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A thick meaty discussion of the western political economy and the checkered history that has led us to the current financial mess we happen to be in. Great viewing, get some popcorn!

Mark Blythe seems to have a very good grasp of the current political and economic situations we now face.  If you want a no bullshit update to the state of the world, watch this.

 

 

The article and video can been seen on CBC.ca.

 

Trust the conservatives to screw up what should have been an easy smear by dropping the JT brownface video too early in the campaign.  This will be out of the public mind way before election day.  Also take note that Scheer is dancing delicately around this one as he walks the fine line between castigating and coddling the actual racists in his party.

I would still rather vote for Justin that for Scheer because a vote for Scheer is a vote closer to the right-wing populist shitshow they have going on down in the United States, and that fellow Canadians, is something we want entirely no part of.

A leader is someone who takes responsibility from their mistakes and then learns from what they did wrong hopefully becoming a better person in the process.  There is no evidence that the shenanigans of JT’s youth have followed him into his late adulthood.

 

 

Just who is anti-authoritarian and who isn’t?  Like most topics, the devil is in the details, as the cleavages between the various sub groups of anarachists creates a great deal of tension within the movement as a whole.

“Some anarchists are upset by the idea of taking any authority seriously; however this does not upset anarchists who are familiar with Mikhail Bakunin (1814–1876), one of the most famous anarchists in world history.

Bakunin wrote: “Does it follow that I reject all authority? Far from me such a thought. In the matter of boots, I refer to the authority of the bootmaker. . . . But I allow neither the bootmaker nor the architect nor the savant to impose his authority upon me. I listen to them freely and with all the respect merited by their intelligence, their character, their knowledge, reserving always my incontestable right of criticism and censure.”

While Bakunin rejects all imposed authority, he recognizes the legitimacy of the authoritative. Authoritative has a very different dictionary meaning than authoritarian. Authoritative means being accurate, true, reliable, valid, and thus trustworthy. However, some anarchists see a downside to giving an expert, even an authoritative one, any authority. Anarchist thinker William Godwin (1756–1836) believed it was a bad idea to place one’s confidence in the superior knowledge of others and to rely on them, as this can weaken our own capacity to think, reason, and make judgments, and thus disempower us.

Perhaps the most well-known modern American self-identified anarchist is Noam Chomsky. For Chomsky, every form of authority has to “prove that it’s justified—it has no prior justification.” Chomsky gives an example of justified authority: “When you stop your five-year-old kid from trying to cross the street, that’s an authoritarian situation: it’s got to be justified. Well, in that case, I think you can give a justification.” However, for Chomsky, “Most of the time these authority structures have no moral justification . . . they are just there in order to preserve certain structures of power and domination.”

Anarchism is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as: “a political theory holding all forms of governmental authority to be unnecessary and undesirable and advocating a society based on voluntary cooperation and free associations of individual groups.” Among anarchists, there is no monolithic view of anarchism though there is generally agreement that the state is an illegitimate authority.

There are anti-authoritarians, however, who are not anti-state. Thomas Paine and Ralph Nader are two of the most celebrated and maligned anti-authoritarians in U.S. history. Paine was initially celebrated for refusing to comply with Great Britain and later maligned for refusing to comply with Christianity; and Nader was initially celebrated for refusing to be intimidated by General Motors and later maligned for refusing to be intimidated by the Democratic Party. But both Paine (who helped create and perhaps even coined the name “United States”) and Nader (responsible for the creation of life-saving governmental regulatory agencies) are not anarchists.”

It has to be rough for some segments of the Anarchist community since our society is so segmented and specialized.  Littered with authorities that are often very hard to verify if they are indeed, legitimate or not.

I do like me some socialism, as I do believe it is the tonic that will address some of the societal problems we are currently experiencing.  I think tackling the inherent problems socialism bring with it might be good for a change.  It’s like changing the government every so often, clear out the old graft and corruption and make way for a fresher, newer array of graft and corruption, perhaps even doing some positive governance things before bought off by the powers that be.  Chris Wright makes some good points by focusing on the alienation that people can experience in a capitalist society.

 

“The case for socialism is usually made, rightly, from the perspective of its justice. It would be just to have economic and social democracy, for one thing because it is intrinsically right that people not be forced to rent themselves to a business owner who exploits them for profit but instead that they collectively control economic activities and distribute rewards as they see fit. Moreover, economic democracy, whether in the form of worker cooperatives or democratic government control, would essentially make impossible the extreme income inequality that corrodes political democracy and ultimately unravels the social fabric.

But it’s also worth broadcasting the message that even from an existentialist point of view, our only hope is socialism. Certain types of conservatives (usually religious) like to complain about the demise of the family, the community, non-hedonistic interpersonal ties, and the sense of meaning in our lives, a demise for which they blame such nebulous phenomena as secularism, “humanism,” communism, and liberalism. That is, everything except what really matters: capitalism, the reduction of multifaceted life to the monomaniacal pursuit of profit, property, and power. So these conservatives end up in the realm of fascism or neofascism, which promises only to complete the destruction of family and community.

