JR Test Site News for 01-22-2018

Age of Enlightenment & Expansionism, 1650

During the 80 years and 30 years wars, the culmination of the European Wars of Religion, France switched sides, to join the Protestants which were gaining power. Religious Restrictions Re-Introduced in France: Staunch Catholic Louis XIV abolishes the Edict of Nantes, which ensured religious tolerance for Protestants, gained after French Wars of Religion. War of Grand Alliance – Coalition Against France: England cooperates with other continental powers to curb the dominance of France. France had become a major continental power, at the expense of Spain. War of Spanish Succession (1706-14): Grandson of Louis XIV of France inherits the throne of Spain. Austria had a claim on the throne, and attempted to forcibly make good on it, with the help of the Dutch and Great Britain, which were mostly interested in avoiding a unified Spain and France. War of the Polish Succession (1733): France and Spain want one candidate related to their respective monarchs, and Austria wants another, part of the Habsburg family. Beginning of French and Indian War (1754): Conflict between France and Great Britain over disputed lands west of British colonies in modern U.S. Would become incorporated in Seven Years War in Europe. France performs poorly, sending France into a downward spiral, which helps bring about the French Revolution. France falls from its dominant position among European powers, while Great Britain rises to top after the French & Indian War. France still remains a continental power, due to its population, geopolitical position and cohesion. France Purchases Corsica (1764): France purchases Corsica from Rep. of Genoa, part of France ever since. France would lag behind, since it had a top-caliber upper class, but an uneducated lower-class, and would be ravaged by war in its near abroad and on it own soil, as was also the case with much of the rest of continental Europe. England rises to supremacy after its overwhelming victory over France in the Seven Years War and French and Indian War. GB became more advanced than France, moving toward democracy and capitalism, while France remained feudalistic and elitist.

Keywords: [“France”,”power”,”war”]
Source: http://worldology.com/Europe/enlightenment.htm

Enlightened Capitalism and Free Marketeers

Print or PDF. How is society best organized to maximize the happiness of the people? The answer is an intellectually based, empirically proven and emotionally satisfying business operating philosophy that. Free people freely engaging in commerce in free markets – Free Market Capitalism. Act with integrity, honesty and fair dealing, the result is the 6 benefits of Free Market Capitalism: Maximum wealth creation, prosperity and opportunity. The widest distribution of that wealth, prosperity and opportunity. Maximum opportunity for everyone to fulfill their potential. Enough wealth to provide for those who cannot care for themselves, Upward pressure on real wages. This commentary on the Enlightened Capitalist Jean Valjean of LES MISERABLES by Victor Hugo says most eloquently how the Enlightened Capitalist benefits mankind. Enlightened Capitalism is a comprehensive business philosophy that advocates what Victor Hugo’s fictional Jean Valjean did; “Doing well in business, by doing good things for others”. It is essentially a philosophy of enlightened self interest. Directly benefits those who make the business possible, indirectly benefits the community so business can thrive in a stable world. Free Market Capitalism, especially when practiced by Enlightened Capitalists has throughout history provided not only the best, but the only sustainable path to widely dispersed prosperity, opportunity and stability. The mission of capitalism’s greatest advocate, Adam Smith, was not to study the wealth of individuals, but the “Wealth of Nations”. Advocates of Free Market Capitalism too often fail to clearly say that their goal is to help the most people enjoy permanent prosperity. Present the remarkable success enjoyed by Enlightened Capitalists – the Free MarketEErs, Educate the public about Enlightened Capitalism and encourage others to adopt the philosophy, Fund Enlightened Capitalism endeavors in a multitude of ways, and. Advocate political action to create an electoral majority in favor of the policies that will benefit the most people: low tax rates, small government, less regulation and legal reform.

Keywords: [“Enlightened”,”Capitalism”,”Free”]
Source: https://freemarketeers.net

Consumerism and the New Capitalism

For the public at large, the integrating and transformative experiences of culture have been replaced by the collective viewing experience and by participation in consumer trends. The American public has been inundated by an unending parade of commodities and fabricated television spectacles that keeps it preoccupied with the ideals and values of consumerism. Consumerism is the myth that the individual will be gratified and integrated by consuming. The public fetishistically substitutes consumer ideals for the lost acculturating experiences of art, religion and family. The consumer sublimates the desire for cultural fulfillment to the rewards of buying and owning commodities, and substitutes media-manipulated undulations in the public persona for spiritual rebirth. As deceptive advertising and academic nihilism gutted culture of its subjectively realized values, the public was easily swayed onto the path of consumerism. Mass media perpetuates the myth of consumerism as a priority of the New Capitalism. As America settles into its nightly routine of television viewing, corporate profiteers are quick to substitute the lure of material luxury and consumer gratification for the fading spirit. In its duplicitous plot to throttle the public, corporate policy assumes only the self-interested exploitation of the consumer market and environmental resources. More than to simply insure a profit, consumerism is the means by which the New Capitalism maintains control of its buying public. In corporate capitalism the consumer is a target – he is acted upon. In the New Capitalism’s seduction of the television audience, the individuating personality identifies with advertising fantasies and consumer ideals. The affront on human values by mass media advertising has left a well actualized consumer but a poorly individuated personality. While capitalism has been linked to the origin of consciousness, consumerism and advertising deceit have become potential threats to consciousness. The affectiveness of the sociocultural symbol diminishes as its exploitation in the media siphons ineffable content to attract the consumer.

