J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 01-31-2018

Our Only World

Author Wendell Berry raises broader issues that environmentalists rarely focus on…. his insights are universal because Our Only World is filled with beautiful, compassionate writing and careful, profound thinking.” -Associated Press. Since the Second World War ended, America has performed like a gyroscope losing its balance, wobbling this way and that, unable to settle into itself and its own great promise. Wendell Berry has been a voice for that promise, a voice for reason and hope and urgent concern. In this new collection of ten essays, Berry confronts head-on the necessity of clear thinking and direct action. WENDELL BERRY is an essaying, novelist, and poet, and has written more than thirty books. He lives and works in his native Kentucky with his wife, Tanya Berry, and their children and grandchildren. Author Wendell Berry raises broader issues that environmentalists rarely focus on. In one sense Berry is the voice of a rural agrarian tradition that stretches from rural Kentucky back to the origins of human civilization. But his insights are universal because Our Only World is filled with beautiful, compassionate writing and careful, profound thinking.” -Associated Press. “Even at age 80, Wendell Berry continues to be one of the most compelling social critics of our age. This new collection of essays enhances the basic themes of his previous work, including local economies, conservation of energy, and opposition any powers that destroy land, creatures, and human life. If you are weary of the injustice embedded in daily American life, Berry offers here not easy answers, but rather a vision of a rich and sustainable way of life.” -Relevant Magazine. “Our Only World is quintessential Berry.When you pick up this volume, be prepared to spend some time with it because the Big Ideas it holds within its pages are ones you will ruminate on for a long, long time to come.” -Leo Weekly. “Asking hard questions and providing even harder answers, Berry never disappoints. Our Only World is worth a nice, slow, contemplative read.” -CiRCE Institute. “Adhering to an uncompromising ethic that combines stern humility with compassion, Berry rallies a sense of hope and responsibility for confronting growing physical and political problems These essays are classic Berry, balancing the fiery conservationist prophet with the lucid and thoughtful poet; the reflective farmer with the visionary writer.” -Publishers Weekly Starred Review. “Early readers of his latest collection, Our Only World, agreed that the poet, novelist, farmer and conservationist continues to be the eloquent voice of reason and thought that has made him a favorite of indie booksellers for more than fifty years.” -Shelf Awareness.

Keywords: [“Berry”,”World”,”essays”]
Source: http://www.counterpointpress.com/dd-product/our-only-world

Amway โ€“ Compassionate Capitalism

Eddie Edvis would be very happy for you to join him in his Amway network but would nevertheless be equally happy should you choose to join your friend’s network. Why Eddie Edvis Does Amway:There will be a thousand-and-one reasons why those who do Amway do Amway but at the end of the day, despite whatever else anyone may say, it all comes down to $-money, but even as that is so, and even within the money reason, there can be a number secondary motivators that drive the primary $-motivator and, in this write-up, I would like to examine some of those and hopefully dispel some of the negatives that prevent many from coming forth to declare themselves an accredited Amway IBO like I have. Amway is not necessarily just for the downtroddened, the down-and-outers. Within my group, there are highly successful and publicly-recognised businessmen as there are university professors, professionals and academics and even government scholars who turn down imminent promotions on completion of their bonds, resign and do Amway full-time. The most successful Amway distributor in Malaysia, where Amway has been operating 35 years, is a durian seller and he is not even English-educated !I am happy and proud to be identified as an Amway IBO and I exhibit a little sign identifying myself as such on the door to my apartment at home, as I am allowed to do. Yes, Amway is a multi-level marketing company but it is not pyramidal and it is not illegal. There are some amazing stories from the annals of Amway’s Malaysian history of IBOs who have worked and built their networks but who either have passed on, or, have stopped working the network and migrated overseas where either the deceased ‘s beneficiaries enjoy the benefits of the network that’s bequest them and which continues to grow of its own or continue to enjoy the fruits of their earlier labor from their new home overseas. Today, in Singapore, after having been here since 2002, with islandwide revenues in the mid S$40m, Amway is recognized as an exemplary corporate citizen and has received letters of commendation from Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, recognizing it for its contributions to the wider community and especially for its sponsorships of the recently concluded and successful inaugural Youth Olympic Games. In Singapore, Amway has a 500-item product range which is increasing right at the moment as the company prepares to go onto online 3rd-party product marketing. Worldwide, Amway has been in business 52 years, having been incorporated in the US in 1959. Eddie Edvis sincerely hopes you have read the above carefully and that you will resolve to consider and possibly join Amway. As indicated above, I would be, of course, very happy should you choose to join me in my network but I would be equally happy should you prefer to join Amway through someone else’s network – but do give Amway a go.

Keywords: [“Amway”,”network”,”IBO”]
Source: http://edvismafia.com/amway-compassionate-capitalism

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 01-31-2018

“Liberals” -Ayn Rand Lexicon

The basic and crucial political issue of our age is: capitalism versus socialism, or freedom versus statism. For decades, this issue has been silenced, suppressed, evaded, and hidden under the foggy, undefined rubber-terms of “Conservatism” and “Liberalism” which had lost their original meaning and could be stretched to mean all things to all men. The goal of the “Liberals”-as it emerges from the record of the past decades-was to smuggle this country into welfare statism by means of single, concrete, specific measures, enlarging the power of the government a step at a time, never permitting these steps to be summed up into principles, never permitting their direction to be identified or the basic issue to be named. The most timid, frightened, conservative defenders of the status quo-of the intellectual status quo-are today’s liberals. In the 1930’s, the “Liberals” had a program of broad social reforms and a crusading spirit, they advocated a planned society, they talked in terms of abstract principles, they propounded theories of a predominantly socialistic nature-and most of them were touchy about the accusation that they were enlarging the government’s power; most of them were assuring their opponents that government power was only a temporary means to an end-a “Noble end,” the liberation of the individual from his bondage to material needs. Today, nobody talks of a planned society in the “Liberal” camp; long-range programs, theories, principles, abstractions, and “Noble ends” are not fashionable any longer. Modern “Liberals” deride any political concern with such large-scale matters as an entire society or an economy as a whole; they concern themselves with single, concrete-bound, range-of-the-moment projects and demands, without regard to cost, context, or consequences. “Pragmatic”-not “Idealistic”-is their favorite adjective when they are called upon to justify their “Stance,” as they call it, not “Stand.” They are militantly opposed to political philosophy; they denounce political concepts as “Tags,” “Labels,” “Myths,” “Illusions”-and resist any attempt to “Label”-i.e., to identify-their own views. The only thing that has not rusted in their ideological equipment, but has grown savagely brighter and clearer through the years, is their lust for power-for an autocratic, statist, totalitarian government power. The majority of those who are loosely identified by the term “Liberals” are afraid to let themselves discover that what they advocate is statism. They do not want to accept the full meaning of their goal; they want to keep all the advantages and effects of capitalism, while destroying the cause, and they want to establish statism without its necessary effects. For more than fifty years, the West’s liberal intellectuals have proclaimed their love for mankind, while being bored by the rivers of blood pouring out of the Soviet Union.

