A small circle: Black and White in Color    
 Black and White in Color8 comments
picture5 Aug 2006 @ 16:58, by D

Thirty spokes are made only by holes in hub
By vacancies joining them for a wheel's use;
The use of clay in moulding pitchers
Comes from the hollow of its absence;
Doors, windows, in a house,
Are used for their emptiness:
Thus we are helped by what is not
To use what is.
—Lao Tzu, Tao Teh Ching

Spectrum of Political Attitudes
Source: Political Ideologies: Their Origins and impact (Leon P. Baradat) - 1979

Social Anarchist
Believes that government prevents the individual from making his or her greatest contribution to society.
Desires immediate, fundamental change.
Is frustrated, impatient, and revolutionary.
Desires rapid, far-reaching change. Believes people can improve their lives through the use of reason.
Classical Liberal
Believed in natural law. Believed private property was inalienable. Believed government oppressed people.
Contemporary Liberal
Believes private property is a social right. Believes government should be used to improve life through social experimentation.
Fairly contented with the society.
Supports gradual change.
Is the most contented with the society.
Is active in defending it against challenges to the status quo.
Is pessimistic about human capacity to improve life through the use of reason.
Depends on "tried and true" institutions.
Believes private property is an inaliable right.
Desires order.
Wishes things to be as they were.
The frustration level of the extreme reactionary is equal to that of the extreme radical.
Individual Anarchist
Believes that government prevents the individuals from developing himself or herself.

Left Right
Human Rights
Personal Liberty
Middle of the Road Supports:
Property Rights

Related Article:

Out of Time

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20 Nov 2006 @ 04:37 by Hanae @ : Crony Capitalism and Faux Anarchism

One of the interesting evolutions of the Individual Anarchist political ideology---for it is an old political ideology (same o’, same o’) just like any other of the political attitudes on the table above (no more, no less)---is how Individual Anarchism has been co-opted today in modern American politics.

Individual Anarchism just like its Conservative and Reactionary counterparts on the Retrogressive scale (above) envisions a sort of social Darwinism, which, if carried far enough, as it often is by its proponents, can become a kind of "one, true, and only me-ism" in which only the self counts. Carried to its extreme, it isolates people more than any other ideology.

The most chaotic, violent, and destructive of Anarchist theories were developed in Russia during the 1860s as a result of the influence of people who were extremely frustrated politically:

"What can be smashed must be smashed;
whatever will stand the blow is sound,
what flies into smithereens is rubbish;
at any rate, hit out right and left,
no harm can or will come of it."

The Anarchists of that era, it is clear, believed that their society was so rotten, so corrupt, so decayed that it was beyond repair. The only constructive act possible, in their minds, was complete destruction of the society.

Grover Norquist, the president of the noted anti-tax lobbying group "Americans for Tax Reform," once told National Public Radio: "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." And the way to get it down to that size is to starve it of revenue: "The goal is reducing the size and scope of government by draining its lifeblood."

Sounds pretty close to Individual Anarchism, to me. The problem is that the author of the quotes above is not an Anarchist. Grover Norquist is a Conservative Activist, and very much part of the "establishment," and possibly of that which very precisely is corrupt within that establishment. His close business and political ties to recently indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff are currently the object of a federal investigation, and, well, let’s just say that I do not think that ideologically Jack Abramoff exactly qualifies as an Anarchist either, {link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crony_capitalism|Crony Capitalism} seems more like it to me.

"Don’t vote." "Don’t pay taxes."

It has become hard to distinguish the true motivations of who it is who speaks nowadays behind such slogans (independently of what the legitimacy of the origin of such slogans might be), to what purpose, or (beyond the aw shucks Hannity/Limbaugh anti-government faux populism food-fight) the end of what system exactly it is that they are seeking.

The New Right think tank Heritage Foundation, for one, is pretty clear about it. To that organization "Government" means the evil of the "New Deal" and the "Great Society" which they use in a derogative way, implying their desire to do away with the institutions Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson created (e.g., Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid,…)

As Paul Krugman ("The Great Unraveling") observed:
"The starve-the-beast doctrine is now firmly within the conservative mainstream. George W. Bush himself seemed to endorse the doctrine as the budget surplus evaporated: in August 2001 he called the disappearing surplus 'incredibly positive news' because it would put Congress in a 'fiscal straitjacket.'"