Keywords: [“consumer”,”value”,”consumerism”]
Source: https://www.westland.net/venice/art/cronk/consumer.htm

JR Test Site News for 01-22-2018

The Greatness of Western Civilization

Western culture, claim the intellectuals, is in no way superior to that of African tribalists or Eskimo seal hunters. There are three fundamental respects in which Western culture is objectively the best. These are the core values or core achievements of Western civilization, and what made America great. The Greeks were the first to identify philosophically that knowledge is gained through reason and logic as opposed to mysticism. The rule of reason reached its zenith in the West in the 18th century – the Age of Enlightenment. “For the first time in modern history,” writes one philosopher, “An authentic respect for reason became the mark of an entire culture.” America is a product of the Enlightenment. An indispensable achievement leading to the Enlightenment was the recognition of the concept of individual rights. The individual, said Locke, has an inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of his own happiness. The triumph of reason and rights made possible the full development and application of science and technology and ultimately modern industrial society. Reason and rights freed man’s mind from the tyranny of religious dogma and freed man’s productive capacity from the tyranny of state control. The result of the core achievements of Western civilization has been an increase in freedom, wealth, health, comfort, and life expectancy unprecedented in the history of the world. The achievements were greatest in the country where the principles of reason and rights were implemented most consistently – the United States of America. Pro-life cultures acknowledge and respect man’s nature as a rational being who must discover and create the conditions which his survival and happiness require – which means that they advocate reason, rights, freedom, and technological progress. Despite its undeniable triumphs, Western civilization is by no means secure. Its core principles are under attack from every direction – by religious fanatics, by dictators and, most disgracefully, by Western intellectuals, who are denouncing reason in the name of skepticism, rights in the name of special entitlements, and progress in the name of environmentalism.

Keywords: [“reason”,”right”,”core”]
Source: http://capitalismmagazine.com/2004/09/the-greatness-of-western-civilization

“Dark Enlightenment”: The neo-fascist philosophy that underpins both the alt-right and Silicon Valley technophiles

In contrast, the tech elites in Silicon Valley look like a relatively worldly bunch, despite the calls from some quarters of the valley to break away from the plebeian masses of the US. But despite their differences, strands of the two groups share strong links to “Dark Enlightenment,” an obscure neo-fascist philosophy started by a British academic in the 1990s. The primary figure behind Dark Enlightenment is Nick Land, who was a philosophy professor at Warwick University until he quit academia in 1998. Land has never been a typical academic, and that shows in his writing. Land’s writings on in his blog and twitter can read like an alt-right rant, and comment sections on the far-right outlet Breitbart are apt to mention his work. The major proponent of the movement other than Land is software engineer Curtis Yarvin, who blogs as “Mencius Moldbug.” While most Silicon Valley techies are unaware of and uninterested in Dark Enlightenment, there are notable figures and ideas that seem to share intellectual heritage and connections with the movement. Growing Silicon Valley interest in creating a small, separate state is straight out of Land’s writing. Of course, both Silicon Valley and Dark Enlightenment are products of and devotees to internet culture. Noys notes that certain values in Silicon Valley are vaguely sympathetic to Land’s thinking. Land says that, though he expects Dark Enlightenment micro-states to first form on islands, Silicon Valley is “Bound to be involved in the process” as these societies form. The alt right and Silicon Valley are not the only two cliques with ties to Dark Enlightenment thinking. A London gallery, LD50, was shut down amid protests after Land was invited to talk at the gallery, providing a platform for Dark Enlightenment ideas. Land’s theories sound easily dismissible, and Nick Land is still largely unknown, but his neo-fascist ideas are finding niches where they flourish. Land, who has long perceived himself as a visionary, firmly believes that society and government as we know it will break down and his vision for the future will come to pass. “The crack-up is obvious to everyone,” Land writes.

Keywords: [“Land”,”Dark”,”Enlightenment”]
Source: https://qz.com/1007144

Democracy

A study of the relationship between the rise of democratic institutions and the development of other aspects of society may help us better understand and more effectively harness the power of democracy. In the intellectual sphere it gave rise to the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, in the field of religion to the Reformation, in economy to the rise of capitalism, in politics to the rise of democracy. The idea of universe human rights and freedoms which we now identify as the essence of democracy was at first cited as a justification for redistribution of power to the commercial class and only much later as a principle for extending rights and privileges to all citizens. The people’s existence was made subordinate to the rights and arbitrary rule of monarchs, feudal lords and priests. A rigid structure of governance, economic activity controlled by feudal lords and thought defined by religion ruled society. The feudal system maintained a delicate balance between the rights and power of feudal lords and those of the central monarch. The rise of city-states undermined the power of rural, land-based feudal kingdoms and created an alternative source of support for the monarch. The shift to a new system of wage payments for agricultural labor not only increased agricultural productivity, but also freed peasants from permanent ties to their feudal rulers. Under the feudal system, ownership of land was the principle source of wealth and power. Their direct power was limited to their own feudal domain or manors. The rise of a money economy, the revival of commerce, the rise of guild and communes, the decline of feudalism and the accumulation of agricultural surpluses provided the basis for economic recovery and significant material progress. Till the 15th century, England was a cluster of counties divided among various feudal lords with a monarch dependent on them for military and financial support. The growth of the nation-state diminished the importance of feudal lords. With the growth of a money economy, the feudal lords found the serf labor less competent than free labor. Many merchants demanded communal freedom of the towns from the feudal lords.