Keywords: [“Liberal”,”power”,”mean”]
Source: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/liberals.html

MSNBC, Joy Reid and the Myth of Compassionate Capitalism

MSNBC’s Joy Reid, a fervent Clinton supporter, tweeted ” we need a global conversation on how to develop a ‘compassionate capitalism’ that answers economic displacement w/ alternatives to fascism,” invoking the ‘compassionate capitalism’ myth championed by Betsy Devos’ father, Rich Devos, in a 1993 book. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi expressed a similar worldview perspective during a CNN Town Hall in February 2016, during which she told a millennial that the solution to the problems caused by capitalism are not progressive policies, but trying to make wealthy people more compassionate. The 2011 Citizens United Supreme Court decision exemplifies how far wealthy and corporate interests have successfully scaled back the constraints of democracy to further their own interests. Democratic Party officials have attended closed door conferences with billionaire donors on several occasions since Hillary Clinton’s election loss to discuss and formulate party strategies moving forward without the transparency and input from voters. While several progressive policies championed by Bernie Sanders increasingly gain popularity with voters, like single payer healthcare, the majority of Democrats refuse to join their constituents in supporting it. What those Democrats who don’t support it ignore are the working and middle class people their “Pragmatism” leaves behind, just as they did when Obamacare was initially enacted to benefit the health insurance industry who were afraid of a single payer system while leaving 28 million people uninsured. Ignoring those progressive policies that have made Bernie Sanders the most popular politician in the country, MSNBC’s Joy Reid and several other neo-liberals have propagated horseshoe theory to corroborate their own toxic politics. The pejorative political science theory claims the far-right and far-left of the presupposed political spectrum that places preserving the status quo in the middle have more in common with each other than the center. This theory is demonstrably false, but it has never stopped Clinton loyalists from trying to equate Sanders Supporters to Trump supporters as a smear tactic. Recently Bloomberg writer Noah Smith, without citing any evidence because it doesn’t exist, tried to claim that far-left supporters in America and the UK were cheering on France’s far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. MSNBC’s Joy Reid responded to Smith that the only difference she saw from the far left and far right was the right’s overt racism, a ridiculous notion with no basis in reality and represents an overt failure in itself to understand the policies and global perspective that differentiates progressives from other political ideologies, especially the far right. These sweeping claims and generalizations are the norm in the reality Joy Reid lives in where Hillary Clinton was a good candidate and neo-liberalism is the antidote to fascism.

Keywords: [“support”,”Party”,”policies”]
Source: https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/10/msnbc-joy-reid-and-the…

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 01-31-2018

Late-stage capitalism: Denying the Imperium of Death

The emotional and physical pain, anxiety, and depression inflicted by the trauma inherent to a system sustained by perpetual exploitation has proven to be too much for a sizeable number of human beings to endure thus their need to self-medicate. The tormented landscape, besieged by an ad hoc assemblage of late capitalist structures, emporiums of usurped longing, reflects the desperate, rapacious nature of late capitalist imperium. The forces in play impose a colonizing effect upon the mind; therefore, a large percent of the afflicted have lost the ability to detect the hyper-entropic system’s ravaging effects. Stranded among the commercial come-ons and hyper-authoritarianism inherent to late-stage capitalism’s imperium of death, the human psyche, like the biosphere of our planet, subjected, at present, to humankind-wrought ecocide, has begun to display the terrible beauty of a nightmare. Conditions will grow increasingly inhospitable in regard to the flourishing of inner life, personal and collective thus will continue, and at accelerating rates, to be reflected in the web of phenomena we know as human culture. I’ve known, over the years, hundreds of human beings, born into and ensnared by the crime against humanity known as poverty, broken by the culture of greed and social degradation, and blamed by the clueless and the callous for the tragic trajectory in which impersonal fate and the wounding culture, by no fault of their own, has placed them. Truth is the system, a hierarchy of ghouls, is maintained by harvesting the corpses of the powerless, by means of imperial slaughter and domestic, economic exploitation. The system’s psychopathic beneficiaries, in particular, are aware of the reality. Moreover the beneficiaries of the system promote the lie that shame should be the exclusive dominion of those broken by their system, a system, which is, in essence, a form of government-sanctioned gangsterism, by which they, the ruthless few, and they alone, benefit. We human beings, as a species, have arrived at a profound point of demarcation: paradigm shift or perish. The victims of drug overdoses and, in general, the large and rising, without precedent, untimely deaths of middle-aged, laboring-class people should be regarded as canaries in the coal mines of the late-stage capitalist order, an augury of calamities that loom due to the exponentially increasing harm being inflicted upon both humanity and environmental forces crucial to sustaining the continued viability of the human race. If reality is met head-on, if empire, external and its inner analog, is renounced and challenged, then a liberation staged by the heart’s partisans can begin, thereby freeing up a great amount of acreage – a fructifying landscape – wherein both the earth’s ecosystem and the architecture of human desire can begin to co-exist and cross-pollinate thus a crucial re-visioning of oneself and the culture can begin.