And (still according to Paul Krugman) this is how it is done:
"To starve the beast, you must not only deny funds to the government; you must make voters hate the government. There's a danger that working-class families might see government as their friend: because their incomes are low, they don't pay much in taxes, while they benefit from public spending. So in starving the beast, you must take care not to cut taxes on these "lucky duckies." (Yes, that's what The Wall Street Journal called them in a famous editorial.) In fact, if possible, you must raise taxes on working-class Americans in order, as The Journal said, to get their 'blood boiling with tax rage.'"

It is an interesting irony how two ideologies, one would expect should have an adversarial relationship (Individual Anarchism vs. Crony Capitalism), are pursuing a seemingly similar strategy of doing away with government. One group does it, allegedly, because the system is utterly corrupt and there is no remedy to Crony Capitalism, the other group does it for the exact opposite purpose of consolidating the power of Crony Capitalism.

In other words, it is an interesting paradox how the no-government, no-tax, laissez faire theology of those who call for the abolition of government doesn't seem very different from the catechism of the anti-government, anti-tax wing of the ultra-conservative movements who claim they want smaller government, when what they really want is to eliminate regulatory agencies and social programs and deny access to protection or legal recourse against abuses such as injuries sustained from dangerous "deregulated" working conditions or poor medical care, environmental deregulation, etc.

Seems like a return to Oliver Twist and Corporate Feudalism to me.

If "Money" is indeed the problem, I submit that what is needed is not "no-government" but a strong people-orientated government that can get the big money, both private and Corporate, out of the election process and the legislature.

As I was commenting recently on a post on Ming.tv on the topic of {link:http://ming.tv/flemming2.php/__show_article/_a000010-001710.htm#com76276|Collective Intelligence}, what is at stake has not changed much since John Stuart Mill wrote "On Liberty" back in 1854. The good news is that the medium however has changed. Hopefully the revolution brought out by new ways of connecting and new technologies, such as the ones that the development of personal computers and the Internet have made possible, will trigger the emergence of patterns that allow something bigger to emerge. Or, I don’t know, maybe it will be something else – e.g. we’ll all become telepaths, or humanity will awaken to a new kind of global consciousness – it’s all good to me, and so is the contribution of anyone, be it in the realm of art, science, philosophy, political activism (within or without our existing political institutions), system thinking, or practical endeavor, who is working to make our world a better place for all.  

2 Dec 2006 @ 18:25 by Hanae @ : The Satus Quo

Or Neo-liberalism in a nutshell:

Liberating "free" enterprise or private enterprise from any bonds imposed by the government (the state) no matter how much social damage this causes.

like education and health care and water supply, all in the name of reducing government's role.

of laws that could reduce profits, including measures protecting workers and the environment.

Selling state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. Although done in the name of greater efficiency, which is often needed, privatization concentrates wealth into fewer hands and makes the public pay more.

and replacing it with "individual responsibility." Pressuring the poorest people to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security and branding them, if they fail, as "lazy."

Thanks to {link:http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/econ101/neoliberalDefined.html |Elizabeth Martinez and Arnoldo Garcia}  

19 Dec 2006 @ 21:41 by i2i : Crony Capitalism and Faux Anarchism
Following up on Hanae's first comment (above,) someone brought to my attention an essay posted by Shirah (10.18.05) on {link:http://www.unbossed.com/index.php?itemid=463|unbossed.com} as part of a short series on the theme of why some services are delivered by the private or public sector.

I find it appropriate to mention it here, as (just as in the government/anti-government debate) the argument over the merits of the public sector versus the private sector seems again to me like a false quarrel, and even an outright (and at times purposeful) distraction from what the real issues are.

Whether one is talking about the public sector (i.e. "the government" or some form of government) or the private sector, (which is itself run by its own form of "corporate government" - some mega-corporations or cartels are even sometimes referred to as a state within the state,) the real issue here is one of ACCOUNTABILITY, and the problem, therefore, wherever and whenever there is a problem (and there are many), usually comes from a LACK of ACCOUNTABILITY. And this is a problem that is present both in the public sector AND the private sector.