Keywords: [“feudal”,”rise”,”power”]
Source: http://www.icpd.org/democracy/index.htm

JR Test Site News for 01-21-2018

SparkNotes: The Enlightenment: The English Enlightenment

Key People Thomas Hobbes – Pessimistic English political philosopher; argued that man in his natural state is selfish and savage and therefore a single absolute ruler is the best form of government John Locke – Optimistic English political philosopher; argued for man’s essentially good nature; advocated representative government as an ideal form The English Civil War. Seventeenth-century England endured a pair of tense struggles for political power that had a profound impact on the philosophers of the English Enlightenment. The first power struggle came in 1649., when the English Civil War resulted in the execution of King Charles I and the establishment of a commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell. The reestablished monarchy had clear limits placed on its absolute power as was made clear in the bloodless Glorious Revolution of 1688., in which the English people overthrew a king they deemed unacceptable and basically chose their next rulers. The English people rallied behind James II’s Protestant daughter, Mary, and her husband, William of Orange, who led a nonviolent coup that dethroned James II and sent him to France. In the years that followed, an English Bill of Rights was drafted, boosting parliamentary power and personal liberties. The first major figure in the English Enlightenment was the political philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who began his career as a tutor but branched out to philosophy around the age of thirty. In 1640, fearing that some of his writings had angered England’s parliament, Hobbes fled to Paris, where he penned a substantial body of his work. In Leviathan, Hobbes elaborates on the nature of man and justifies absolutist rule. Hobbes also claims that any group of men who ascend to positions of great power will be prone to abusing it, seeking more power than necessary for the stability of society. An atheist, Hobbes long argued that religion is useful as a propaganda machine for the state, as it is the entity most capable of reminding the ignorant masses of their role and their duties. The rules Hobbes sets forth as to precisely when a citizen may transfer allegiance to a new sovereign are unclear. The greatest criticism of Hobbes focuses on his failure to describe how totally selfish men would be able to create and maintain the covenant of the state. Hobbes avoids the errors inherent in assuming that all human beings are inherently virtuous, but he is hard-pressed to explain how humans would behave in the manner he describes if they are inherently stupid. Hobbes represents the pessimistic side of the Enlightenment and sees progress as the result of the suppression of man’s instincts rather than the granting of freedom to those instincts.

Keywords: [“Hobbes”,”power”,”English”]
Source: http://www.sparknotes.com/history/european/enlightenment/section2.rhtml

The Marxist-Leninist Theory of History

Marx’s own system contains a feature that can only be understood as reflecting the reality of capital. There is already a name for such a scale of value: It is the value of capital, including human capital. Pyramid building is labor intensive production, while automobile building is capital intensive production. Capital intensive production requires skills and knowledge, whose fruits may be effected by the industrial workers, but which may only be conceived and held systematically in the consciousness of the industralist, i.e. the Henry Ford. Even the level of capital development represented by pyramid building, whose products remain marvels of human achievement, is historically credited to one genius, the semi-divine III Dynasty architect Imhotep,. Marx’s denial of the existence and necessity of capital means that his own theory is incoherent, since it denies but does actually contain a scale of value, which we can now recognize as that of capital, to explain improved modes of production, increased productivity, and more technologically and aesthetically sophisticated products. In the end, as the workers were impoverished and the number of capitalists dwindled, the capitalists would end up with no one to sell their goods to and nothing to do with the capital derived from their profits. Labor intensive production gives way to capital intensive production, and greater capital means great productivity, not just in quantity, but in kind. Since British industry was largely involved in building railroads in Marx’s day, he seems to have actually believed that, once the railroads were built, there would be nothing for that workforce, or its capital, to do. Simply a different way of doing things represents new knowledge and new capital. The value of capital can simply evaporate in misconceived investments. Marx’s thesis of the fictional nature of capital is thus equivalent to his lack of imagination regarding what it would be possible for people to do with their capital. No. Since Marx was the kind of person who would never know what to do with capital, he did not believe there was anything to do with it. With surviving employed labor concentrated in large corporate entities, and the capitalists left with nothing to do with their capital and few consumers with the means to purchase capitalist production, the revolution would more or less happen of itself when the system collapsed in a panic of banks and investors. Although nominal wages were falling in the United States from 1865-1897, apparently in line with Marxist expectations, real wages were actually rising, and there didn’t seem to be a problem with over-production or with capital investment.

Keywords: [“Capital”,”Marx”,”production”]
Source: http://friesian.com/marx.htm

JR Test Site News for 01-21-2018

The Enlightened Capitalist

Clearly, the enlightened capitalist press wasn’t particularly keen on showcasing the power basis of accumulation. Scarcely had a day passed from the article’s publication that we got an angry email from an asset manager whom we’ll call ‘Mr. X’. Mr. X is an enlightened capitalist, and reading our piece had set him on fire. Small businesses are being looted and taken over by the government while shortages increase and inflation soars at over 60%. Are capitalists profiting from this crisis? No just corrupt politicians and businessmen that collude with state run enterprises all of whom would never survive in a capitalist economy. Mr. X’s emotional email reflects a broader capitalist anxiety. The leading capitalists and their investment organs are taking over larger and larger chunks of our natural resources, human-made artefacts and collective knowledge; they formulate and steer public policy to their own advantage; and they dominate ideology, education and the mass media. Second, the very power logic of accumulation – the need to strategically sabotage others in order to increase one’s own share of the total – forces capitalists to continue and dig their own graves, so to speak. Now, of course, most capitalists, particularly the smaller ones, are unaware of and certainly won’t admit these power underpinnings of capitalism. For politically correct capitalists with substantial money to invest, Mr. X’s fund offers a carefully hedged, two-pronged strategy: buying and holding do-good companies that profit from saving the planet while shorting firms that harm the environment and governments that misallocate the world’s resources. Now, once upon a time there existed a real, undistorted capitalist system as outlined above. So who are the real capitalists? If you haven’t guessed it by now, real capitalists are those who never accumulate. To be a real capitalist, you have to either lose money or break even with enough income to survive. To see real capitalists in action, you need go to their ‘impact investing’ gatherings, where they deliberate saving the world, capitalist style. The mandate of the ‘ethical fund manager’ is simple: leverage the world’s distortions and imperfections by selling short and buying long future variations of inequality, the ups and downs of expected hunger, anticipated ecological degradation and regeneration and other assorted disasters and triumphs – and do it all in such a way that we, your capitalist clients, end up beating the holy average. The problem is that, according to the enlightened capitalist, we don’t live in the best of all possible worlds, but in one of the worst. So in the end, the only way to beat the big unreal capitalists of the distorted world is to joint them.