Keywords: [“system”,”human”,”being”]
Source: http://www.mintpressnews.com/late-stage-capitalism-denying-the-imperium…

ยป Privilege & Oppression, Conflict & Compassion The Sociological Imagination

Now, most of our friends and colleagues have chosen to side with Jin Haritaworn in this conflict and with other critics of racial hierarchies within LGBT politics in other similar conflicts. Compassionate CommunicationOur preference in these kinds of conflicts, in general, has been to ask how such conflicts grow and how they might be resolved. We come to this as people who have practised, thought, and written about conflict, and who have some ideas, informed mainly by social constructionism, Buddhist philosophy, queer/anarchism & nonviolent communication, about what we regard as an ethical and effective way of approaching conflict. Our position on conflict resolution has, thus far, been as follows: that pretty much whatever the conflict, it is likely that both parties involved believe that they are right and that the other party is wrong. We certainly notice this pattern in the conflict mentioned previously. If the initial conflict involved discrimination, X-phobia or X-normativity, then does the equalising ‘we are all human and prone to managing conflict badly’ approach dismiss the existence of such power hierarchies and oppressive acts? There is also the extremely difficult question of where we position ourselves when the conflict is between other people or groups and we are called upon – or feel we would like to act as – mediators or advisers about potential ways of engaging. It is possible that – perhaps particularly if we are seen to share the privileged position of the ‘more powerful’ party – any attempt by us to help resolve the conflict can act as a further act of dismissal, rejection, or oppression of the ‘wronged’ party. Are we drawn to resolution in order to avoid acknowledging our own privilege? Do we simply find it painful to watch potential allies fighting and want peace? When does desire to resolve conflict stems from compassion and an ethical hope to decrease discrimination and conflict through mutual understanding, and when does it stems from cowardice and a defensiveness about our own possible privileges and problematic prejudices? Again, this is part of a compassionate opening to how it might be for those on the other ‘side’ of the conflict, and – more pragmatically – to consideration of what might work best in terms of changing the behaviours which we find so problematic. When we are the ones being accused, or called upon to mediate, we can notice in ourselves perhaps our aversion to conflict, the attraction to quickly close it down in ways which may leave important things unsaid or shift the blame, our defensiveness and fears that some problematic inner truth about ourselves may be laid bare if we continue to engage. We can encourage ourselves to remember the last such conflict when we ourselves were feeling excluded, marginalised and oppressed, and how important it was then for us to have a voice, to have our rage recognised, and to be listened to.

Keywords: [“conflict”,”oppression”,”ourselves”]
Source: http://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/6520

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 01-31-2018

Why there is no “ethical consumption” under capitalism

In the 1990’s, stories emerged of billion dollar corporations like Nike, Apple, Nestle and Wal-Mart forcing workers to manufacture their products in sweatshops, terrifying consumers who hitherto had no knowledge of working conditions in the so-called “Third world.” Additionally, information began to circulate on the truth about factory pollution and human-caused climate change, which for the first time made it a concern of those other than just scientists. The working class produces enough food for two worlds, but there are still millions of children who die of malnutrition every year. Workers spend more, the ruling class rakes in the profits, and global pollution rises as before because corporate and industrial pollution continues as before. Not only will it never be possible for everyone to make “Environmentally friendly” choices due to systemic economic and social inequality, under capitalism the desire to do so by many working class people has been made into a commodity for the capitalists to profit from. As long as the majority of wealth and resources are owned and controlled by a minority exploiting class, producing for profit instead of human need, workers’ rights and environmental sustainability will always suffer. The major flaw in “Ethical consumption” is the illusion that there is a more ethical option under capitalism, i.e. the idea that if we pay a few dollars more at Whole Foods, we can achieve a more compassionate capitalism; a capitalism where what is the most profitable is also the most moral. “Ethical consumption” suggests that production for profit is acceptable, as long as it comes from a more kind and gentle version of capitalism which treats its workers nicely and cares about the environment. The idea of ethical profit is an oxymoron, considering that all profit is the unpaid wages of the working class, privately appropriated and hoarded by the ruling capitalist class. The logic of production for profit and competition on the market means the capitalists must always try and lower their costs of production by squeezing more out of the workers and cutting corners on workplace safety and environmental sustainability. Ethical consumerism ends up dividing the working class by implying that those who purchase “Ethically” are more moral than those who do not, regardless of their means of doing so. The answer to this question is not to be found in the individualistic approach of ethical consumption, but rather through organizing all layers of the working class in a united struggle against capitalism, which is the root of all modern exploitation and misery. Rather than feeding the greed of a parasitic minority, a socialist system run by and for the working class will prioritize the needs of society and the planet, allowing the immense resources on planet earth to be utilized sustainably in the interests of the majority and future generations.

Keywords: [“work”,”Ethical”,”class”]
Source: https://www.marxist.ca/analysis/environment/1303-why-there-is-no…

Marxism, Human Nature, and Society

The individual is a profoundly social being, whose needs cannot be fully satisfied without human community and interaction;- Communist society is a society “In which the full and free development of every individual forms the ruling principle.”11We also find the following argument:Since human nature is the true community of men, by manifesting their nature men create, produce, the human community, the social entity, which is no abstract universal power opposed to the single individual, but is the essential 9. In the practice of the Left, many Marxists have tended to assume that the abolition of private property alone will bring about the emancipation of women and have treated so-called women’s issues as secondary to the “prior” struggle of the working class in the economic sphere. Some aspects of the oppression of women predate capitalism, continue to exist in the so-called existing socialist countries, and within socialist movements; and originate in the reproductive function of women and in sexual politics. Bourgeois feminism does not trace the source of women’s oppression in the work place or home to structural, economic causes, or to the inherent patriarchy of social institutions, but to “attitudes” which “discriminate” against women gaining entry to certain positions. Radical feminists tend to trace the sources of women’s oppression to a sexual power struggle between men and women. The mode of struggle typical of radical feminists is to organize women separately and to define their concerns as “women’s issues. In my view, it is not possible to be a Marxist without being a feminist; that is, without acknowledging the unique oppression suffered by women historically and under capitalism, and without making the sexual emancipation of women a crucial part of our definition of socialism. Caring for children is a social responsibility; the right of the man to a nurturing role is a social issue; relationships based on equality and reciprocity are an essential need of both women and men.17. Marxism, Human Nature, and Society 7- capital and the state have collaborated in controlling the fertility of women in accordance with the demands of the labour market through access to daycare, Iiberalization or restriction of contraceptive use, abortion, and child bonuses. Marxists have tended to focus organizing efforts on women in the work place, rather than supporting autonomous, interclass women’s organizations. Women working in left organizations developed a critique of the practice of their male colleagues, which had far-reaching consequences The women argued that. In some cases the internal conflict contributed to the break-up of organizations; certainly many women left their former political “Homes” and transferred their energies to the “Women’s movement.” To some extent, radical feminism is a legacy of this experience of women with left parties and groupings.

