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19 Dec 2002 @ 08:29, by Ben Tremblay


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19 Dec 2002 @ 11:01 by invictus : Good point...
I don't have much of a problem with strong statements, but I always try to make them respectfully. I think do that most of the time : ). When you're talking about some of the more fundamental issues, it's almost impossible not to make strong statements. It depends on how much you trust the person you're talking to, I guess, and how much they trust you. With trust, strong statements don't hurt too much. Without it, yeah, you need to be careful, or you may find yourself snipping too many threads. I know that there's no sense in alienating people who are on our "side" over petty little differences (or even fairly major ones). I like this article... seems pretty reasonable to me. As for truth... that's a big, fat, complicated topic. More than opinion, but less than absolutely absolute.

>>==--+ "Less than absolutely absolute ..." ... yaa, I can dig that. Absolute, sorta, I mean ... "true" has that sort of weight, relative to "fact". (Growing up with French, I was very early conscious of how "verit[e accent]"(fr. "truth") meant something special where as "fait" (fr. "fact") meant, well heck ... in the verb form it's the french of "to make" so hey, nothing much special there! ;-)

What gets me about this "respect" thing is that a politically astute manipulator will play on that and claim all the middle ground, so that even to live by the injunciton/slogain "Speak truth to power!" gets one painted as an up-start, rabble-rouser, trouble-maker, shit-disturber, yada yada yada. Hey, Socrates was condemned to death, and Joshua was nailed to a tree, soo ....

What I've been most aware of is this: some fairly mundane bits of ideology actually act as cornerstones of conventional world-view and so some folks' identities really rest on them ... sad as it may be, what sometimes seems like the over-reaction of a person committed to a cowardly path is very often just exactly that. So it's too easy to be unintentionally cruel in such a situation. /Discourse demands an authentic interest in the other's life situation as a whole./ When I remember Abbie Hoffman [sp?] I always recall how he pointed this out: confrontation gives rise to a lot of fear, and fear turns people in on themselves ... and that has consequences. . ben . +---===  

19 Dec 2002 @ 16:45 by sharie : Democracy & Materialistic Values
The dominant culture in the U.S. holds materialistic values above our Natural, Inherent Values of Love, Truth, Peace, Happiness, and Health. This is *Capitalism* ... Because of this, we have a self-destructing culture.

Capitalism and Democracy don't seem to coincide in a healthy way. People are shortsighted, looking for their immediate gratification, rather than seeking mutually-beneficial, happy, healthy relationships with one another.

Advertising is a multi-billion dollar business... because it works. It pays to advertise. It pays to persuade people to think a certain way, to buy a certain product. Because of this, *democracy* and *capitalism* aren't working for the people.

Thanks for your article.

>>==-- You're very welcome!

"Capitalism and Democracy don't seem to coincide in a healthy way." ... now, just on the face of it ... isn't that crazy?! What decent upstanding person would tolerate capitalism /without/ a vibrant, vital, energetic democracy? To give the beast its due, it's a fairly good way of gauging some things ... not great, and not in all circumstances, but still ... "profit" is a crude measure of /something/, and that /something/ is definitely inversely related to waste ... soooo, there's /something/ to the "invisible hand of the market" rationale. But _without grass-roots responsiveness?! Literally mad ... in-sane in the old sense: unhealthy.

But ya know, I can bring it back to "the pursuit of happiness" (this is so very closely linked to my Buddhist beliefs, and I can bring it up without yanking the conversation out of shape, soooo ...). If folks get a little bit confused, and a little bit pessimistic, and loose a bit of self-esteem, and put a bit too much trust in The Big Man ... then, well hell ... get a pizza and sit down in front of the big-screen TV and let tomorrow bring what tomorrow will bring!

But, you know, without capitalism we would never have the sort of technological capacity for generating wealth that is needed to build A Better World. So, IMHO, it's still a double-edged sword, and we haven't learned to handle it. (Good heavens, that stuff with Enron [I was following TYCO at the time ... one VP made $20million in a single little dirty deal!) ... who's that news to? What was news about it except the /sheer scale/ ... two years ago I was writing on "the return of the Age of Robber Barons" ... my gawd, how they gouged the people of California!!

Social transactions with all the healing power and nutritive strength of Pringles ... isn't that pathetic? And I mean /pathetic/ ... heart breaking ... really very very very sad ... Old Testament sad. *sigh* . ben . +--===  

26 Dec 2002 @ 14:15 by sharie : "without capitalism, we'd never have..."
How do you know where we'd be without capitalism?

Archaeological evidence suggests that ancient civilizations had developed advanced technologies, however, it's unknown whether they were capitalistic or gift economies.

In this culture, external messages overload our senses, convincing us that we should value external *things* rather than our internal values of truth, peace, love, and happiness.

What if we weren't bombarded with those messages? We may not have advanced technologies, but we might have peace and happiness instead.

P.S. As for the *shit* ... just remember it's toxic until after it sits for a couple years... THEN it becomes fertilizer... or food for thought.  

Other entries in
27 Oct 2002 @ 23:17: Despite yuppies' woes, citizens act
8 Jul 2002 @ 19:54: The Trouble with Earnest
6 Jun 2002 @ 17:38: With two major protests scheduled for the next three weeks ...
31 May 2002 @ 06:55: Squaring the Circle: justice and "rules"
21 May 2002 @ 20:27: NonViolence Web Issues: Conscience and the State

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