Keywords: [“capitalist”,”world”,”power”]
Source: https://dissidentvoice.org/2014/05/the-enlightened-capitalist

On Anarchism, Noam Chomsky interviewed by Tom Lane

Though Chomsky has written a considerable amount about anarchism in the past three decades, people often ask him for a more tangible, detailed vision of social change. His political analysis never fails to instill outrage and anger with the way the world works, but many readers are left uncertain about what exactly Chomsky would do to change it. For Chomsky, those principles arise from the historical trend of thought and action known as anarchism. “In Latin America,” Chomsky says, “I talked about many of these topics, and far more important, learned about them from people who are actually doing things, a good deal of which had an anarchist flavor. Also had a chance to meet with lively and interesting groups of anarchists, from Buenos Aires to Belem at the mouth of the Amazon. But the discussions were much more focused and specific than I often see here; and rightly, I think.” As a brief introduction to some of his thoughts on anarchism, perhaps they may inspire the reader to pursue other writings on the subject, and more importantly, to develop the concept of anarchism through the process of working for a more free and democratic society. No one owns the term “Anarchism.” It is used for a wide range of different currents of thought and action, varying widely. In your opinion, what specific realization of anarchism is appropriate in this epoch? I tend to agree that anarchism is formless and utopian, though hardly more so than the inane doctrines of neoliberalism, Marxism-Leninism, and other ideologies that have appealed to the powerful and their intellectual servants over the years, for reasons that are all too easy to explain. Anarchism, in my view, is an expression of the idea that the burden of proof is always on those who argue that authority and domination are necessary. What sort of conception of human nature is anarchism predicated on? Would people have less incentive to work in an egalitarian society? Would an absence of government allow the strong to dominate the weak? Would democratic decision-making result in excessive conflict, indecision and “Mob rule”? As I understand the term “Anarchism,” it is based on the hope that core elements of human nature include sentiments of solidarity, mutual support, sympathy, concern for others, and so on. Anarchism is sometimes called libertarian socialism – How does it differ from other ideologies that are often associated with socialism, such as Leninism? Many “Anarcho-capitalists” claim that anarchism means the freedom to do what you want with your property and engage in free contract with others. Is capitalism in any way compatible with anarchism as you see it? What are the prospects for realizing anarchism in our society? What steps should we take?

Keywords: [“anarchism”,”anarchist”,”work”]
Source: https://chomsky.info/19961223

JR Test Site News for 01-20-2018

Locke: Government

John Locke’s intellectual curiosity and social activism also led him to consider issues of general public concern in the lively political climate of seventeenth-century England. Locke’s political philosophy found its greatest expression in the , published anonymously during the same year that the Essay appeared under his own name. In the Locke offered a point-by-point critique of Robert Filmer’s , a quasi-religious attempt to show that absolute monarchy is the natural system of human social organization. The develops Locke’s own detailed account of the origin, aims, and structure of any civil government. From the outset, Locke openly declared the remarkable theme of his political theory: in order to preserve the public good, the central function of government must be the protection of private property. Originally, Locke supposed, the earth and everything on it belongs to all of us in common; among perfectly equal inhabitants, all have the same right to make use of whatever they find and can use. Applying these actions to natural objects by mixing our labor with them, Locke argued, provides a clear means for appropriating them as an extension of our own personal property. The same principle of appropriation by the investment of labor can be extended to control over the surface of the earth as well, on Locke’s view. The first instance of social organization, on Locke’s view, is the development of the family, a voluntary association designed to secure the propagation of the human species through successive generations. In practice, Locke supposed that the will expressed by the majority must be accepted as determinative over the conduct of each individual citizen who consents to be governed at all. The structure or form of the government so established is a matter of relatively less importance, on Locke’s view. Since standing laws continue in force long after they have been established, Locke pointed out that the legislative body responsible for deciding what the laws should be need only meet occasionally, but the executive branch of government, responsible for ensuring that the laws are actually obeyed, must be continuous in its operation within the society. Locke’s presumption is that the legislative function of government will be vested in a representative assembly, which naturally retains the supreme power over the commonwealth as a whole: whenever it assembles, the majority of its members speak jointly for everyone in the society. The most likely cause of such a revolution, Locke supposed, would be abuse of power by the government itself: when the society unduly interferes with the property interests of the citizens, they are bound to protect themselves by withdrawing their consent. On Locke’s view the possibility of revolution is a permanent feature of any properly-formed civil society.