Keywords: [“women”,”human”,”society”]
Source: http://bahai-library.com/adkin_marxism_human_nature

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 01-31-2018

The Arrogance of Compassion

Michael Lerner would have us live in a ‘loving and caring society,’ even if we have to be compelled by law to do so. In “The Politics of Meaning,” Lerner, the editor and publisher of Tikkun magazine, seeks nothing less than to give “Prophetic voice” to a new vision of politics that transcends the debates between liberals and conservatives and addresses our deepest psychological needs and responds to our loftiest spiritual longings. Aiming to show humility, by acknowledging the sources of his political vision, Lerner comes off as proud of his unusual eclecticism. Lerner goes even further, arguing that a secular appreciation of nature yields the same fundamental teaching – but expressed in different terms – on which religions generally agree, namely, “a categorical obligation to an objective moral task of world repair.” Lerner does not pause to notice that, much less explain how, Plato, Kant and Emerson – not to mention Maimonides, Rashi and Moses Mendelssohn – reached conclusions quite different not only from Lerner himself but from one another about the lessons taught by concentrated contemplation of nature. The goal of Lerner’s “Progressive politics of meaning” is a “Loving and caring society,” which uses the organs of the state to form loving and caring individuals. Lerner himself observes that while the politics of meaning shares some opinions with today’s liberals and some with today’s conservatives, it really is neither liberal nor conservative in the contemporary political sense. Blinded by ambition to excel at compassion, Lerner fails to reckon with the fact that compelling people to care, like forcing them to be free, invites socially sanctioned contempt and worse toward dissenters, free spirits, and not least those individuals, at once ardent and discreet, who understand that expressing love and caring for another are rare and difficult achievements too fragile to be entrusted to the endless programs of ambitious activists and the clumsy and compromised hands of state bureaucrats. For while Lerner rightly calls attention to the stirring exhortations of the prophets to do justice and love kindness, he recklessly ignores the many and varied ways the Bible also chastens hopes by teaching the limits of politics. Michael Lerner boasts that what sets his movement apart from other forms of progressivism is “Our willingness to really take Biblical values seriously.” But Lerner is too generous in his self-praise. The Biblical lamentation over God’s hiding of His face serves as a standing reproach to Lerner’s presumption to know so thoroughly what God commands of man as to lead in His name a revolutionary remaking of the whole of society. There are many excellent reasons to reject Michael Lerner’s politics of meaning. Not least is Lerner’s cavalier use of the Bible – which insults the intelligence of his reader and makes light of sacred scripture for partisan political advantage.

Keywords: [“Lerner”,”care”,”means”]
Source: http://peterberkowitz.com/arroganceofcompassion.htm

compassionate capitalism: Latest News & Videos, Photos about compassionate capitalism

IT Employees Unions pitch for ‘compassionate unionism’4 Jun, 2017, 08.18PM IST. The IT employees associations today sought to allay fears of Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy towards trade unionism. The world is becoming a better place1 Jan, 2018, 11.34AM IST. From the decline of violence to the rise in living standards, nearly every aspect of existence has improved. Infosys may have just exposed Narayana Murthy’s moral crusade as a petty squabble24 Oct, 2017, 04.44PM IST. Taking a moral high ground, Narayana Murthy had brought his battles with Seshasayee and Sikka out in the open, haranguing them in letters. India’s dependency on charitable program for MDR TB drugs not helping, doctors say17 Nov, 2017, 02.25PM IST. India’s dependency on charity from global drug makers is making it hard for patients to access new antibiotic drugs such as bedaquiline and delamanid. Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy suggests ways to stop job losses1 Jun, 2017, 10.28AM IST. Murthy said while there is no reason to be very anxious, it is possible to protect jobs if senior execs take salary cuts and invest in training employees. Top bosses often give their own prefixes to capitalism! Here’s the complete guide to know them5 May, 2017, 01.47PM IST. Narayana Murthy, a believer of “Compassionate capitalism”, recently questioned the pay packages the IT major has earmarked for its C-suite. Narayana Murthy gets support from US experts, thinkers4 Apr, 2017, 11.18AM IST. Murthy on Sunday had said that in a poor country like India, every senior management person of an Indian corporation has to show self-restraint in his or her compensation. Fired Indian technology workers turn to chatbots for counseling11 Dec, 2017, 09.27AM IST. The upheaval in India’s $154 billion tech outsourcing industry has prompted thousands of Indians to seek solace in online therapy services. IDFC-Shriram merger plan may have to factor in government’s stake dilution concerns23 Oct, 2017, 12.02AM IST. Shriram Group founder R Thyagarajan said discussions are progressing. AAP is neither left nor right; it stands for compassionate capitalism: V Balakrishnan15 Feb, 2015, 04.06AM IST. AAP’s victory clearly shows that the politics of hope overcame the politics of cynicism. CV of the new Infosys CEO: 4 attributes Nandan Nilekani is looking for25 Aug, 2017, 02.26PM IST. It may be hard for Nandan Nilekani to find someone of Vishal Sikka’s technological prowess. Narayana Murthy’s mail: ‘With what conscience can Pravin tell juniors to make sacrifices?’3 Apr, 2017, 11.29AM IST. The Infosys co-founder said that the quantum of pay hike for the COO was unfair, and that it would erode the trust of the rank-and-file employees.

