into history in an organized way. The stipulation that it comes in an organized way is very important.
This change wave that I am calling capitalism had the power to usurp monarchy. The purpose of monarchy was to set up a power system that can administrate and control an area. That area is called the kingdom. Capitalism was not terrorism. It was not a disorganized movement. There was coherence and structure to it. It it had been a disorganized wind rather than an organized wind, it could not have had the power to displace the previous system, that of monarchy.

free up the mind - the question here, of course, is whether capitalism just seems to do that or really does. Does it seem to free up the mind or does capitalism really do it? Up to us, isn't it?

"the frustration everyday Americans feel" "those who fought for this country" -Palin's words reek of propaganda and opportunism. She is an enemy. This is a completely evil person. Palin is an enemy of America. There should be no doubt about it. It would be like Hitler or Stalin coming to power. There are such persons. There are these persons in every society, but modernity has, since the French Revolution, given these type of persons the opportunity to commandeer these modern social processes for their own purposes. This can be fit into the essay above.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cooperative society and trade

We have a capitalistic sort of society. In this kind of society, trade builds a cooperative condition. We just don't want to admit it.

This is a hidden area, a hidden topic. We need to look with fresh eyes. There are two aspects to this that, I reckon, I can discern. There is the objective condition of capitalism. Capitalism did establish itself; it somehow had the power to usurp the kings and queens who had been in power up until then. That is history. It is a big transition of some kind. One system appears to have replaced another, quite different one. It is not clear what kind of transition this is, nor is it clear exactly what needs to come next, although presumably, there will continue to be progress (and not Fukuyama's "End of History," although the dark possibility of apocalypse is also to be considered). Now in addition to the facticity or apparentness of capitalism, which includes the fact that there is a large aspect of co-operativeness, there is another thing I am able to discern, which is the co-existent fact that we do not admit the specific fact that it is cooperative.

Instead we enact a big ideological drama, a big masquerade. We do not simply forget to notice that capitalism is co-operative. We have to actively fend off knowledge of it, so we enact the counter-theory. This would encompass all theories that now exist. It is really incredible that I am saying this. But it appears that all of the theories --- they are establishment, right-wing, neoliberal or in fact any other systems of thought --- all follow the same pattern: all of them miss the co-operativeness of the new kind of society that is being created. All the existing systems of economic theory should therefore be understood as being ideological. They fail to get at the notion of co-operativeness in capitalism. So: it's a big deal.
Yet as I have formulated the matter myself, capitalism has a very important side that is cooperative. This we might call one of the present author's original findings. And amongst theories that fail to discern the true cooperative nature of capitalism we must even include Marxism, which appears to "oppose" the other theories.

Everyone thus totally agrees on the wrong thing----it's really amazing----what they have in common is an incorrect judgment. This convenient and necessary finding is an incorrect finding that as a result continuously broadcasts to the world the "ideologically correct" notion that capitalism to not be understood as cooperative.

As I said, we have two elements, in this analysis. There could be other analyses, for example a three-part one. But in this analysis, the first part is the objective condition. That is one thing. We see the objective condition of our society. (To some extent.) Then there is the denial of that objective condition, for the real condition is that it is cooperative, and it is necessary not to see that fact. So, the seeing of the true condition is masked, by means of a whole slew of ideologies of competition, self-interest and so on. All of these perform the same necessary service. They cover up the social side of capitalism.

Anything else would have been crushed, because capitalism could not afford to comprehend its co-operative side. Now, presumably, it can, and I have noticed it. (Readers may also see similarities with Marx's "superstructural ideology" concept my view of which is that it is a rather good concept and comes close to what I am saying, too.)