Keywords: [“Locke”,”state”,”individual”]
Source: http://www.philosophypages.com/hy/4n.htm

Real-World Economics Review Blog

Clearly, the enlightened capitalist press wasn’t particularly keen on showcasing the power basis of accumulation. Small businesses are being looted and taken over by the government while shortages increase and inflation soars at over 60%. Are capitalists profiting from this crisis? No just corrupt politicians and businessmen that collude with state run enterprises all of whom would never survive in a capitalist economy. The leading capitalists and their investment organs are taking over larger and larger chunks of our natural resources, human-made artefacts and collective knowledge; they formulate and steer public policy to their own advantage; and they dominate ideology, education and the mass media. Second, the very power logic of accumulation – the need to strategically sabotage others in order to increase one’s own share of the total – forces capitalists to continue and dig their own graves, so to speak. Now, of course, most capitalists, particularly the smaller ones, are unaware of and certainly won’t admit these power underpinnings of capitalism. For politically correct capitalists with substantial money to invest, Mr. X’s fund offers a carefully hedged, two-pronged strategy: buying and holding do-good companies that profit from saving the planet while shorting firms that harm the environment and governments that misallocate the world’s resources. Now, once upon a time there existed a real, undistorted capitalist system as outlined above. So who are the real capitalists? If you haven’t guessed it by now, real capitalists are those who never accumulate. To be a real capitalist, you have to either lose money or break even with enough income to survive. Many real capitalists are perfectly happy with a steady state. To see real capitalists in action, you need go to their ‘impact investing’ gatherings, where they deliberate saving the world, capitalist style. The mandate of the ‘ethical fund manager’ is simple: leverage the world’s distortions and imperfections by selling short and buying long future variations of inequality, the ups and downs of expected hunger, anticipated ecological degradation and regeneration and other assorted disasters and triumphs – and do it all in such a way that we, your capitalist clients, end up beating the holy average. The problem is that, according to the enlightened capitalist, we don’t live in the best of all possible worlds, but in one of the worst. So in the end, the only way to beat the big unreal capitalists of the distorted world is to joint them. Why not? Because such a revelation, says the ecological capitalist, would allow corrupt politicians and their crony big businessmen to discredit the no-growth capitalists, thus killing the very chance of ever achieving the homeostatic bliss…. References.

Keywords: [“capitalist”,”world”,”power”]
Source: https://rwer.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/the-enlightened-capitalist

JR Test Site News for 01-20-2018

Adam Smith and “The Wealth Of Nations”

What was the most important document published in 1776? The Declaration of Independence is the easy answer for Americans, but many would argue that Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations” had a bigger and more global impact. Smith, a Scottish philosopher by trade, wrote the book to upend the mercantilist system. Smith believed humans ultimately promote public interest through their everyday economic choices. “He generally neither intends to promote the public interest nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention,” states Smith in “An Inquiry Into The Nature And Causes Of The Wealth Of Nations”. What is the Effect of the Invisible Hand on the Government? The automatic pricing and distribution mechanisms in the economy-which Adam Smith called an “Invisible hand”-interacts directly and indirectly with centralized, top-down planning authorities. The Elements of Prosperity: According to Adam Smith Boiling the principles Smith expressed regarding the invisible hand and other concepts down to essentials, Smith believed that a nation needed the following three elements to bring about universal prosperity. Smith wanted people to practice thrift, hard work, and enlightened self-interest. Extending upon self-interest in trade, Smith saw thrift and savings as important virtues, especially when savings were used to invest. Smith saw the responsibilities of the government being limited to the defense of the nation, universal education, public works, the enforcement of legal rights and the punishment of crime. The third element Smith proposed was a solid currency twinned with free-market principles. With hard currency acting as a check to spending, Smith wanted the government to follow free-market principles by keeping taxes low and allowing free trade across borders by eliminating tariffs. He pointed out that tariffs and other taxes only succeeded in making life more expensive for the people while also stifling industry and trade abroad. Smith’s Theories Overthrow Mercantilism To drive home the damaging nature of tariffs, Smith used the example of making wine in Scotland. Both the opponents of and believers in Adam Smith’s free market capitalism have added to the framework setup in “The Wealth of Nations”. Oddly enough, Adam Smith, the champion of the free market, spent the last years of his life as the Commissioner of Customs, meaning he was responsible for enforcing all the tariffs. Smith overturned the miserly view of mercantilism and gave us a vision of plenty and freedom for all.

Keywords: [“Smith”,”government”,”Invisible”]
Source: https://www.investopedia.com/updates/adam-smith-wealth-of-nations

