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    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2011
     (10239.1)
    If people watch Press TV - the Iranian government's English-language mouthpiece - the government supports the Arab Spring pretty much everywhere except Syria - and are keen to paint it as an Islamist anti-western phenomenon.

    Their coverage of Libya was - odd. They supported the rebels but ran every story from the Gaddafi side about alleged civilian casualties from NATO air attacks as fact. The pro-western statements and demonstrations by the leaders of the NTC and their supporters just didn't get mentioned.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2011
     (10239.2)
    The Arab Spring / Tahrir Square occupation was in fact explicitly identified, in part, with Anonymous/V from Vendetta.

    So yes, there are in fact explicit political links to the open-source sort of coalition of Anonymous - Wikileaks - global anarchists movements of various stripes that go beyond just casual comparisons and Guy Fawkes masks.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2011 edited
     (10239.3)
    Seems a lot of the UK protestors don't actually camp out overnight after all.

    This is pretty typical of how it's being reported here in the UK. Ignoring the actual thing they're protesting in favour of sniping and generally undermining it.

    I still think they need to shift from St. Pauls. It's in the way of the point they're actually trying to make now, and if they aren't gone by Remembrance Sunday they'll lose even more sympathy.

    I'm impressed that the Express manage to get in a Nanny State jibe as well.

    Loving this quote in the comments as well:

    "Don't hate them. At least they are doing something. I thank them for representing me while I stay out of trouble, avoid the chance of arrest and look for a job."

    Ah, the British wit.
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2011
     (10239.4)
    So St Pauls is prevented from making money?

    And here I was thinking the Church shouldn't be about making money.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2011
     (10239.5)
    It isn't about making money. It's about having the money to pay the cleaners, the bills, the ground rent. Costs about 20 grand a week to run the place apparently, and that mostly comes from donations from tourists, like most public attractions in London.

    Only in Utopia can a church be ran for free.

    It's more that this isn't even a protest *about* the church, yet the only people their protest is affecting is the people involved with the cathedral. Noone else in the city even notices they're there, cause you don't actually need to walk anywhere near the place to get to the LSE or any of the other financial buildings in the area. They're protesting in the wrong sodding place, and can't seem to see that it's a free pass for the press to mock them.

    Now it's out that hardly anyone is even staying there overnight, the council will no doubt say the empty tents are 'litter' and clear them out one night.
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2011
     (10239.6)
    I don't know, I just think it's funny it has to be the Church that makes such a fuss about their business being disrupted.

    Seriously, the Church isn't rich enough to pay the rent for a few weeks when there are no incoming donations from visitors? That surprises me.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2011
     (10239.7)
    I believe, though i cannot vouch for the truth of it, that St Pauls gets a significant chunk of its income from corporate donations made by City institutions. If true that would go some way to explaining their change of attitude toward the protesters.

    In general, i suspect that when it comes to governments, you get what you pay for. With all this civic unrest and financial turmoil going on, i wouldn't mind betting that the 'Western Democracies' are in for a bit of a paradigm shift in the visible government department. Anyone remember Anarcho-capitalism? Surely it would be much more efficient for the rich and powerful to run things directly through their respective corporate interests rather than having to manipulate events remotely through figurehead 'Democratic governments' as is now the case. Admittedly the general populous would no longer have the illusion of a representative government to keep them docile and relatively quiet, but, as the actions of the Police in recent UK riots showed to good effect, if you allow things to get bad enough, people will put up with the most authoritarian and draconian measures if only they calm things down and make the streets safe again for decent folk.

    Right, get yer teeth into that you lot, i'm off to polish me tinfoil hat...
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2011
     (10239.8)
    Representative government is an illusion...nah. Democracy does work, government is representative, but even they have to admit that money is where the real power is. Money = Power. There is nothing that can change that, and what's more, there is nothing that should change that. You can really only change that by making money worthless, and that's the end of economy as we know it. We'd be back to forming gangs and marauding the streets.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2011
     (10239.9)
    We'd be back to forming gangs and marauding the streets.

    Or even worse, the horrors of Socialism. Heavens forfend!
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2011
     (10239.10)
    Socialism runs on money.
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      CommentAuthorJon Wake
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2011
     (10239.11)
    That's like saying that cars run on dinosaurs. It's technically true, but it doesn't actually have any predictive power. Not that I think you're trying to do anything other than sound worldly and pithy.

    Now, saying that making money worthless would end the economy as we know it is true, but that isn't the same as saying it will end the economy. Even a cursory examination of anthropology will show that Capitalist economies like ours are in the distinct minority over the history of civilization. But again, you're not concerned with veracity.

    Thirdly, and because I feel like beating a dead horse, Socialism does not mean an end to a market, it means the those who produce the goods own the means of production and benefit from that profit and have voting rights within that economic unit. A Credit Union is a socialist institution, as is a union. A socialist institution relies on direct democracy and a plurality of voices. A capitalist business, on the other hand, is a dictatorship. Your boss tells you what to do and you have no option but to do it or quit and starve.
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2011
     (10239.12)
    Exactly...I'm in favor of socialism, as long as it's a social democracy.

