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    • CommentAuthorandycon
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2011
    @Miranda's Eyes

    Yeah the thing I LOVE so much about being unemployed isn't the nights I spend crying myself to sleep or the deep depression that comes around when being told that despite my college degree I wasn't what they were looking for with that janitor position I applied for.

    No I love not paying federal income taxes. Yeah... Its TOTALLY the left and Obama who are causing class warfare.
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2011
    They call themselves LEFT but they aren´t. For me LEFT are those who has the smaller part of the pie, therefore they want things to change (real changes). SOCIAL DEMOCRACY was born with the intention of transforming CAPITALISM, but they got carried away by the power of the money to the dark side of the political game. The worst is that SOCIALISTS(Spain) & DEMOCRATS(USA) have literally killed the TRUE LEFT... All of them?
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2011 edited

    On October 15th people from all over the world will take to the streets and squares.

    From America to Asia, from Africa to Europe, people are rising up to claim their rights and demand a true democracy. Now it is time for all of us to join in a global non violent protest.

    The ruling powers work for the benefit of just a few, ignoring the will of the vast majority and the human and environmental price we all have to pay. This intolerable situation must end.

    United in one voice, we will let politicians, and the financial elites they serve, know it is up to us, the people, to decide our future. We are not goods in the hands of politicians and bankers who do not represent us.

    On October 15th, we will meet on the streets to initiate the global change we want. We will peacefully demonstrate, talk and organize until we make it happen.

    It’s time for us to unite. It’s time for them to listen.
    People of the world, rise up on October 15th!"

    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2011
    On another board, I've been talking about this and posing the question: how bad is it in the US? It seems difficult to come up with an answer, everybody has another idea, another bit of anecdotal evidence, another stat that shows that either it's really bad or that it really isn't bad at all. It seems that more people are becoming impoverished or are having trouble making ends meet, but how acute is the problem? Is it an emergency yet?

    I've got a suspicion that the Western economy is bumping against the boundries of its possibilities; real growth has become an impossiblity. But the entire system is based on the premise that growth will last forever. Every little disturbance of the system now causes a complete crisis because it immediately nixes what growth may otherwise have occured. It's visible in the Tea Party, which is really a small group but managed to bring the US to the brink of bankruptcy. It's visible in Greece, which isn't allowed to go bankrupt by the other EU nations because that would fuck the banks in the entire EU up real good. Every natural disaster, every terror attack, every tiny screw up seems to have reverberations that causes problems around the world.

    i think we need to work towards a system that is based on equilibrium rather than a need for growth. Maybe it is time to see if Amazon still sells Das Kapital.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2011

    Depends on what you mean by growth.

    There is a lot of shit that needs doing in this country that isn't being done because of misplaced emphasis on consumer-driven purchasing of crap. Roads, bridges, railways, and water systems could all use a thorough rebuild. The electrical grid needs to be built out and made more reliable and responsive.

    This work would sure as hell look like growth, and a damn good way to spend money, unless you're in the small fraction of unduly-influential people in whose interest it is that as much money as possible be freed up to feed the Great Casino.
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2011
    To expand on Jon's evaluation of common political philosophy...

    It's good that you invoke Smith to describe our extant capitalist system, but it should be noted that both Locke and Hume were also instrumental in the political ideologies of the U.S. from very early. And those guys are slowly becoming out of fashion as well.

    Hume informed the individualism that we are now slowly moving away from. As more people see themselves as parts of the natural world, British Empiricism loses its grasp on the common consciousness. Marxism, like you said, and the ecology movement are very counter to the 17th century conclusions about being in the world, and I feel like we will, consciously or not, move to a more German, mid-19th century common idea of what makes a person as an actor in nature.

    Locke's Proviso (his summed up views of property rights) falls apart without the Christian notion that God gave man the world and its plenty. We're finding that there isn't plenty. There's a lot less than plenty for the amount of people we have now. Many are finding that there isn't a God, or at least the Christian God isn't who we thought it was.

    As these notions die, they are replaced by Marxism, existentialism, egalitarianism, feminism, ecology--things that place a person in the world as an actor, an able member of a natural landscape, and while we can't prove that anything outside ourselves exists, it's better to assume that it does and not be a piece of shit than it is to give it up and be a giant asshole.
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2011 edited

    You are right, of course technological improvement and updating is a genuine and beneficial form of growth.

    Still, there seems to me to be something completely unsustainable and unnatural about the constant demand for growth. We live on a pretty tiny world of finite resources. Ignoring that fact I think is screwing the world up, and like a boomerang it's rebounded and coming back to hit us in the face. The rich have to put money in mango trees and coconuts and rice fields in order for people to be able to fix dinner. But if palm oil plantations bring more benefit in the short term, if it brings a larger return on their investment, they'll turn the whole damn world into a monoculture. Forty years or so down the line they'll be out of the last mangos they saved for themselves on their own private plots, and it's game over.

    I know that's an oversimplification, but I don't have the economic expertise to put it in other terms. I think we desperately need to look at scenarios in which an equilibrium is reached, where humanity's real needs, not perks or luxuries, can be sustained for the long term. If we don't do that, it will probably happen anyway, but in a far more violent, painful manner, like rats in a cage fighting over a tiny bit of food.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2011
    I can tell you now, this global 15th protest will have no impact at all in the UK unless they decide to smash a few windows.

    I'm willing to lay a few quid that it doesn't even make the evening news.
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeOct 15th 2011
    Various Twitter bods report that Julian Assange turned up at the "Occupy London Stock Exchange" protest, and was subsequently taken aside by police although apparently not arrested.