Taking notes 34: The enlightened capitalist – Philosophers for Change

Clearly, the enlightened capitalist press wasn’t particularly keen on showcasing the power basis of accumulation. Scarcely had a day passed from the article’s publication that we got an angry email from an asset manager whom we’ll call ‘Mr. X’. Mr. X is an enlightened capitalist, and reading our piece had set him on fire. Small businesses are being looted and taken over by the government while shortages increase and inflation soars at over 60%. Are capitalists profiting from this crisis? No just corrupt politicians and businessmen that collude with state run enterprises all of whom would never survive in a capitalist economy. Mr. X’s emotional email reflects a broader capitalist anxiety. The leading capitalists and their investment organs are taking over larger and larger chunks of our natural resources, human-made artefacts and collective knowledge; they formulate and steer public policy to their own advantage; and they dominate ideology, education and the mass media. Now, of course, most capitalists, particularly the smaller ones, are unaware of and certainly won’t admit these power underpinnings of capitalism. For politically correct capitalists with substantial money to invest, Mr. X’s fund offers a carefully hedged, two-pronged strategy: buying and holding do-good companies that profit from saving the planet while shorting firms that harm the environment and governments that misallocate the world’s resources. Now, once upon a time there existed a real, undistorted capitalist system as outlined above. So who are the real capitalists? If you haven’t guessed it by now, real capitalists are those who never accumulate. To be a real capitalist, you have to either lose money or break even with enough income to survive. To see real capitalists in action, you need go to their ‘impact investing’ gatherings, where they deliberate saving the world, capitalist style. The mandate of the ‘ethical fund manager’ is simple: leverage the world’s distortions and imperfections by selling short and buying long future variations of inequality, the ups and downs of expected hunger, anticipated ecological degradation and regeneration and other assorted disasters and triumphs – and do it all in such a way that we, your capitalist clients, end up beating the holy average. The problem is that, according to the enlightened capitalist, we don’t live in the best of all possible worlds, but in one of the worst. So in the end, the only way to beat the big unreal capitalists of the distorted world is to joint them. Why not? Because such a revelation, says the ecological capitalist, would allow corrupt politicians and their crony big businessmen to discredit the no-growth capitalists, thus killing the very chance of ever achieving the homeostatic bliss…. References.

Keywords: [“capitalist”,”world”,”power”]
Source: https://philosophersforchange.org/2014/05/06/taking-notes-34-the…

JR Test Site News for 01-18-2018

Bannon vs. Ryan: The Faux Struggle For Trump’s Love Between Populist White Supremacism And Ayn Rand’s ‘Objectivist’ Capitalism

I believe it’s what Holy Father has seen for most of his life in places like Argentina, where you have this kind of crony capitalism of people that are involved with these military powers-that-be in the government, and it forms a brutal form of capitalism that is really about creating wealth and creating value for a very small subset of people. The second form of capitalism that I feel is almost as disturbing, is what I call the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism. It is a capitalism that really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people, and to use them almost – as many of the precepts of Marx -and that is a form of capitalism, particularly to a younger generation [that] they’re really finding quite attractive. Bannon, ironically, has been the primary influence on Donald Trump, an aspiring kleptocrat, who would define “Enlightened capitalism” as knowing how best to fleece investors, workers and consumers. Despite the media’s caricature of Trump voters as solely from the white working-class, it included most college-educated whites. Bannon is likely more disingenuous than ignoramus in his muddled economic philosophy. Bannon’s deepest ideological commitment is probably to white supremacy at home and abroad. Ryan and a large part of the GOP in Congress want to gut social spending, reverse as much progressive taxation as possible and de-regulate business. There are plenty of bigots there as well as in the electorate, so Bannon and Trump find little GOP opposition to their anti-immigrant orders, travel bans, or efforts to weaken the enforcement of civil rights. There are several areas where Bannon and the GOP would be at odds if he took non-affluent whites’ well-being seriously. Bannon knew, however that many white people have or will get expensive medical problems and might be unable to afford health insurance if Obamacare was not delicately reformed. Bannon, whose influence hinges largely on Trump’s whims, decided not to fight for his alleged populist ideology and put himself at odds with his patron’s doomed quest to get Obamacare “Repealed and replaced” in any form and then declare victory. Trump and Bannon say they want to bring temporary construction jobs to rural white communities―-building new bridges, roads, and repairing crumbling ones–if only to garner future votes. If Trump agrees to further decimate what Bannon calls the “Administrative state”, ordinary white people’s quality of life will also be adversely affected, and relatively little money saved. One wild card affecting the outcome if there was ever any significant conflict between Bannon and the GOP Congress for Trump’s allegiance is the President’s Russia problem. If Bannon’s influence fades, as may be the case, the white working-class won’t even notice.

Keywords: [“Trump”,”capitalism”,”Bannon”]
Source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bannon-vs-ryan-the-struggle-for-trumps-love-between_us_58c8840fe4b01d0d473bcf14

The Enlightened Capitalist

Clearly, the enlightened capitalist press wasnt particularly keen on showcasing the power basis of accumulation. Scarcely had a day passed from the articles publication that we got an angry email from an asset manager whom well call Mr. X. Mr. X is an enlightened capitalist, and reading our piece had set him on fire. Small businesses are being looted and taken over by the government while shortages increase and inflation soars at over 60%. Are capitalists profiting from this crisis? No just corrupt politicians and businessmen that collude with state run enterprises all of whom would never survive in a capitalist economy. Mr. Xs emotional email reflects a broader capitalist anxiety. The leading capitalists and their investment organs are taking over larger and larger chunks of our natural resources, human-made artefacts and collective knowledge; they formulate and steer public policy to their own advantage; and they dominate ideology, education and the mass media. Second, the very power logic of accumulation the need to strategically sabotage others in order to increase ones own share of the total forces capitalists to continue and dig their own graves, so to speak. Now, of course, most capitalists, particularly the smaller ones, are unaware of and certainly wont admit these power underpinnings of capitalism. For politically correct capitalists with substantial money to invest, Mr. Xs fund offers a carefully hedged, two-pronged strategy: buying and holding do-good companies that profit from saving the planet while shorting firms that harm the environment and governments that misallocate the worlds resources. Now, once upon a time there existed a real, undistorted capitalist system as outlined above. So who are the real capitalists? If you havent guessed it by now, real capitalists are those who never accumulate. To be a real capitalist, you have to either lose money or break even with enough income to survive. To see real capitalists in action, you need go to their impact investing gatherings, where they deliberate saving the world, capitalist style. The mandate of the ethical fund manager is simple: leverage the worlds distortions and imperfections by selling short and buying long future variations of inequality, the ups and downs of expected hunger, anticipated ecological degradation and regeneration and other assorted disasters and triumphs and do it all in such a way that we, your capitalist clients, end up beating the holy average. The problem is that, according to the enlightened capitalist, we dont live in the best of all possible worlds, but in one of the worst. So in the end, the only way to beat the big unreal capitalists of the distorted world is to join them.