Keywords: [“IST.”,”2017″,”Murthy”]
Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/topic/compassionate-capitalism

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 01-31-2018

Compassionate capitalism โ€“ The Denver Post

Political theorist Benjamin R. Barber should have considered hiring CNN’s Lou Dobbs as his publicist. Without realizing it, Dobbs recently outlined with great eloquence the main tenets of Barber’s fine book, “Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole.” Dobbs claims that American capitalism has been corrupted, that “Both political parties are funded by the same interests: corporate America. In our midterm election, $2.6 billion in campaign funds came from corporate America. And before it was a free market, it was a political system, a representative democracy that makes those free markets possible. And so long as you put primacy over free markets rather than individual rights and liberties you are turning your back on the founding values of this nation We are first citizens before we are consumers. We are first citizens before we are units of labor. And this is first a nation before it’s a free market or an economy.” Barber shares Dobbs’ zealousness for a return to a more gentle and compassionate capitalism, one that remains committed to mainstream values such as work and investment saving and learning to defer our own gratification for future generations. The “Evildoers” in Barber’s lexicon are mass marketers who have lost any shred of a moral compass, and lure millions of Americans into massive shopping malls where there is nothing to distract them other than the pursuit of acquiring things they don’t really need, but have been convinced are essential to their sense of well-being. Barber points out that educational and government institutions, which once served as a balancing forces to rampant consumerism, have simply joined the fray, leasing their classrooms and cafeterias and football stadiums to the highest bidders without regard for quality or integrity of product. Barber concludes that the progression of wanton capitalism has created “a nation that places a lower point on teaching its children how to thrive socially, intellectually, even spiritually, than it does on training them to consume.” Starbucks founder Howard Schultz concedes that he isn’t really selling coffee, but rather “The romance of the coffee experience, the feeling of warmth people get in Starbucks stores.” Barber believes the danger of these emotional attachments to products is that they awaken excessive desires in people they didn’t even know they had. Based on truthiness. Barber fears that today’s consumers choose superfluous products based on the “Truthiness” of them, a knee-jerk, gut response to titillation, rather than a rational decision to purchase something one genuinely needs and can afford. Barber is not just some modern-day Benjamin Franklin lecturing us on impulse control. We remain infantilized and powerless over the more important decisions in our lives. Barber is an engaging writer, but sometimes falls prey to the very “Truthiness” he deplores.

Keywords: [“Barber”,”more”,”market”]
Source: http://www.denverpost.com/2007/03/15/compassionate-capitalism

Compassionate capitalism โ€“ The Denver Post

Political theorist Benjamin R. Barber should have considered hiring CNN’s Lou Dobbs as his publicist. Without realizing it, Dobbs recently outlined with great eloquence the main tenets of Barber’s fine book, “Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole.” Dobbs claims that American capitalism has been corrupted, that “Both political parties are funded by the same interests: corporate America. In our midterm election, $2.6 billion in campaign funds came from corporate America. And before it was a free market, it was a political system, a representative democracy that makes those free markets possible. And so long as you put primacy over free markets rather than individual rights and liberties you are turning your back on the founding values of this nation We are first citizens before we are consumers. We are first citizens before we are units of labor. And this is first a nation before it’s a free market or an economy.” Barber shares Dobbs’ zealousness for a return to a more gentle and compassionate capitalism, one that remains committed to mainstream values such as work and investment saving and learning to defer our own gratification for future generations. The “Evildoers” in Barber’s lexicon are mass marketers who have lost any shred of a moral compass, and lure millions of Americans into massive shopping malls where there is nothing to distract them other than the pursuit of acquiring things they don’t really need, but have been convinced are essential to their sense of well-being. Barber points out that educational and government institutions, which once served as a balancing forces to rampant consumerism, have simply joined the fray, leasing their classrooms and cafeterias and football stadiums to the highest bidders without regard for quality or integrity of product. Barber concludes that the progression of wanton capitalism has created “a nation that places a lower point on teaching its children how to thrive socially, intellectually, even spiritually, than it does on training them to consume.” Starbucks founder Howard Schultz concedes that he isn’t really selling coffee, but rather “The romance of the coffee experience, the feeling of warmth people get in Starbucks stores.” Barber believes the danger of these emotional attachments to products is that they awaken excessive desires in people they didn’t even know they had. Based on truthiness. Barber fears that today’s consumers choose superfluous products based on the “Truthiness” of them, a knee-jerk, gut response to titillation, rather than a rational decision to purchase something one genuinely needs and can afford. Barber is not just some modern-day Benjamin Franklin lecturing us on impulse control. We remain infantilized and powerless over the more important decisions in our lives. Barber is an engaging writer, but sometimes falls prey to the very “Truthiness” he deplores.

Keywords: [“Barber”,”more”,”market”]
Source: https://www.denverpost.com/2007/03/15/compassionate-capitalism

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 01-31-2018

NOW with David Brancaccio. Politics & Economy. God and Government. Compassionate Conservatism

Marvin Olasky, long-time adviser to George W. Bush, was influential in the President’s adoption of the slogan “Compassionate conservatism.” In the foreword to Olasky’s book COMPASSIONATE CONSERVATISM, President George W. Bush explained, “We are a wealthy country, but we have too many needy citizens. There are still too many for whom the American dream is distant. Compassionate conservatism is a conservatism that cares about them, and makes a concerted effort to help them bring lasting change into their lives.” Few could argue with such humanitarian goals, yet the concept of compassionate conservatism is one hotly debated on today’s political stage. Dr. Olasky is editor of WORLD, a magazine which serves to “Report and analyze the news on a weekly schedule in an interesting, accurate, and arresting fashion, and to combine reporting with practical commentary on current events and issues from a perspective committed to the Bible as the inerrant Word of God.” He has long advocated the inclusion of religious groups in government programs, as evidenced in his extensive list of books and articles on the subject. Excerpts of many of these can be viewed at Olasky’s Web site. As Olasky puts it, “We’ve come to believe in a ‘wall of separation’ that requires discrimination against religious programs purely because they are religious.” Attacks on Olasky’s philosophy and Bush’s policies have come as vehemently as support for compassionate conservatism. This debate is back in the spotlight as the current battle over faith-based initiatives heats up. “What Is Compassionate Conservatism?” by Myron Magnet, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, February 5, 1999″Compassionate conservatism does represent a break with national Republican programs of the past. But far from being an empty slogan, it is a well-formed domestic policy agenda…At its core is concern for the poor – not a traditional Republican preoccupation – and an explicit belief that government has a responsibility for poor Americans.” “Making Compassion Work” by Arianna Huffington and Marvin Olasky, WASHINGTON TIMES, July 19, 1995″Conservatives are making the case that compassion, to be effective, must be challenging, personal, and spiritual. Liberals are still equating compassion with spending levels; but they are spitting into the ideological wind.” “Bush’s Compassionate Conservatism Will Undermine the Republicans and Capitalism” by Andrew Bernstein, CAPITALISM MAGAZINE, July 15, 1999″‘Compassionate conservatism’ is in essence nothing more than the theory – and the practice – of the welfare state. If what the conservatives want to ‘conserve’ is the capitalist system, how can redistribution programs be the means?”. COMPASSIONATE CONSERVATISM Review by Poppy Dixon, June 2001″Does ‘compassionate conservatism’ mean that tax dollars will finance the dismantling of civil rights advances that we have fought for together as a nation? In Olasky’s scheme – yes.”