Plato is considered to be an objective philosopher, and also an idealist. Therefore, ideas can be objective, too. The objective condition can also be related to its ideas. So a society has its "condition" and also its characteristic set of myths, or ideas. This latter is the society's ideology, or its characteristic ideas. A society, then, has its "idea condition." Capitalism, therefore, is going to have its characteristic idea-set. We can therefore discern both an objective condition of society as such as well as an objective "idea condition" of that society. We can discern both a condition, and, an ideology about that condition. An objective idea, held by society, proceeds through history right alongside the material objectivity of the society as such.
The objective idea that manifests in the capitalistic sort of society is (to give one popular term as the example) that capitalism is competitive. This is what the idea is supposed to be. It is what you are supposed to think. According to prevailing (and also incorrect) ideas about what capitalism is it is based on individual desires for wealth and profit, it is based on rational self-interest, and it is based on privately held properties. And so forth.
That's the ideology and they do as well as they can with it. This is something like the case of what some call the "superstructural ideology." But, in this case, it gets cheaper and crasser as time goes on. Capitalism as somehow essentially a private thing is a cultural fabrication perfected (OK, I just said crass and now I'm saying perfect, I know) over the last two hundred years. They created an objective language, or set of terms, to go along with or accompany the objective reality. This means that the response of the society to objective reality was---to lie about it. So as a result of all that----we call capitalism private. That fact is not true.
The truth is hidden, but this, alas, is simply how capitalism proceeds. It really needed to lie about itself, to keep the participants on board. They then proceed to become quite busy with the Left vs. right debate, you see. Liberals usually make the mistake of being full of rancor about this whole ball of wax of "private" capitalism and so forth, decrying the corporations and so forth. They would be better to knock it off with the hostility, which does not in the end (i.e. today!) do anyone any good, but rather they ought to just responsibly replace untruth with truth.

If humanity fails to do it----we could be in for a, Um----rough ride.

The frontal part of capitalism: "I'll take your money." The hidden part of capitalism: "I want to be an elite and remain separated from you and your interest." These two parts are in total contradiction. This is the whole story of capitalism as human system, as society, as culture. Perhaps the game has gone on long enough, and we can change now. I'm not sure but it is a possibility that I would like to float. (Along with some shares in my new "jack silverman" brand.)

[note: the idea of Plato, along with Hegel, as being "objective idealists" is something I read about a long time ago, when I was studying philosophy on my own. May have been Isaiah Berlin, but I am not sure where I read this, nor of whether it is a common kind of terminology: "objective idealist" was a label applied to certain philosophers, in that book.]

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Free your mind, or rebel or something

The social changes accompanying capitalism seem to free up the mind. Hegel had a very neat plan, in which thesis and anti-thesis follow one another in sequential order. Capitalism embodies this element of dualism, or the dialectic element, but it does not do so sequentially. Capitalism is the only known social development that includes its own antithesis, not sequentially but concurrently, "packed into" the story of its development. It is as if capitalism as a historical and social movement dangles before its member "nation" or its membership group an illusory proposition or possibility of rebelling.
The mind, therefore, is freed up to rebel against capitalism. But that is just another part of capitalism's plan. It is the only cultural development that packs its own antithesis.
It is not sequential. Capitalism is its antithesis, in real time. The usual Marxist or Leftist theory believes in a capitalist stage. After this stage, comes another, and so on and on. In fact it is more like a "wrapping up" of all the historical contradictions of history itself --of Western history --or else it is a telescoping----what I seem to be saying is, in reverse----collapsing the telescope (the view) of history into one neat, self-contradictory unit. Within that world or that period, of capitalism's potential for self-criticalness, are the youth of my own generation. We really thought we could rebel.

This is because capitalism frees up one's mind; and only under capitalism does the individual have the freedom to think of rebelling. In my time, we did that. I remember when we had "revolutionaries"—in high school. This type of thing went on in the thirties as well. "New York Intellectuals" may well tell us of a time when there were more Stalinists than the more creative type persons called "critical theorists" at City College, New York, in the thirties.
Revolution is sexy, you know. Capitalism gives you this stage of rebellion. All that is pretty much over now. And so is capitalism.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

e-mail update

Since the email link on this blog does not work...I had better do an
email update. Here's the info that the citizens of the world will need:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tweet Style Comment

Capitalism is a trick that you induce the society to play

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

free market view from Santa Fe, New Mexico

Everyone uses the term "free market." What we call "free market" is a matter of balance. Should the matter of the market be framed as it is classically, or rather neo-Classically? --- with one product, firm or person being balanced against another? This idea of equal individuals corresponds to what is called the neo-Classical, and in this view we think of many individuals, with the word "individuals" referring to different sorts of individuals, whether the individuals in question are individual persons, units of a product, etc. Or we think of many firms, but in any case, there again is the idea of individuals, or a number of equal, competing units, and they are supposed to find some equilibrium balance.