Keywords: [“capitalist”,”world”,”power”]
Source: http://bnarchives.yorku.ca/397/2/20140400_bn_the_enlightened_capitalist_web.htm

JR Test Site News for 01-18-2018

The Enlightened Economist

I’ve been reading Frank Trentmann’s Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, from the 15th century to the 21st, which has taken a while as it’s 600+ pages. It traces global trends in consumption through the long sweep of history. It addresses the entire chain of production and consumption from resources to waste. The book sets up a tension through all of this material: “The view that being and having are opposites has a very long history. But so has an alternative trajectory that sees people as only becoming human through the use of things.” Among other forces, technology keeps this tension alive over time, as new things keep on appearing. Consumption clearly depended on rising incomes, and the book traces a switch to “The creation of value through consumption, not just production” from the 19th century – it argues that consumer society has its roots in the Industrial Revolution rather than as is often argued the post-war boom. Middle class women were decreasingly likely to have servants and did more of their own housework. John Kenneth Galbraith said consumer durables enslaved women; but even if – as he argued – easier washing meant more washing to have cleaner clothes, why is this not a better outcome? The modern no-growther’s disdain for consumption seems to me to be of a piece with the instinct in the past that gave us sumptuary laws. ” Of course we need to pay far greater attention to resource use and to waste, but it is the affluent who are cavalier about the importance of growing real incomes and consumption – Janan Ganesh in his column today describes them as ‘too-rich-to-care bohemians’. I would have liked more economics, and more figures. The biggest issue I have is that the book never addresses the distinction between material and non-material consumption. It puts really a great deal of emphasis on the physical nature of consumer goods – and then skips to a discussion of some non-material aspect of consumption such as public health measures or public education, or leisure activities like the cinema. The issue of increased expenditure on services and intangibles is dismissed in just over two separate pages, by saying that spending on housing, transport and food combined accounts for the same proportion of the household budget in 2007 as in 1958; and that in the OECD as a whole material consumption rhas continued to rise. The immaterial is embedded in the material, and there is absolutely no reason to be complacent about the environmental footpring of the global economy; but it is surely a significant development in the history of consumption that value is being created largely by the non-material now? Still, it’s probably a good sign when a huge book leaves you more inclined to ask for more rather than wishing there had been less, and the balance tips that way for me despite it being in need of a blue pencil in parts.

Keywords: [“consumption”,”more”,”Things”]
Source: http://www.enlightenmenteconomics.com/blog/index.php/tag/capitalism/

Real-World Economics Review Blog

Clearly, the enlightened capitalist press wasn’t particularly keen on showcasing the power basis of accumulation. Small businesses are being looted and taken over by the government while shortages increase and inflation soars at over 60%. Are capitalists profiting from this crisis? No just corrupt politicians and businessmen that collude with state run enterprises all of whom would never survive in a capitalist economy. The leading capitalists and their investment organs are taking over larger and larger chunks of our natural resources, human-made artefacts and collective knowledge; they formulate and steer public policy to their own advantage; and they dominate ideology, education and the mass media. Second, the very power logic of accumulation – the need to strategically sabotage others in order to increase one’s own share of the total – forces capitalists to continue and dig their own graves, so to speak. Now, of course, most capitalists, particularly the smaller ones, are unaware of and certainly won’t admit these power underpinnings of capitalism. For politically correct capitalists with substantial money to invest, Mr. X’s fund offers a carefully hedged, two-pronged strategy: buying and holding do-good companies that profit from saving the planet while shorting firms that harm the environment and governments that misallocate the world’s resources. Now, once upon a time there existed a real, undistorted capitalist system as outlined above. So who are the real capitalists? If you haven’t guessed it by now, real capitalists are those who never accumulate. To be a real capitalist, you have to either lose money or break even with enough income to survive. Many real capitalists are perfectly happy with a steady state. To see real capitalists in action, you need go to their ‘impact investing’ gatherings, where they deliberate saving the world, capitalist style. The mandate of the ‘ethical fund manager’ is simple: leverage the world’s distortions and imperfections by selling short and buying long future variations of inequality, the ups and downs of expected hunger, anticipated ecological degradation and regeneration and other assorted disasters and triumphs – and do it all in such a way that we, your capitalist clients, end up beating the holy average. The problem is that, according to the enlightened capitalist, we don’t live in the best of all possible worlds, but in one of the worst. So in the end, the only way to beat the big unreal capitalists of the distorted world is to joint them. Why not? Because such a revelation, says the ecological capitalist, would allow corrupt politicians and their crony big businessmen to discredit the no-growth capitalists, thus killing the very chance of ever achieving the homeostatic bliss…. References.