Keywords: [“conservatism”,”Compassionate”,”Olasky”]
Source: http://www.pbs.org/now/politics/compassion.html

Cosmopolitanism

The best we can do to find positive cosmopolitanism in Diogenes is to insist that the whole Cynic way of life is supposed to be cosmopolitan: by living in accordance with nature and rejecting what is conventional, the Cynic sets an example of high-minded virtue for all other human beings. The maximally committed cosmopolitan looks around to determine whom he can best help and how, knowing full well that he cannot help all people in just the same way, and his decision to help some people far more than others is justified by cosmopolitan lights if it is the best he can do to help human beings as such. Still, there is no doubting that the empires under which Stoicism developed and flourished made many people more receptive to the cosmopolitan ideal and thus contributed greatly to the widespread influence of Stoic cosmopolitanism. Early utilitarian cosmopolitans like Jeremy Bentham, by contrast, defended their cosmopolitanism by pointing to the “Common and equal utility of all nations.” Moral cosmopolitanism could be grounded in human reason, or in some other characteristic universally shared among humans such as the capacity to experience pleasure or pain, a moral sense, or the aesthetic imagination. In addition to moral and political forms of cosmopolitanism, there emerged an economic form of cosmopolitan theory. Communist versions of cosmopolitanism also developed further, although the Leninist-Stalinist tradition kept using ‘cosmopolitan’ itself as a derogatory term. The International Criminal Court should be mentioned here as an innovative form of cosmopolitanism, going much beyond Kant’s conception of ‘cosmopolitan law. Most past cosmopolitan authors did not fully live up to the literal interpretation of their cosmopolitan theories, and one can find misogynist, racist, nationalist, religious, or class-based biases and inconsistencies in their accounts. Among the moderate cosmopolitans, many further distinctions can be drawn, depending on the reasons that are admitted for recognizing special responsibilities to compatriots and depending on how the special responsibilities are balanced with the cosmopolitan duties to human beings generally. The cosmopolitan does not need to deny that some people do happen to have the need for national allegiance, so long as it is true that not all people do; and insofar as some people do, the strict cosmopolitan will say that perhaps it does not need to be that way and that cosmopolitan education might lead to a different result. Some cosmopolitans have adopted a developmental psychology according to which patriotism is a step on the way to cosmopolitanism: as human individuals mature they develop ever wider loyalties and allegiances, starting with attachments to their caregivers and ending with allegiance to humanity at large. Many recognizably cosmopolitan theses are consistent with loyalty to fellow-citizens, and even the strictest cosmopolitan can justify some forms of service to fellow-citizens when they are an optimal way to promote justice or to do good for human beings.

Keywords: [“cosmopolitan”,”cosmopolitanism”,”state”]
Source: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cosmopolitanism

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 01-31-2018

Dreaming Beyond Capitalism

Soon after white people did approach them, coming to them however with supportive intentions – a group of activists from the United States, searching for ways to protect Indigenous Peoples from the oil industry. Rewarding people with profit and status for the most competitive and destructive behavior, worshiping the golden calf of maximal economic growth, capitalism has effectively manufactured and then exploited people’s dream image. We only consider egoism, hatred and brutality to be “Normal” because over the past few thousand years our civilization has been conditioned in this way – basing its economy on war, its social organization on domination and conformity, its religion on punishment, damnation and sin, its education on coercion, its security on the elimination of the supposed enemy, its very image of love on fear of loss. Patriarchal conditioning – carried out worldwide, generation after generation, with the most aggressive means – has created a cultural matrix of violence and fear, which at present nearly all of humanity more or less unconsciously follows. Working as a psychoanalyst, he faced the same basic structure in all his patients – no matter whether they suffered depression, heartache or schizophrenia – deep-rooted existential fear. The further he inquired, the more he realized this fear is not only in the “Mentally ill,” but also appears in the “Sane” as fear of what others could think of them, as speech anxiety, as fear of authorities and institutions, fear before and after intercourse, fear of the future, of getting sick and so on. “Fear is not only the product of capitalism, but part of its foundation, an element without which this entire system would collapse.”[iv].A New Matrix of Trust. For Duhm, the consequence was clear: If we want to escape from the wetiko disease of our current capitalist culture, we need a credible concept for a new nonviolent global society and for transforming the old matrix of fear and violence into a new matrix of trust, compassion and cooperation. Healing wetiko would be nothing short of reinventing our entire civilization and basing human existence on new social, ethical, spiritual and sexual foundations allowing profound trust between people as well as between humans and animals. In 1978 Duhm started out with a group of people to engage in an interdisciplinary research project for social and ecological sustainability to develop precisely such a concept. Having witnessed the failure of countless communes in the 1970s, most due to unresolved interpersonal conflicts around money, power and sex, the project focused its cultural experiment on creating new social structures able to resolve the psychological substratum of fear. As we are reaching the pinnacle of a culture of global wetiko, the last throes of late-stage capitalism, healing our collective trauma, re-establishing functioning communities based on trust, and making our human existence compatible with the biosphere and nature again, may well be our only opportunity to secure ourselves and our children a future worth living on Spaceship Earth.