The truth is that only socialism, or an economically democratic society in which there is no capitalist class, could possibly usher in a world in which the existentialist howl of Camus and Sartre didn’t have universal resonance. Mass loneliness, “homelessness,” and the gnawing sense of meaninglessness are not timeless conditions; they’re predictable expressions of a commoditized, privatized, bureaucratized civilization. Do away with the agent of enforced commoditization, privatization, and hyper-bureaucratization-for-the-sake-of-social-control—i.e., the capitalist class—and you’ll do away with the despair that arises from these things.”

 

MLA Grant Hunter, the province’s associate minister of red tape reduction, wrote, “Wernher von Braun said, ‘To conquer the universe you’d have to solve two problems: gravity and red tape.’ We’ve made it clear that we are committed to reducing red tape in Alberta. Lots more to come…”

The quote came from an opinion piece linked by Hunter in his tweet.”

“Lori Williams, a political scientist with Mount Royal University, said in the age of social media, it’s important to be careful about sharing a quote unless you know the source.

“To simply repeat a quotation without naming the source might look a little bit less problematic. But to actually say the name of a Nazi officer and then quote it, highly problematic.”

Williams said the tweeted quote may be viewed against the backdrop of other comments Hunter has made.

“And it would be a little bit different had it not been that he … made comments about the superior stock about the people in his constituency, and actually used the word Aryan, misspelled it,” Williams said, referring to a 2010 letter to the editor Hunter submitted to the Cardston Temple City Star.

“He’s got to be very careful about using language associated with Nazis.”

The Taber-Warner MLA is no stranger to controversy.

In 2016 Hunter was one of eight then-Wildrose MLAs who signed a column comparing the carbon tax to the genocide of millions of Ukrainians in the 1930s. The party later apologized.

In 2018, he apologized after comparing the NDP’s 2015 election victory to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which killed more than 200,000 people, the Taber Times reported.

Williams said his accumulated comments could pose a political problem.”

The very best part of this story is that it is going to probably pass away quickly, and this particular politician will remain safely in government.

Thank you again Alberta Voters for gracing our province with the exemplary batch of politicians.

 

 

Ever get that feeling of being a leaf in the wind?  It is the state of the world that makes me not want to care about what’s going on because it is so overwhelming.  Tom Engelhardt from Tom’s Dispatch compares the current dystopia with withe one portrayed in 1984.

“Unfortunately, on both counts Donald Trump is proving dystopian indeed. He is, after all, the president who threatened to unleash “fire and fury like the world has never seen” on North Korea (before falling in love with its dictator). He only recently claimed he could achieve victory in the almost 18-year-old Afghan War “in a week” by wiping that country “off the face of the Earth” and killing “10 million people.” For the first time, his generals used the “Mother of all Bombs,” the most powerful weapon in the U.S. conventional arsenal (with a mushroom cloud that, in a test at least, could be seen for 20 miles), in that same country, clearly to impress him.

More recently, beginning with its withdrawal from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, his administration has started trashing the Cold War-era nuclear architecture of restraint that kept the great-power arsenals under some control. In the process, it’s clearly helping to launch a wildly expensive new nuclear arms race on Planet Earth. And keep in mind that this is happening at a time when we know that a relatively localized nuclear war between regional powers like India and Pakistan (whose politicians are once again at each other’s throats over Kashmir) could create a global nuclear winter and starve to death up to a billion people.

And keep in mind as well that all of the above may prove to be the lesser of Donald Trump’s dystopian acts when it comes to the ultimate future of humanity. After all, he and his administration are, in just about every way imaginable, doing their damnedest to aid and abet climate change by ensuring that ever more carbon will be released into the atmosphere, warming an already over-heated planet further. That’s the very planet on which humanity has, since 1990, burned half of all the fossil fuels ever used. Despite the Paris climate accord and much talk about the necessity of getting climate change under some kind of control, carbon is still being released into the atmosphere at record levels. (Not surprisingly, U.S. emissions began rising again in 2018.)

This summer, amid fierce heat waves in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere, as well as the setting of global heat records, with parts of the Arctic literally burning (while heating twice as fast as the world average), with Greenland melting, and the Antarctic losing sea ice in record amounts, some of the predictions of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the relatively distant future already seem to be in sight. As climate scientist Marco Tedesco put it recently, speaking of the Arctic, “We are seeing ice melting now that we expected 30 to 40 years from now.”

We are, in other words, already on a dystopian planet. With threats to the world’s food supply and the swamping of coastal cities lying in our future, with the migration of previously unheard of populations in that same future, with heat rising to levels that may, in some places, become unbearable, leaving parts of the planet uninhabitable, it is at least possible now to imagine the future collapse of civilization itself.

And keep in mind as well that our own twisted version of Big Brother, that guy with the orange hair instead of the mustache, could be around to be watched for significantly longer, should he win the election of 2020. (His polling numbers have, on the whole, been slowly rising, not falling in these years.)”

 

Hmmm…new video games coming out soon…now there is a happy thought…

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