Keywords: [“capitalist”,”world”,”power”]
Source: https://rwer.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/the-enlightened-capitalist/

JR Test Site News for 01-18-2018

On The Issues Magazine The Progressive Woman’s Magazine Winter 2011: The Rise of Enlightened Sexism by Susan J. Douglas

Today, we once again have what Betty Friedan famously called “a problem with no name.” Millions of young women – the girl power generation – have been told that they can do or be anything, yet they also believe their most important task is to be slim, “Hot,” and non-threatening to men. As one reviews the media landscape of the past 15 years, one is struck by how effectively feminism – a social movement that has done so much for women, and for men, for that matter – has been so vilified in the media that many young women regard it as the ideological equivalent of anthrax. The name I chose is “Enlightened Sexism” – a term I adapted from Sut Jhally’s and Justin Lewis’s “Enlightened racism.” It is a new, subtle, sneaky form of sexism that seems to accept – even celebrate – female achievements on the surface, but is really about repudiating feminism and keeping women, especially young women, in their place. After reviewing the media fare geared to girls and women since the early 1990s, I came to see a rather large gap between how the vast majority of girls and women live their lives, the choices they are forced to make, and what we see – and don’t see – in the media. These fantasies assure girls and women, repeatedly, that women’s liberation is a fait accompli and that we are stronger, more successful, more sexually in control, more fearless, and more held in awe than we actually are. Fantasies of power urge us to pretend that any woman can become a CEO, and that women have achieved economic, professional and political parity with men. Different fantasies of power have been targeted at different age groups, creating a bit of a generational divide: Older women – I prefer the term Vintage Females – like myself have been given all those iron-clad women in the 10:00 p.m. TV programming strip, all those cops, forensic scientists, female judges and the like. Enlightened sexism insists that women have made plenty of progress because of feminism – indeed, full equality has allegedly been achieved – so now it’s OK, even amusing, to resurrect sexist stereotypes of girls and women. These images can’t undermine women at this late date, right? More to the point, enlightened sexism sells the line that it is precisely through women’s calculated deployment of their faces, bodies, attire and sexuality that they gain and enjoy true power, power that is fun, and power that men not only will not resent, but also will embrace. So in the age of enlightened sexism there has been an explosion in makeover, match-making and modeling shows, a renewed emphasis on women’s breasts, an obsession with babies and motherhood in celebrity journalism, and a celebration of stay-at-home moms and “Opting out” of the workforce. According to enlightened sexism, women now have a choice between feminism and anti-feminism and they just naturally and happily choose the latter because, well, anti-feminism has become cool, even hip. Enlightened sexism is meant to make patriarchy pleasurable for women. Ironically, despite their striking differences, embedded feminism and enlightened sexism absolutely reinforce each other: they both overstate women’s gains and accomplishments, and they both render feminism obsolete. Because of these powerful cross currents – between embedded feminism and enlightened sexism, girls and women are pulled in totally opposite directions, and are compelled to strike a bargain. It’s a powerful choke leash, letting women venture out, offering us fantasies of power, control and love, and then pulling us back in.

Keywords: [“women”,”power”,”feminism”]
Source: http://www.ontheissuesmagazine.com/2011winter/2011_winter_Douglas.php

Working for a free and prosperous world

Belief in the “Moral decay” epitomized by self-directed amateur photography results from a more general conviction that the virtues of community and altruism are being driven out by our culture’s overemphasis on the individual. Whether the culprit is capitalism, technology, or Western civilization more generally, the idea is that historically recent developments are fracturing our communal bonds and leading to a loss of empathy, compassion, and duty – replacing concern for the well-being of a larger group with a privileging of the atomized individual. The selfie as we now know it may seem like a result of social media and the camera phone, but our society’s apparent obsession with visual self-presentation is much older – and significantly more beneficial – than the critics understand. “It’s easy to make fun of our penchant for taking selfies,” writes popular science author Steven Johnson in How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World, “But in fact there is a long and storied tradition behind that form of self-expression.” Prior to the Renaissance, visual representation was more symbolic, less what we would now call realistic. “Social conventions as well as property rights and other legal customs began to revolve around the individual rather than the older, more collective units: the family, the tribe, the city, the kingdom.” Furthermore, “Orienting laws around individuals led directly to an entire tradition of human rights and the prominence of individual liberty in legal codes.” In a different investigation of the individualist tradition, historian Lynn Hunt observes in her book Inventing Human Rights, “For rights to be human rights, all humans everywhere in the world must possess them equally and only because of their status as human beings.” Torture, in the ancient world, was originally limited to slaves, but over time, the practice became more acceptable, and in the second century it was expanded to include nominally free lower-class victims. How did the 18th-century public come to agree with them? The answer Hunt offers is that the so-called self-evidence of individual human rights was largely the result of widespread reading in a genre that was still relatively new at the time: the epistolary novel. Thinking about themselves as the individuals staring back through the glass, “People began writing about their interior lives with far more scrutiny,” and “The novel emerged as a dominant form of storytelling, probing the inner mental lives of its characters with an unrivaled depth.” Entering a novel, particularly a first-person narrative, was a kind of conceptual parlor trick: it let you swim through the consciousness, the thoughts and emotions, of other people more effectively than any aesthetic form yet invented. For the first time in history, people come to question the practices of torture and slavery, practices at least as old as civilization and far more universal than any understanding of rights prior to the Enlightenment. The “Invention” of the individual ushered in not ever more selfishness and less regard for the group, but an expanding empathy and a more inclusive, approaching universal, sense of “Us” – a waning relegation of those outside our moral community. The “Invention” of the individual ushered in not ever more selfishness and less regard for the group, but an expanding empathy. Like individualism more generally, the selfie invites us to explore questions of identity and of where we fit in an ever more interconnected community.

Keywords: [“more”,”Individual”,”Selfie”]
Source: https://fee.org/articles/enlightened-selfies