    Wonder if that makes it more likely to make the evening news.
    • CommentTimeOct 15th 2011 edited
    I was about three metres from Julian Assange when he spoke on the steps of St. Paul's cathedral. It was bizarre. He was loudly heckled by several people who called him a rapist. He gave a short speech, flanked by earpiece-wearing besuited minders. There was some applause and excitement. He ended by throwing handfuls of sweets into the crowd like a pantomime dame. Apart from the loose affiliation with Anon (who were out in number), I couldn't work out why he was there.

    (although the candy-throwing led to one of my better puns of the day: "Whose sweets? Our sweets.")

    Edit: And, I had forgotten until now: a young lady in a fur coat threw her (pink, polka-dot) knickers at him.
    • CommentTimeOct 15th 2011
    Reporting back, team.

    I was at the Occupy London protest today from 12 noon to 5pm. I wandered down by myself from St. Paul's tube, through Paternoster Square where there were several policemen and high-vizzed security men, and then to the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral. I had a wander around looking at how the streets were laid out around there and trying to figure out where to go if it turned nasty. Then I met my friends on the steps. By half twelve, when a few hundred people had assembled, the rentacops had disappeared and the police had organised line defences around all entrances to Paternoster Square and the entrance to the London Stock Exchange. These included mounted officers and dog handlers.

    The "march", such as it was, was from St. Paul steps to Paternoster entrance (about thirty metres), a bit of handbags with the officers there, then around the square anti-clockwise to each entrance in turn. My friends and I were in front of most of the crowd, using Google Maps and avoiding the pointless shoving that happened when exitable types reached the police lines. Procuring cardboard for placards from an obliging bookshop, my friend and I returned to St. Paul's steps by about 1pm. (Mine read "Can I have my bailout back?")

    From 1 to 5, numbers of protestors grew, and police continually changed their minds about whether or not people were allowed in or out of the yard. There was strong, bright sunshine and a good atmosphere. Via the People's Mic different working groups split off around 3 or 4 to discuss practicalities of police liaison, medics, food and water, and so on. I spent time talking to people, being interviewed (I think by NBC?), painting banners, and actually having a pretty nice time. The other protestors were mainly young, with many from overseas. There were many Anons in evidence, besuited and Guy Fawked.

    At five on the dot, large numbers of public order-equipped police formed lines and moved into the crowd. As police were allowing people to leave at that point, I chose to leave. It seems this was the right decision. Sitting in the pub and watching CO11 tweet that they were clearing the square for Sunday services, we called the Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of London's offices to see if they could intervene. From the painful tweets coming from @OccupyLSX it doesn't seem so.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeOct 15th 2011
    It did make the news, but only as a footnote to the 'bigger' story of the protest in Rome which was subverted by people who just wanted to smash shit up.

    Water cannons, tear gas, the whole works.

    Middle England *wants* to see the police cracking people over the head with batons right now. They equate any 'anarchist' demonstration with the mindless rioting of a few months back, regardless of how incorrect that view is, and will be cheering on any scenes they see in the papers tomorrow of 'scum blocking access to our great cathedral getting their just desserts'.

    Right now is a poor time to be doing this kind of protest in the UK, the bulk of public opinion will NOT be on your side.
  1.  (10239.13)
    How about these arrests of protesters for trying to close their citibank accounts?
    Apparently taking your money out of the banks is now illegal. I read that they were charged with "criminal trespass". That's funny, because they were LOCKED IN the building.
    This is getting ridiculous.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeOct 15th 2011
    "I've got a suspicion that the Western economy is bumping against the boundries of its possibilities; real growth has become an impossiblity. "

    Unless, you live in Spain, Germany, Canada, Poland, Australia...
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeOct 15th 2011 edited
    I have to admit I jumped here from the first page.

    My initial reaction was much the same as many others: "it's all empty theatre. What are they hoping to achieve? The protesters have no positive agenda."

    But stuff like the "Occupy the Polls" campaign and the Citibank and Chase boycotts has changed my mind to some extent.

    The sit-ins and marches serve a useful purpose if they motivate people to take other more practical actions.
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeOct 15th 2011
    Mass arrests in Chicago, people being pulled and carried into police vans, tents being broken up, but not confiscated.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeOct 16th 2011 edited
    Adam Smith felt that if people act with rational self interest and everyone pursues their own ends, this system would be stable, relatively predictable and create maximum liberty for everyone involved.

    Actually he didn't, although it suits various interests that you believe that that was Smith's view.

    Smith actually felt that high taxes on the wealthy and strict regulation of the abuses of capitalism were required.
  2.  (10239.18)
    According to Mer's re-tweet, police have killed power and cell towers at Occupy Phoenix. I wouldn't have expected the crowds to stick around long enough for it to come to that. I'm only about half a mile away, and I can't hear any sirens.

    [edit]According to this feed the cell tower info is BS. Around 40 or so protesters were taken into police custody.

    [edit2]Full timeline of occupy Phoenix. So apparently an admitted neo-Nazi with an AK-47 was there 'to keep the peace.' WTF Arizona.
  3.  (10239.19)
    Interesting blog post from Paul Mason (Economics Editor of the BBC "Newsnight" programme):

    Interesting because:

    1. he "gets it"

    2. he's starting to look deeper into the way people's ways of thinking have changed (and what wider socio-cultural factors caused this)

    On point (2) it's a little light, and he admits that he is "still struggling to get [his] own head around it", but it's worth a read.
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeOct 16th 2011
    Unless, you live in Spain, Germany, Canada, Poland, Australia...

    @Kosmopolit; I don't believe any of that is real significant growth. Have people in Spain, Germany, Canada or Australia, on average, significantly increased their material welfare? Can people afford to buy more and better quality goods than 10 years ago?

    Poland I may agree with, and it's the only country in Europe that never went into recession. But people there are still gaining lost ground from the period that the country was communist. Eastern Europe went through a huge economic jump since that period.

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