Keywords: [“fear”,”people”,”Human”]
Source: http://upliftconnect.com/dreaming-beyond-capitalism

Why Capitalism Creates Pointless Jobs

Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed. At the same time, “Professional, managerial, clerical, sales, and service workers” tripled, growing “From one-quarter to three-quarters of total employment.” In other words, productive jobs have, just as predicted, been largely automated away. Rather than allowing a massive reduction of working hours to free the world’s population to pursue their own projects, pleasures, visions, and ideas, we have seen the ballooning not even so much of the “Service” sector as of the administrative sector, up to and including the creation of whole new industries like financial services or telemarketing, or the unprecedented expansion of sectors like corporate law, academic and health administration, human resources, and public relations. These numbers do not even reflect on all those people whose job is to provide administrative, technical, or security support for these industries, or for that matter the whole host of ancillary industries that only exist because everyone else is spending so much of their time working in all the other ones. It’s as if someone were out there making up pointless jobs just for the sake of keeping us all working. According to economic theory, at least, the last thing a profit-seeking firm is going to do is shell out money to workers they don’t really need to employ. While corporations may engage in ruthless downsizing, the layoffs and speed-ups invariably fall on that class of people who are actually making, moving, fixing and maintaining things; through some strange alchemy no one can quite explain, the number of salaried paper-pushers ultimately seems to expand, and more and more employees find themselves, not unlike Soviet workers actually, working 40 or even 50 hour weeks on paper, but effectively working 15 hours just as Keynes predicted, since the rest of their time is spent organising or attending motivational seminars, updating their facebook profiles or downloading TV box-sets. There is a whole class of salaried professionals that, should you meet them at parties and admit that you do something that might be considered interesting, will want to avoid even discussing their line of work entirely. For instance: in our society, there seems a general rule that, the more obviously one’s work benefits other people, the less one is likely to be paid for it. You can see it when tabloids whip up resentment against tube workers for paralysing London during contract disputes: the very fact that tube workers can paralyse London shows that their work is actually necessary, but this seems to be precisely what annoys people. It’s even clearer in the US, where Republicans have had remarkable success mobilizing resentment against school teachers, or auto workers for their supposedly bloated wages and benefits. If someone had designed a work regime perfectly suited to maintaining the power of finance capital, it’s hard to see how they could have done a better job.

Keywords: [“work”,”job”,”even”]
Source: http://evonomics.com/why-capitalism-creates-pointless-jobs-david-graeber

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 01-31-2018

Community Capitalism

“Capitalism starts at home.Strong neighborhoods build strong communities, which build strong states, which build a strong nation. If you want a strong nation, start at the foundation: invest in your community, work for its success. And from that success will grow the national prosperity that we all desire.” Every American’s “Bitch List”-Community Capitalism lays out the problems confronting Capitalism: those threatening once again to destroy the economic well-being of the American Nation and all of its allies and associates in Western and World Civilization. From the Stock Market to derivatives to banks to lawyers in politics to patenting intangibles to educational failures to fossilized unions, Community Capitalism la. Ys bare the issues: the background, the internals, the problems and the illogical, human-destructive hubris of Greed Capitalism. Essentially, all American legislation of the past couple of decades has favored the big corporations while putting ever more insufferable demands on small businesses and individuals. At the same time, the programs of the first eight years of t.he present century have helped to destroy American competitive resilience by forcing American education into what can only be called Stalinist regimentation. At the same time, the trade deficit has been syphoning the money supply from the resources of the middle class, transferring it into the hands of foreign nationals, depleting American financial resources. No one is taking responsibility for the multi-billion financial fiascos forced of late on the taxpayers of so many nations. This has hit both the American and the Greek people in particular with taxation and austerity imposed without their consent for actions and activities they never agreed to-the gambling in financial derivatives that has resulted in those horrendous expenses. To get the world out of this condition, Community Capitalism proposes a basic rethinking, and redirected application of the strengths of Capitalism, to return to community-enriching, stable, progressive commerce allied with the human-centered methods of traditional, pre-Spreadsheet-Capitalism, pre-derivative-deranged, community- and customer-based business sensibilities. It will ring true to all those who cherish the wisdom in compassionate moderation, and who in free and generous equanimity love their families, their neighbors and neighborhoods, their commmunities, and their Nation-indeed, all those who cherish the fond hope of a more human, more humane world of opportunity for themselves, their children, and the future of their communities. What happens when the private sector throws away the means of production and concentrates solely on gambling games in which financial objects are created with abandon then merely passed back and forth between companies and individuals, without the slightest bit of true productivity?It is indeed a stretch-if not completely illogical and unsupported-to continue to call today’s economic system “Capitalism” when it no longer exists nor operates as a hale and whole, productive economic system.

Keywords: [“Capitalism”,”American”,”community”]
Source: http://www.vexedviking.com

Capitalism Central

The slave trade also coincided with oppressive capitalism in Lagos, the pursuit of wealth by any means necessary. Oba Kosoko, who ruled Lagos at the time, even imported slaves who had, previously, been exported to Brazil, to build Brazilian styled houses in Lagos. Without receiving specific permissions to carry out a violent attack, Beecroft prepared and executed an invasion of Lagos, marking the second instance of migration as conquest in the history of Lagos. Claims through contemporary history that Beecroft’s invasion of Lagos was primarily a quest to end slave trade prove inconsistent with facts of that era that showed the King of Dahomey, a neighbouring kingdom to Lagos was a greater proponent of the slave trade and went untouched by the British. Within two months, the new king, Oba Akitoye, signed a treaty to abolish slave trade in Lagos, and a consulate was established to promote British interests. The pronounced British presence that sprouted from the ruins of Oba Kosoko’s deposition did not purge the vestiges of the slave trade, which continued in Lagos, even till Oba Akitoye’s death in 1853. The transition of British presence in Lagos from trade partnership to colonization began in 1861, when the British Consul, William McCorsky, began pressuring Oba Dosunmu-Oba Akitoye’s son and heir-to sign a treaty ceding his rights as sovereign ruler of the kingdom of Lagos, including all revenue exacted from trade, to the British Empire. British trading companies operated and thrived in the Lagos region, but the British did not officially occupy the city until 1884, following the Berlin Conference, which saw the partitioning of Africa between European powers. Secondly, the British believed Lagos could serve as a stopover port for British ships heading to India and their other Asian colonies. The state government has made many attempts to stem the tide over the decades; the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation established in 1972; the New Towns Development Authority founded in 1980; and, in more recent years, the Lagos Building Investment Company, the Cooperative Home Ownership Scheme and-launched this year-the Lagos Rent-To-Own scheme, were all positioned to reduce the housing deficit. Specifically, the evictions were yet another episode in the underside of Lagos’ long history of wealth creation and the effects of a poorly regulated capitalist drive on migration trends into, out of and within Lagos. There is, ultimately, a series of dilemmas: how do we eschew capitalist exploitation if, for centuries, such exploitation has been our foremost instrument of wealth creation? Furthermore, to what extent is it hypocritical to mourn Maroko from churches in Lekki? More so, how fervently can we laud the prospects of foreign investment into Orange Island and the attendant benefits, and criticize the destruction of Otodo Gbame? In either case, are mourning Maroko or lauding FDIs not tantamount to trafficating in both directions at the junction of common sense? Vicious capitalism is the bedrock of Lagos: a style of capitalism that, history reveals, has no regard for social equity.