    But even in a social democracy society is very dependent on where the money is coming from, in most socialist systems you'll still see companies that wield a lot of power and influence. Even in most systems that are communist that is still the case in a way, except all "business" and production is controlled by a small group of people in power.

    Big companies are not the evil they're sometimes purported to be. They can be, but that's not always the case, not by a long shot. Free enterprise is the engine behind the world economy and it has brought the world a lot of good. You do need regulations, companies have to operate within a framework of regulations to prevent abuse. Also, in order to have a well functioning system you need social mobility; people have to be able to get the education and opportunities to get ahead in life, and that is often a problem.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDoc Ocassi
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2011
     (10239.13)
    Wot Jon Said. I don't think we have make this a choice between one ism and another, we need to decide what we want to be and work towards that, and I don't see why breaking the tie between wealth and power is something that can't happen. As I have said before I believe it must happen.

    Tenuously related to the occupy movement but it amused me.
    •  
      CommentAuthorJon Wake
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2011
     (10239.14)
    Free enterprise has also brought a lot of misery and inequality to people. Has it done more good than harm? That's impossible to answer. What we can answer is that the post WWII economic bump is over, and our globalist Capitalism is finally showing its age.
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2011
     (10239.15)
    I don't see why breaking the tie between wealth and power is something that can't happen.


    In short: because money gets people off their asses. If you have a lot of money you can get people to do the things you want, by paying them living wages, and that is pretty much the definition of power. In that way money can be used to build infrastructure, buy fuel, fund armies, whatever it its that power entails. But you can also use it to grow food, build schools, hospitals etc. so that power can be a positive thing.

    Taking it to the extreme, if you really want to break the tie between wealth and power you have to get people to stop doing labor for money, and find a way to ensure people keep doing work, beign productive, for free. While I think it might be nice if that happens, I'm not sure if it's realistic. It would be an entirely selfless, altruistic society where people produce goods and deliver services for others without any other remuneration than the happy feelings it gives them.


    Free enterprise has also brought a lot of misery and inequality to people. Has it done more good than harm? That's impossible to answer. What we can answer is that the post WWII economic bump is over, and our globalist Capitalism is finally showing its age.


    I'm certainly not a proponent of absolute free-market capitalism, there have to be checks and balances. The companies and the rich need to be taxed and the poor need to be supported so that they can afford healthcare and a suitable education that is commensurate to their capacities. I am not sure if education and healthcare should be free, but I'm not against it. A capitalist society where there can be no upward mobility, where the poor are doomed to stay poor forever, and the rich can just sit back and stay rich without using their money for the common good, is a terrible thing, and eventually you will probably end up at a point where people revolt anyway.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDoc Ocassi
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2011
     (10239.16)
    A capitalist society where there can be no upward mobility, where the poor are doomed to stay poor forever, and the rich can just sit back and stay rich without using their money for the common good,

    Surely this would be the ultimate state of any capitalist society, If you take Marx's view of capitalism where the people sell their labour to a property owner you essentially become subservient to that owner. If you have some community decision making process where one person has disproportionate power over the rest, you will end up with inequality. The use of money to get people to do what you want, will end in the the use of money to make people do what money wants, It has been proven that in cognitive tasks giving financial rewards actually decreases performance, and giving people time to do what they want will increase performance.

    Money is just a means of exchange, you can still do work for money but that money must be distributed and controlled throughout society, not by a small number of organizations at the top, this is what I am referring to as the tie. I don't think we should get rid of all means of exchange, it is very useful, well, probably necessary, we just need to decide how this system has to be organised, and that is something we should be able to do while promoting equality and stability in society.
    •  
      CommentAuthorJon Wake
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2011
     (10239.17)
    Money is one of those systems like the eye: it's evolved independently so many times that it's probably the most efficient way to transfer ownership amongst people. The same with markets. Anytime you get more than a couple hundred people together, a market forms. However, an early Renaissance village market and Costco are about as different as you can get when you chart the flow of money.
  1.  (10239.18)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuQIShEVNRE

    THIS is what people need to understand.
  2.  (10239.19)
    I think a money free society could work, but it depends on society making/wanting it to work. I've done some thinking about it here and there and while I think I know how a society without money would work I'm not 100% sure human nature would let it work.

    The idea is pretty simple, everybody keeps doing what they're doing. They just stop the money game. Don't get paid, don't need to pay bills or for anything. Just take what you need/want for food & entertainment.

    Of course a lot of people will want to quit the job they hate. This would be a good thing for them as human beings, it sucks being in a job you hate and it's probably bad for your psychological and physical health. Society may not like it at first and will have to re-evaluate how much they really want things. People might like fast food enough to pay the cheap prices for it, but do they like it enough to get behind the counter and try and cook up the food to serve other people that want it? Suddenly what's important isn't decided by how much your willing to pay for it, but how many people are willing to devote how many hours to meet the demand. Or the desire of people with engineering skills to figure out a way to automate the creating/servicing of things to the point very little human interaction is needed to meet the demand. I think that will be quite eye opening and some folks will be pissed that things they were willing to pay for (but not get off their ass and do) will no longer be as easily available to them as it was before. Lots of whining on that end.