However I am not sure this represents the best way to look at the the world of economics and at its necessary component of balance. There are different styles of dealing with the topics signified by this word, "economics," and that is why, in using the word "economics," we may or may not mean to indicate social or cultural phenomena. In Loretta Napoleoni's way of casting the economics world, there is a term, "rogue economics" (I wonder what the Italian would be), which is on the side of "economics," whereas she calls the other side, which is to say the social or cultural part of life "politics," citing Hannah Arendt in defense of her position. But in the world of economics (here we mean both the study thereof and the human behavior thereof), language morphs. It changes with individuals, who, accordingly, have differing ways of stating things.

Things do have to come into balance with one another. This is the trick of economics --- it is to achieve balance. But I do not think that balance always has to work in the way the "classic" economists of the 20th century have chosen to believe. As we said, there are many ways to frame it. And...times change, after all.

Look at my post "therapist reform." That is about balance, but it is about balance between pecuniary or monetary interest on the one side and social interest on the other. Yet even pecuniary or monetary interest has deep social roots in the history of capitlaism. But, as we move into the present, how about balance between the new economy and the old economy, or balance between government intervention and free markets? All these are balances. They should not be "off book," ---- or, off the balance sheets!



If I borrow money I take it away from the next person. Assuming there is a limited money supply, the Nedici family may have required all of the wealthy individuals of that time and place to buy bonds. An informant told me about this, and, if true, it implies that the wealthy had to go into debt, and, that the Nedicis were taking money away from other persons.
In this sense, we can assume that to borrow another person's money is not to become obligated to that person, as one would perhaps expect, but rather to obligate the one lending, and also that if I borrow money I take it away from the next person.

It is a situation one can never get a handle on. It is always an "if" followed by a "then," or consequence. Yet, if the "if" was not there, the consequence becomes a different one. It's always ambiguous.

If we now switch back to what is the expected situation or the one that I would expect, according to intuition or native knowledge, or not knowing any better, wherein it is the lender who has power and who obligates the borrower and the borrower who now has an albatross(or whatever) around his neck, we have a whole different series of reactions and expectations.

All this is being painted, by the artist, you know. He operates by staying at a remove from all this hoodwinking and shennadling and sees the human side of it and makes a great painting.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

TV and the Oklahoma Motel, Part One

We hear from the "mythbusters" T.V. show that some believe that when humans get incinerated (by a -bombs) cockroaches might subsequently --- and here the T.V. says, rule the roost. "Rule"? We encounter the word "rule" sometimes. There is an implicit message here ---- humans only rule.
Politics may be the study of that. Politics is the study of the way that persons rule, but there are others things they do, too. Persons be.

Be is not rule. It is not the case then that one should say that humans rule. Not that that is all they do or that is what they always, and only, do. This so, because human can also "be," or just "be."

If we understood better and were not flummoxed by, for example, the television industry or commercial capital in general, it is possible to framed this a bit better. Perhaps humans could be understood according to the common or characteristic situations where these humans rule others. That may be. But humans do not always -- or only -- rule. A human can be. He -- or she -- can exist -- or just exist.

Thus, it is not absolutely true to say that humans "rule" the earth. They also live on it. We are hyping and propagandizing ourselves to believe that humans only "rule."

Every single company that exists in their "market" projects the concept to their customers. They tell each and every person lucky enough to be one of their customers that they (all good hominids) ought to (only) rule other people.

After all that is how the owner of that company did it. He was not content to just "be." No, he had to go out and actually rule. He is always "competing," and so, has no time to just be. Nevertheless, his very existence in the competitive society means that he must support this mentality in every one of his customers. And this makes sense, up to a point. The point where this must stop is the point where the ideology has become utterly insupportable, and we are fighting not only the rest of the humans, whom we utterly require to be just as hostile, but also, we are even fighting ourselves and losing all sense of balance in our lives.

We are creating a society where being and ruling are defined in the same stroke. Both concepts occur simultaneously in the same cognitive thrust of effort. One uses one's skill of intelligence in a way such that the result is that one thinks and rules simultaneously, with the same mental or definitional stroke.

