Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Capital in thr 21st century - thomas piketty


Capitalism is mostly a blight on the lives of ordinary workers. Inequality is necessary for the survival of capital. In the long run inequality will, and has become more extreme. Only  by the direct intervention of government can pacify or save capitalism from class struggle by the discontented. Along with the long term failure of capitalism requires continual state intervention to save capitalism. Crime is the moral cornerstone of capitalism, thus the hypocrisy of those who pretend to be shocked by the reoccurring investment scandals.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Which God?


Which God?

The words gays and lesbians, strikes at the heart of many homophobes. Medieval superstition is dying fast but not fast enough.  Relatively few societies historically have placed a complete ban on all types of homosexual activities.  Many tribal communities have special spiritual positions for homosexuals, as seers and prophets. In fact the main reason the attitudes are changing so fast in America is because we all know homosexuals. Besides something as irrelevant as sexual preference lesbians and gays come in all sizes, shapes, colors, political and religious persuasions. In fact if two men or two women decide to marry, besides being a beautiful thing, does not harm my family or me in any possible way. Homophobia is wrong. Homophobia is deeply immoral. To hide behind God in this unacceptable bigotry, is more than wrong. We are responsible for the God we believe in. If God is an inclusive and loving God then those who worship such a God are motivated to become better people. If God is a narrow-minded bigot then people have a moral responsibility not to worship such a God. To hide your serious flaws behind God makes one both a forgery and a deserter from the moral high road.  We are our sister and brother’s keeper and they are ours.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone


Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco has said that his Catholic faith requires him to “proclaim … the whole truth” in support of traditional marriage.

Why?

I must admit I fail to understand the issues. Homophobia is always wrong no matter if you say you are not really homophobic but pro-marriage. What is marriage but two people expressing their love for each other and being publicly recognized as being a loving couple? The arguments I have heard in support of only one man and one woman does not ring true. Many heterosexual couples either by necessity or by choice decides to adopt rather than get pregnant. Other couples chose not to have any children. This is no different than a loving homosexual couple. Others argue that by definition homosexuality is Sodomy and sanctifying it by a public recognized union make light of the holy bonds of marriage. Yet most heterosexual couples engage in oral sex, what is the difference? The answer to me is simple if your don’t like “same sex: marriage do not marry someone of the same sex. In no way does a gay or lesbian couple harms my wife, my daughter or me.


From the River to the Sea


From the River to the Sea:

Israel, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zeeland and so on, not only did the settlers steal the land they felt they had a God given right to the land. The rights of the indigenous folk were not a consideration; they were never a matter of serious concern. In the US tribal people defending their homes were called savages, an earlier term for terrorist. Hopefully Israel; can come to terms that like any settler state at some point the settlers must acknowledge they owe something to the indigenous in righting the wrongs visited on these same indigenous people.

My hope for peace in the Israeli Palestinian crisis:

Peace only comes when all the people are considered. Jews, Christians, Muslims, non-believers, Israelis, Palestinians all belong on the land from the River to the Sea. Healing will only start when we realize we are all sisters and brothers.

may 14


May 14 is the celebration of the Israeli independence and the ending of the British mandate, is also the day marking Palestinian Nakba or Suffering. During the 1948 war about 700,000 Palestinians were displaced.  During the war 531 villages and 11 urban neighborhoods in Tel-Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem and the rest of Palestine were wiped away.  In violation of international law, the refugees have not been allowed to return. The suffering of the displaced Palestinian people has continued for more than sixty years. Today with the continuing destruction of Palestinian homes and displacement of Palestinian peoples it is now time to focus worldwide attention on America’s culpability in this continuing crime. Today there is a growing international and national movement among American Churches, Universities, corporations, retirement accounts and etc. for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel until the Palestinian issues is settled. Even in the United Nations, European Union and large investment firms’ worldwide are joining the protest. It is not anti-Semitic to be concerned about Palestinian Rights, not to be concerned about the suffering of Palestinian people is racist. Whether the ultimate solution is a two state solution or a bi-national federation the bulk of the responsibility to ending this falls on the shoulders of America to end its unconditional support of Israel in spite of the crimes being committed daily against Palestinian People in the West Bank, Gaza and within Israel proper.


Friday, July 18, 2014

ISSS


An Historical Explanation of Interdisciplinary, Cross-disciplinary, and Trans-disciplinary: Why Dr. Michael Joseph Francisconi, MS, Ph.D is a good fit for Interdisciplinary Studies.

The masters (or “Fathers,” if you will) of both Sociology and Cultural Anthropology were in fact interdisciplinary to begin with. The rigid boundaries between the various disciplines in historical studies came much later at the Universities because of budget conflicts between departments. As I will try to show, in order to further the development of the various focus areas, the Professors needed to communicate with, borrow from, and understand what other scholars were saying. Political Sociology/ Anthropology by definition is interdisciplinary. Anthropologists cannot ignore Ecology. The relationship between Economics and Sociology was at the very beginning assumed. Economic Anthropology has always asked the question, how much can Anthropology learn from Economics? The in-house debates were what economic model best offers a usable pattern with which to work.