Focusing on the issue of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY, Shirah comments that:

"It is easier to see accountability and regulation as a cost, rather than a benefit to the public. Regulation and oversight slow decision making and narrow the range of options."

But as Shirah also rightly observes:

"If government services are provided by a {link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_democracy|democratic government}, their delivery should be infused by democratic values, such as voice, due process, equal protection, inclusiveness, and checks on the improper exercise of power – processes that make slow decision making."

"Many of the tools we the public have to hold government accountable come from our Constitution. These include rights to fair treatment provided by due process and equal protection. Others come from statute and force open government decision-making so we can see what is happening and affect what is done. These include Freedom of Information and Open Meetings Acts. Still other laws put up barriers to shield public employees from inappropriate pressure and keep public employees from being beholden to special interests. Examples are civil service and whistleblower laws."

"Yet other laws allow the People access to the democratic decision-making process. "

While governmental institutions detractors rail against these law as bureaucratic Red Tape, the reality is they are drawn from the core of our democracy.

"They are what protects us from tyrants and petty thieves - the very sort of people who would love nothing more than removing these protections and giving them free rein to prey on us."  

29 Jan 2015 @ 08:55 by Eriek @ : PxFaoKNiqanN
Denise too EGOISTIC That's exactly the proelbm, and it's what Wallace hints at with his Yankee Fanatical Reformer idea. Dare I say it? It's White Supremacy.These White Liberals really do believe that everyone in the world wants to be a White Liberal too, if they were only educated enough to do so. That's why a Yankee will take a Negro, dress him up in white clothes and teach him to speak a white language and convert him to a white religion, then show him off See how wonderful we White Liberals are everybody wants to be just like us. Remember, the Yankee religion teaches them that they are the real Jews God's Chosen People meant to Tikkun Olam the torn world. What is worse than an actual Hymie? A Yankee trying to out do them.  

29 Jan 2015 @ 14:03 by Bred @ : mYEAQKeQajOgUz
As usual Pelosi ignores or fails to alndkwceoge the fact that she is where and who she is as a direct result of the corporate greed her husband being a capitalist of the highest order if I recall, she got legislation passed when she was the Speaker that would exclude US Possession Samoa from legislation regulating corporations .her husband being a significant stockholder in Chicken of the Sea (I believe -its one of the big tuna canneries anyway) based on Samoa, which if I'm not mistaken relegated their employees (the working man as the Left likes to call them) to 2nd class status ..and enhanced the profit position of her husband's company .I do believe the Wall Street Occupiers are possibly smarter than she and perhaps even we realize .many of them during interviews have expressed Anti Obama/Democrats sentiments..  

30 Jan 2015 @ 00:12 by Iieytha @ : APwBuHIAnlObDJLda
I think the occupy petsorts severely lack the proper media exposure they require. No source gives them credit for doing something right, but instead they deem them enemies to capitalists. They say that one can't simply take from the rich and give to the poor, but I think it's more than that. I think these occupy petsorts just want a life that makes sense. People are ripped off and robbed everywhere these days, and I think it's time we check the status of corporate power. It's time we start protesting for a rational world where everyone has the ability to control their own lives without so much government interference. http://owpmktk.com [url=http://clthtke.com]clthtke[/url] [link=http://tuksnkjmcvu.com]tuksnkjmcvu[/link]  

30 Jan 2015 @ 07:16 by Venkata @ : CDMRMwxirpuD
You idiots don't even have a cnnesstiot message If it was not for Wal-Mart the vast majority of the 99% wouldn't be able to afford well just about anything do you even understand how Walmart's business model works. Do you understand how many jobs these big box stores have created once more your moronic ignorance shines through bright, but lets face it you useless excuses for humankind wouldn't have a job during a good economy. (BTW I would usually be more civil, but why should I? I mean Im already a hater right?..oh yeah I hope another 1000 of you get some more pepper spray in the face tomorrow).  

2 Feb 2015 @ 08:36 by Malinda @ : nQrNTKRJzrVRPbsipL
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