Therapist Reform

Economics Inquiry

In this inquiry we are starting from the situation of therapy. In this situation of therapy we will consider that a therapist, and a client or patient, is getting the therapy from the therapist. Let us further imagine that within this situation the patient asks a particular question of that therapist.
And what the patient asks is: "Why do you want to help me?" I am therefore conceptualizing an inquiry that concerns motivation. My concern in particular is in whether this motivation is in deference to some aspect of economics. Maybe the motivation is in terms of society's needs, or maybe the motive exists in relation to some boss under whom (and also I think with whom) the therapist works. Maybe motive just in the purist-capitalist style of selfishly just wanting money. On the other side, maybe it is the therapist's altruism that is involved --- a true desire to help and with no other factor there. All of those are possiblities. All spring to mind, but which motivates the therapist in truth? Which obtain and which do not?

Let us also ask what is the use of the enquiry. What is the point of setting up this situation? But I am not setting it up. It's there. Do I need a reason? We have a situation; where I'm interested. No one is going to stop me if I am interested. And I am. It seems important to me to understand the answer the question of a fictional patient to a therapist. So there. Let us proceed with the operation, gentleman, and cut up the patient. If we don't the patient might die. It's a little thing called compassion.

What is the therapist motivated by? We shall first of all rule out pure altruism. It just seems far-fetched. I do not think that is what a therapist does. With that eliminated, other options are left, from which list we can also rule out the very opposite, which is that there is no aim other than that possessed by the therapist to wind up having more cash then she had going in. So both those are out. True, I would suggest that there must be something like altruism. True, but there must be (other) social roles, etc. For example, consider the institution the therapist works for (alternatively, with). All kinds of considerations can file into this space. Maybe the therapist, and some do thinks like this, thinks that it is in "society's interest" to have well-adjusted persons and not maniacs walking around loose. So they are working for society. Maybe they just want to lower the prison population, or prevent crime. Many do see it like that. I do not but some do.

Another possibility is that the therapist does not see herself as primarily a social utilitarian or policeman-janitor as in the case above, but rather has a mixture of economic and humanitarian motivations. This possibility as already been referred to here. The therapist needs to have a career, fed her kids, have a life of her own, etc., but also has perhaps a love for humanity, and wants to be of service, etc. It is a mixture, then.

What the outcome of our little inquiry is for economic analysis, then, is that economics is not anything singular, but it is, when it works, always a combination. Human motivation in a capitalist society is balanced between two or more motives. There is a desire to benefit others, or altruistic desire. That is there. But in any institutional or professional therapist's world this could scarcely act alone. There is also a more utilitarian desire to do one's job in society as an economic actor. The desire to just get money exists, just as the desire to be a good person exists. We may also speak of an individual's simple need to find his or her place, in a world of markets and trade like the mysterious world in which we exist, that is called "capitalism," or "modern life," etc. In this situation, one is forced, increasingly I might add, to accept that there exist these practices involving "how to get money." Giving this kind of help we call "therapy" to others only in expectation of the money is a bit disgusting. But also, giving one's service only out of altruism is a bit ridiculous. It has got to be a mixture, and perhaps that tells us something about economics, as well as economic theory. The idea is that economics exists as combination, not singularity. Economic theory, in this sense of the word "economics" at any rate, is not just about money but it is rather about how money flows in the stream, the stream being social life. Economics exists within the life of a society. It is not purely the individual's need for the substance understood as "money." A river is not just about water, but also about the banks of the river that hold the water as other things, things often intangible.
Not only this aspect of life in modernity, which is a highly monetized affair, but all aspects of economic life or modern life can be understood in the same way. One behaves, or should behave, in a way that is moral and decent, or helpful towards the needs of others. This is not necessarily "economic," in the more narrow sense of the term, but, as well, one has to "monetize," or find one's way in the economy that is life.
The monetary side becomes ritualized. Charging for one's services is very like a ritual. The therapist knows she has the right to ask for money; the client knows he or she is supposed to pay. There is no need to establish the monetary side of the matter by anything deeper than this ritualized expectation of a monetary arrangement as a perfectly acceptable tool; these are socially-endorsed behaviors. On the other hand, the actual work of rendering service to others is not just a ritual but would have other distinct characteristics. It would probably be more creative. It would probably not be a blind ritual but rather it would contain more human considerations that could never be monetized, as such. Money works somehow by integrating into the "flow" of the process of life that the therapist and client are already existing within. Money has to be involved because os human weaknesses, not because of human genius. The exchange of money does not work all on its own, merely because we somehow recognize the money value of a thing like therapy and assign the correct market price. It is not regulated by some kind of invisible hand. Therapy is, or ought, to be something other than a blind ritual or a mechanical transfer of funds in return for a service. Somehow, both sides of the economics of therapy, the helping and the pecuniary or monetaristic, seem to operate together. And if they cannot, that constitutes a problem. The motivation of a therapist, in providing therapy to a patient, is not explainable through money. Money is a part of the equation, along with other, more human things. Somehow these have to operate both together, at the same time. This is not always an easy trick.