German philosophers Immanuel Kant through Heinrich Rickert influenced Weber (the father of Sociology) particularly in the concept of value-free sociology, i.e. the purely formal-logical analysis which states as its goal the establishing of the conditions under which scientific analysis of society is even possible as opposed to the traditional study of defining before hand the priorities, the methodology and distinctions between information being used as data. Weber argued that knowledge is historically determined, and thus it is important to develop a formal empirical approach to the study of history that can be verified independent of historical circumstances. Weber said that only by establishing an objective body of historical data to work with can we begin our interpretive process in the study of history. Sympathetic understanding then combines the objective with the subjective. Weber offered a way to understand culture through the native point of view, but only with a body of data that can be reanalyzed at a later date in a different historical setting. While Weber is a father of Sociology all his academic appointments were in Economics. In fact Weber’s interest in Sociology grew out of his debate with the rising neo-classical school of Economics that studied Economics as a pure science. Weber on the other hand studied economics embedded in a historical and social setting. This was the German historical school. The neo-classical was the Austrian school.

Marx, as is well known, was a Philosopher, Sociologist, Anthropologist, Historian, Economist and Political Scientist. Marx studied under the German Philosopher Feuerbach, who studied under Hegel. Marx got his start by associating with the Young (left) Hegelians. Marx’s methodology was Hegelian. Marx was equally influenced by the teachings of the ancient philosopher Epicurus and the Atomists like Democritus. Marx’s ethics were founded on Epicurean ethics. French political theorists also influenced Marx, including Saint-Simon, Proudhon and Fourier. The British Economists Smith, Ricardo, Owen and many others were also important, as were the English Chartists. Both Engels and Marx were very impressed by Darwin.

Polanyi was a Hungarian scholar who studied Economic History in Vienna as part of the Austrian School which Polanyi would seriously assess as exposing the Historical and Anthropological flaws in both Classical and Neoclassical Economic studies. Polanyi’s critique of capitalism which emphasizes that historically the “noneconomic’” determines the economy
of traditional society shows that economics is embedded in social responsibility that is defined by specific societies set in particular historical settings. Only through careful historical and cross-cultural studies of economics can we separate out the culturally and historically specific from the near universal, if possible, economic traits. Polanyi though a trained in Historical Economics is the father of Economic Anthropology.

Julian Steward coined the term Cultural Ecology that is a continuation of his theory of Multi-linear Evolution. Multi-linear Evolution searches for regularities in cultural change. Cultural laws can be defined that explain these changes. Determinism is not the issue, but patterns of historical change follow patterns of an interaction between parts of a society and the larger environment. Cultural traditions have distinctive elements that can be studied in context. Similarities and differences between cultures are meaningful and change in meaningful ways. The evolution of recurrent forms, processes, and functions in different societies has similar explanations. Each society has its own specific historical movement through time. This prefaces cross-cultural studies.

Diachronic Anthropology starts with change as the only constant. Thus, cultural studies begin and end with the evolution and history of cultures and cross-cultural studies examines closely the effects of cultural change of surrounding cultures on the changes of a particular culture.

Historical Sociology focuses on changing social structures and how the complex of social institutions interact in that process of change, and how long-term national and international trends affect that change.

The major thesis of Political Sociology is that politics cannot be isolated from other subsystems of a society. Political Anthropology has defined its interest in how power is put to use in a social and cultural environment. Power is defined as political influence to accomplish certain aims. Through cultural interpretation, the political culture defines certain goals as acceptable. Political systems operate within an historical setting. The ability to make and enforce decisions is the basis of power, and power is what Political Anthropologists study. Political Anthropology investigates the everyday experiences of people as they are shaped by their economic position in a particular society, and the world economy that molds most political issues.

Thus, given the historical evidence above, I am a Sociologist and Anthropologist as well as Historian, Economist, and Political Scientist.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Crisis at the Border


Crisis in America


There is a crisis at the border. Children have come in large numbers seeking refuge from the storm.  These humble ones who come to the land of immigrants are being turned away, Children, how dare we? This is America, when our grandparents came here it was a land with open borders. There were shameful episodes like the Chinese exclusion act of 1882 and the anti-Catholic – anti-Jewish restrictions on immigration of 1924. But, pretty much from 1840 to 1924 our borders were open. All our grandparents came from somewhere else and the borders were open and nearly unrestricted. Except for the American Indian whose land was stolen and the African who had no choice being sold as slaves. For the rest of us this America would be a sanctuary for the tired, the poor, the broken, the oppressed, the huddled masses, the wretched refuse from many different teaming shores. They came with little more than their hopes. They came on the decks of over crowded boats. They built America with their muscles, sweat and blood. Many could not read or write; few knew English and they created a nation. My grandparents were legal immigrants. That is just silly. When they came the borders were not closed. Now we are turning away the children.