Keywords: [“Lagos”,”British”,”trade”]
Source: http://www.republic.com.ng/junejuly-2017/capitalism-central

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 01-31-2018

Working for a free and prosperous world

For the classical liberal, the most fundamental property right possessed by an individual is his own person. It remains a core conception derived from John Locke that if a man settles down on land previously unoccupied or not owned by any others, that individual makes a legitimate claim to it as his rightful possession by in some way working and changing the land, such as clearing the field, planting the crop, tending it to maturity, and bringing in the harvest. If the band of thieves return and find nothing to plunder, may they physically take control of our luckless individual and, again under the threat of force, make him work the land to plant, grow, and harvest a crop for the thieves to claim as their own? If they do so, has not our individual been transformed into a slave, a person who does not own his mind and body but is forced to use them by the threatening command of others? These produced means of production – the plow and all other tools and implements – are the individual’s rightfully owned physical “Capital” that assists his productive efforts. Having the personal liberty and the rightful property ownership in both the settled land and the physical “Capital” to produce a desired product, he has increased his own capacity to survive and better his own life. Capitalism is an economic system based on the principle of every individual’s right to his own life, his own liberty, and his own honestly acquired property. The capitalist system also is based on the principle that the recognition of every individual’s right to his own life and liberty requires that all human relationships and associations be established through voluntary consent and mutual agreement. Division of Labor and the Other’s Labor Placed Before Us. It may be reasonably asked, but what about a world, like ours, in which unclaimed and unsettled, and unowned land and resources to produce the necessities and amenities of everyday life, are not available for every individual or family to appropriate for themselves? We enter the world, and others already own almost everything in that world. The individual who owns nothing but the labor of his own mind and body is able to sell his talents and abilities for what others may consider them to be worth, either by directly satisfying some others’ consumer demands or by assisting an employer in producing a product to be sold to consumers in the marketplace. With the wages earned for services rendered, this individual who owns nothing but himself now has the outputs of the world placed before him by all the other private owners of various means of production who can only earn revenues by finding interested and willing buyers for the goods and services they offer. In their own self-interests, so they also may demand the outputs of others in the arena of market exchange, the owners of the physical means of production must apply themselves in their producer roles to successfully fulfill the consumer wants of everyone else in the society. The capitalist system generates the institutional framework and incentive structure that leaves everyone free as an individual to live his own life, enjoy his personal liberty, and use his private property as his peacefully.

Keywords: [“own”,”individual”,”Capitalism”]
Source: https://fee.org/articles/what-is-capitalism-anyway

Chapter 14 Human Capitalism

Download the entire chapter Parachuting cats into Borneo – Stopping the waste of people – Curitiba’s web of solutions – Faster travel without freeways – Subways on the surface – Simple, fast, fun, and cheap – When garbage isn’t garbage – No hunger pangs – A place for living – A symbol of the possible What destination does our society want to reach, and how will it get there? Lessons in what not to do can often be found in cities, where most officials, overwhelmed by a flood of problems, try to cope by naming and solving them one at a time. Too often, cities similarly find that the cause of their problems is prior solutions that have either missed their mark or boomeranged, like the bigger road that invites more traffic, the river channelization that worsens floods, the homeless shelter that spreads tuberculosis, and the prison that trains criminals in more sophisticated techniques. WEAVING THE WEB OF SOLUTIONS: THE CURITIBA EXAMPLECuritiba is a southeastern Brazilian city with the population of Houston or Philadelphia. Though starting with the dismal economic profile typical of its region, in nearly three decades the city has achieved measurably better levels of education, health, human welfare, public safety, democratic participation, political integrity, environmental protection, and community spirit than its neighbors, and some would say than most cities in the United States. The lessons of Curitiba’s transformation hold promise and hope for all cities and all peoples throughout the world. Some people started picking the flowers to take home, but city workers promptly replanted them, day after day, until the pillage stopped. Cheery, informal, energetic, intensely practical, with the brain of a technocrat and the soul of a poet, Lerner was selected not only for his knowledge of the city’s needs but also for his supposed lack of political talent: The governor wanted someone politically nonthreatening. Five of the six were architects, engineers, or planners who treated the city and its political leadership as a design problem, continuously unfolding as the city’s 1965 master plan shed its rigidities and evolved to meet changing needs. Curitiba is not a top-down, mayor-dominated city; everyone respects the fact that, while it is served by leaders, many of the best ideas and most of their implementation come from its citizens. Lerner believed, as the late ecologist Rene Dubos put it, that “Trend is not destiny.” Rejecting the destruction of people-centered cities to rebuild them around cars, Lerner aimed to regain the vibrancy and diversity of the street life he’d enjoyed as a child, playing outside his Polish immigrant father’s dry-goods store on the street of the main railway station. Having served previously as the president of the Curitiba Research and Urban Planning Institute, the nucleus of the city’s innovative design ideas since the mid-1960s, he and his design colleagues saw Curitiba as a living laboratory to test their novel concept; but there was no time to lose. With its human population doubling each decade but with no new vision of urbanism, the city was rapidly developing clogged streets, bad air, and a dwindling sense of community.

Keywords: [“city”,”people”,”need”]
Source: http://www.natcap.org/sitepages/pid67.php