This is my general take on capitalism where I mean, by "capitalism," our world according to our current social arrangements. It is not, as arch-capitalist purists, or right-wing conservative rationalizers of capitalism would try to tell us, totally about generating profit or payment such that the only thing we have to consider is the profit itself, in which view the "self-interested" individual is regarded as sacred choice agent. Instead, we may capitalism see it as a method, designed to do some kind of good, in the aim of getting monetary considerations to flow with and into all the other human activities. Money is channeled into the flow of human activities. But it does not somehow replace the human activities and it does not somehow explain the human activities, and it not, in some equally mysterious way, an excuse for the activities. Neither is it that the human activities do not exist. Nor that they are not human but rather mechanical, as if life must become like some French Enlightenment fantasy about what machines should be able to accomplish. Rather we can understand modern life, with its use of money, as a phenomenon in which the rationality of payment and self-interest has to work together with the flow of human life and life's activities.
Much of the more conservative kind of theories of economics try to say that the logic of markets, or of money (e.g. M. Friedman) replace human behavior, or replace the explanation of it, or replace other explanations of it. Or the economic theories constitute the explanation or logic of what humans do. This is all to be rejected. In each case there are "rules" they think they are discovering about the rationality of markets that become the whole of the object itself.
This is totally wrong, totally absurd. Money is not an end unto itself. I think a real explanation, or a real economics, considers that human society is imperfect in itself, first of all. Given these problems and deficiencies, money or economics is a tool, a means to an end, used to channel and organize these imperfect societies. If that is the case, it is only natural that, at times, various economic reforms have to be enacted.

Monday, January 4, 2010


-- A small, struggling city in Kansas, seen by car --

Kansas more like Wild West.
What is that?
What is the essence of Wild West?

Open space. Fewer people here.
Space between, legs spread, two men, open stance ---- gunfight!

overpopulated with white people, like Indiana. (And like "everywhere," it seems, as I drive from Indiana through the other states out west and finally into Kansas.)
Violence solves nothing. Pacifism please. No Luck, Kansas.

(Not a real town.)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Indiana Kestrel, and Sign On The Road

Hi, readers. Place this back in time, OK? This post, consisting of two parts, should be read prior to the one on my experiences at New Harmony. The material comes, chronologically, just before arrival at said Utopian paradise:

Sign on the Road: ______ [ethnic group not provided] Buffet / Bus Drivers eat free.

This comprises the whole content of the material I want to discuss. But it is a great economics lesson. (to wit: The restaurant lures bus driver. If the driver "turns in" his busload of consumers for exploitation by restauranteur, then driver becomes fellow entrepreneur or something like that, and the following situation occurs. The consumers eat, the restaurant and driver profit. That's how capitalism works. It is a deal between the restaurant the bus driver that creates the driver and the restaurant as "producers" and the passengers as "consumers.")

There is something else to say. Do you notice how it is honest? There is not any ideology about it in this rare case. The truth can be read directly off the billboard. That's rare. Why be ashamed, in any case? That is a good question. In this case, at any rate, capitalism is honest, and, therefore, non-ideological. This is a rare event. This one "deal" happens on a billboard for all to see, someone showing the truth. Very rare in ideological society and capitalist ideology.

+ + + - - -

I would like some ideas, not just ideology, as I drive towards Indiana's New Harmonie. But, as I drive, I see a kestrel, a small hawk. As I am driving I am excited about getting closer to this place. Just then, a wild thing. ...oh, fresh ideas...