    Asshole bosses will suddenly find very few people willing to volunteer for them, which I wouldn't cry about. Without the need to make money (thus killing the Money is more important than everything else mindset) they might learn to not be assholes, but who knows. Case by case basis on that one. Financial sector would be wiped out though. Ability to get things started would likely depend on the charisma of the people trying to start them. Every new business would almost be election like in trying to convince people give you their time/work for a greater good. It be like Kickstarter but with volunteers. Gone will be the days where all you needed was enough money to pay people to get something going, personality be damned.

    The real human nature tricky part will be high demand goods. Suddenly a lot of people will want a new car and other luxury items. Waiting lists will have to be created and if your the one who's in charge of dispensing with the items all sorts temptations and problems will occur. People are going to want to be bumped up the list. Say they want a new computer and the guy in charge of that wants a new car, a back end tit for tat deal will likely occur. Some folks might offer sex, others violence, others sob stories, long time buddies in exchange for helping you with home renovations or crap volunteer work, all in an effort to get what they want and get it quicker. Suddenly there is a two tier system in place. Some might argue their status as a Doctor, Firefighter, Veteran, Famine relief worker, Toxic waste handler, etc.. means they shouldn't have to wait as long.

    To combat the stealing of these items there would have to be some very strong and extremely meticulous serial/bar-coding and tracking of everything, even more extreme than we have now and it would need to be transparent.I suspect there would be enough interest in people wanting this stuff to form and maintain watchdog groups to ensure dispersion is being handled fairly (at least until they get theirs, then new folks wanting their stuff will join to ensure they aren't waiting longer than they have to would join). We'd still have to watch out for black market unbar-coded goods from the manufacturing level. If there is a serious need to crack down on it regular scanning for stuff without proper coding would be everywhere to ensure the black market stuff would be useless. This w/could get very big brother-ish though. Even then somebody would try and figure out a way to copy/generate coding as to get by the system.
  3.  (10239.20)
    Labour shortage lists would be created by the government. We need coal miners, cotton pickers and other unpleasant jobs. Immigration could help with this, in return for immigrating to the country you agree to do one of these jobs for X amount of months (which is almost how it works now, except financial hardships and illegal entry keeps them at those jobs.)

    Crime for money would go away, but theft for things (like cars, Electronic goods) would likely be there and perhaps even rise. Home arrest/gps ankle monitoring would probably rise just due to the lack of volunteer prison guards. I could see some gangsters forcing people to get hooked on designer drugs and through addiction and threats to keep people working for them. Without the need for money, criminal organizations would radically change. They might even try creating their own currency and trying to force people to use it. Pray to god that people don't overlook psychological evaluations in face of lack of volunteers for security type jobs.

    And we'd have to change our education system so that the next generation just doesn't sit on it's ass and expect everything for free, thinking doing a blog with a movie review now and then is a real contribution to society. Sure intelligent, critical essays or reviews are worthwhile, but we wouldn't need 100,000 people doing that job. Hammer down too much on that point will cause a backlash though. A whole lot of starving artists won't be starving anymore. As a result there will likely be more art in the world and people choosing to be writers & artists (and probably a lot of it crap) but I'm not so sure that's a bad thing. It'll be like webcomics but with some bad artists never going away.

    And then there is international trade. Be great if the whole world agrees to a money free society all at once and operates its without corruption but that's just not likely. Most likely being 1 country doing it and bartering goods via trade negotiations (and getting the producers of those goods to comply with the amounts needed). Your Sugar for our Corn. And eh, I don't think we can give you computers because we've got huge waiting lists for our own people who want them, or do we need the sugar so bad we'll have to bite the bullet?

    International vacations is something else that would have to be worked out too otherwise people will only be able to go visit family/friends/volunteers wealthy enough to support them. One solution is people that want to visit here will have to pay the government for the privilege and that money gets put on to CC/Debit Cards distributed to our citizens wanting to travel (and that itself is whole 'nother can of worms). Unless agreements can be made to allow citizens to visit here freely in return for the government giving cards to our citizens in which that countries government pays for everything. I'm sure each gov't will have it's own restrictions on that too and may cut it off entirely in times of economic stress. Hopefully this will lesson overtime as more counties adopt a money free societies and allow unfettered traveling/vacationing between each countries citizens.

    In all it would take a whole lot of people deciding to do what's best for society as a whole vs. whats good for them. I think sheer selfishness/greed/stupidity and just society brainwashing against that ideal would make it extremely difficult.

    It's possible, but it would most definitely not be a perfect world. We'd have to figure out if we want a world with those benefits and flaws vs the one we have now.

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